Canadian Hall to stay in St. Marys despite setback

By: Danny Gallagher

Canadian Baseball Network

The future of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys is not up in the air, at least not now or in the near future.

Despite the fact that the hall's board of directors is very disappointed, perhaps angry, that town council didn't pony up and give the hall a large sum of money at a meeting Dec. 21, the board maintains it's not looking to move to another municipality.

"The board has had just over a week to digest council's decision and no decisions have been made about next steps but to be clear, we are not pursuing another town or city,'' said board of directors vice chair Adam Stephens. "And we are not looking for another home for the hall.'

The directors convened two days after the council's rejection to discuss some options and discussions on those options will continue in the new year.

"We are in a strong position,'' Stephens said. "We have money in the bank. We have a network of supporters across Canada and internationally.  We have hundreds of committed volunteers in St. Marys and the surrounding area.  The board will be sharing our plans for our next steps once decisions have been made.''

It's possible that one of the options for the board of directors is to negotiate a financial compromise of some sort with the town of St. Marys.

"Moving towns would be a last resort,'' said a long-time hall supporter. "I think they will revamp their Strategic Master Plan as the consultants did provide some helpful advice regarding marketing strategy, which was a concern of some when the plan was prepared.''

Town council rejected a hall request for $150,000 annual funding plus $550,000 toward capital costs for a new facility.

The idea of a possible move out of St. Marys has prompted a fair amount of reaction on social media. Some Twitter members suggested Ottawa and other Ontario communities such as Windsor, Kitchener and Guelph as possible destinations. As could be expected, a transfer of the hall elsewhere would be fraught with difficulties and delays.

Danny Gallagher

Danny was born in Ted Lindsay's hometown of Renfrew, Ont. but his roots are in nearby Douglas. He played 27 consecutive seasons of top-level amateur baseball in the senior ranks in Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec and thrived on organizing events himself, the major one being the highly successful 1983 Canadian senior men's tournament in Sudbury. He began covering the Montreal Expos in 1988 when he joined the Montreal Daily News. Later, he was the Expos beat writer for the Ottawa Sun and Associated Press. He has written four baseball books, including Remembering the Montreal Expos, which he co-authored with Bill Young of Hudson, Que. Gallagher and Young are currently working on a book about the ill-fated 1994 Expos squad. Gallagher can be reached here: dannogallagher@rogers.com