Elliott: 2018 Most influential Canadians - Walker, Anthopoulos, Paxton, Wolfe, Votto
By Bob Elliott
Canadian Baseball Network
Larry Walker has not had an at-bat since Game 5 of the 2005 National League Championship Series.
Wearing St. Louis Cardinals uniform No. 33 Larry Walker (Maple Ridge, BC) led off the bottom of the ninth in a 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros, striking out against reliever Dan Wheeler on Oct. 19 at Busch Stadium.
Let’s take a look at some Walker numbers ...
This set from Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder), based not in Montreal, Denver or St. Louis, but Philadelphia or Washington, DC.
_ Complete list of players with more home runs (383), stolen bases (230), and defensive runs saved (93.9) than Larry Walker: Barry Bonds, Henry Aaron, Willie Mays
_ Larry Walker was a career .313 batter with 383 home runs and 230 stolen bases. None of the other 19,428 ballplayers in baseball history bested him in each of those three categories.
_ Larry Walker would have to return to baseball and go 0-for-294 for his lifetime batting average to dip below .300.
Let’s take a look at some Walker numbers ...
This set from Connor Looker of Hot Stove Stats (@HotStoveStats), based not in Montreal, Denver or St. Louis, but Fort Wayne, Ind.
_ Of Larry Walker’s 8,030 career plate appearances, 5,529 of them came at a ballpark other than Coors Field. That works out to 68.9% of his plate appearances at another park, where he had a slash line of .282/.372/.501.
_ There have been 19,429 players to play Major League Baseball. Just one of them has 350 HR, 200 SB, .300 BA, and .400 OBP in their career. His name is Larry Walker.
And finally we have another set of numbers on Walker …
This from the home office, based not in Montreal, Denver or St. Louis, but downtown Mississauga.
And the news is ... the numbers have changed from a year ago.
Walker was named on 144 ballots of voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America in January in 2018 Hall of Fame voting. That equals 34.1% of the vote. It’s the highest set of numbers for a Canadian position player has received since Jimmy Archer (six votes, 3%) in 1937 and again the next year (seven, 2.6%).
Archer (Toronto, Ont.) played 847 games in 12 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs, Brooklyn Robins and Cincinnati Reds. George “Twinkle Toes” Selkirk (Huntsville, Ont.) in 1948-1953 and Terry Puhl (Melville, Sask.) in 1997 were the only position players to receive votes.
For attaining the highest vote total for a Canuck position player since the 1930, Walker earns the No. 1 ranking in our 12th annual Canadian Baseball Network top 100 most influential list.
Of course, RHP Fergie Jenkins is the lone Canuck in Cooperstown, garnering 334 votes (75.4%) of the votes in 1991.
At 34.1% and two years remaining on the ballot, Walker has a ways to go. But perhaps he could walk into Cooperstown via the Veteran’s Committee. Two Detroit Tigers Jack Morris and Alan Trammell were inducted in July.
After eight years, Morris had 37.1% of the vote while Trammell had 17.4%. However, in the days of Morris and Trammell, players were eligible for 15 years.
Walker influenced Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC) who homered at Larry Walker Field in Maple Ridge, BC, just as young Colorado players are being influenced going deep at Larry Walker Field in North Thornton, Col.
1. Larry Walker (6).
Named by 34.1% of the voting populace means he has a long way to go to get to the required 75%, but he’d never received more than the 22.9% in 2012, and had fallen to 10.2% in 2014. In his career Walker, hit .286697 on the road, higher than 34 of the 126 Hall of Famers with at least 1,500 at-bats, including the likes of Jim Rice, Tony Perez, Craig Biggio, Willie Stargell, Ken Griffey, Ryan Sandberg, Reggie Jackson, Joe Morgan, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski, Mike Schmidt, Johnny Bench, Ozzie Smith, Gary Carter, and Jim Thome.
Walker is one of six players in to retire with a .300-plus average, .400-plus on-base percentage, .550-plus slugging percentage, 450 or more doubles, 60 or more triples, 350 or more homers and 1,250-plus RBIs. The other five -- Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig -- are Hall of Famers.
The left-handed hitting Walker had a career .306 average against left-handers. Tony Gwynn (.324) and Rod Carew (.317) are the only left-handed hitters in the Hall of Fame who hit better than .306 against lefties. Wade Boggs is third at .298. He hit .301 or higher every month during his career. He also hit .313 before the All-Star break and .313 after it.
2. Alex Anthopoulos, Braves GM (5).
The Braves were not just a bad team (90 losses) when they hired Anthopoulos Nov. 13, 2017. The once proud organization which won 14 straight divisions was in a dark place in Atlanta history. Investigations by the commissioner’s office revealed numerous infractions by the Braves when it came to the international free agency market. The team had to forfeit 13 prospects -- declared free agents -- and was slapped with severe restrictions for the next two years on the international market. GM John Coppolella was banned from for life and president John Hart was stripped of power and departed. The Montrealer’s hands-on style, sitting to talk with most employees individually and laying out his optimistic plans lifted the morale of Braves employees. He dealt veteran OF Matt Kemp and the remaining two years of his cumbersome contract in December 2017, taking on payroll for 2018 in order to contend in 2019.
Veteran RF Nick Markakis had an all-star season, 1B Freddie Freeman and 2B Ozzie Albies impressed early, LF Ronald Acuña was promoted in April and so too was RHP Mike Soroka (Calgary, Alta.) in May to debut against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Promoting Soroka, who became the youngest arm in the majors, signaled to the organization Anthopoulos wanted to win and was not worrying about a service clock.
The 50-to-1 longshot Braves won 90 games and the NL East title, their first postseason berth since 2013 ... from disgrace in November before Anthopoulos to division champs 10 months later. He made solid moves at the deadline -- RHP Kevin Gausman (5-3, 2.87 ERA in 10 starts), RP Brad Brach (1-2, 1.52, one save in 27 games) and OF Adam Duvall (.132 in 33 games) -- without trading away any of the team’s top prospects. Since being eliminated by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Anthopoulos has added Josh Donaldson, the former Blue Jays MVP on a one-year $23 million deal, and C Brian McCann.
3. James Paxton, left-hander, Yankees (24).
Anthony Alford, Teoscar Hernandez and Josh Donaldson were due up for the Jays in the bottom of the ninth against Paxton, who had a 5-0 lead at the Rogers Centre. But all three Jays wanted to be The Guy ... The Guy who broke up the no-hit bid of the Mariners lefty. Alford popped up. Hernandez struck out swinging on an 0-2 and finally Donaldson, ex-AL MVP, bounced to third on an 0-2 pitch. The final three pitches in Paxton (Ladner, BC) 99-pitch outing were at 98, 100 and 99 mph. On the season end MLB.Network highlights his game was voted No. 10 of the top 40 games.
It was the first no-no thrown by a Canadian on home soil and Paxton recognized those giving him a standing ovation by pointing to a tattoo on his right forearm of a maple leaf. RHP Dick Fowler (Toronto, Ont.) was the first Canadian pitching a no-no for the Philadelphia A’s in a 1-0 win against the St. Louis Browns, as he fanned four on Sept. 9, 1945. In his previous start Paxton worked seven scoreless and struck out 16 against the Oakland A’s, a record for most strikeouts in a game by a Canuck pitcher, besting Erik Bedard (Navan, Ont.) by one.
Pitchers need composure and the former North Delta Blue Jay had standing in the outfield before the Minnesota Twins home opener when a bald eagle swooped in and landed on his right shoulder during the anthem. Which led to a Paxton tweet: “Went fishing today and a bald eagle started circling above our boat. Took me a while to trust that it wasn’t coming for me.”
Paxton grew up with this site: from all-Canadian at Kentucky, was an Canadian Baseball Network All-Canadian college First Team in 2009, had failed negotiations with the Blue Jays documented, to being a minor league pitcher of the year and AL pitcher of the month in 2017. After the season, Seattle dealt him to the Yankees for LHP Justus Sheffield, OF Dom Thompson-Williams and RHP Erik Swanson. Paxton won the Canadian Hall of Fame’s Tip O’Neill award.
4. Joel Wolfe, agent, Wasserman Group (4).
If you watched soon-to-be free agent Yu Darvish during the 2017 World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, you might have wondered how much damage he did to his earning power. Darvish made two starts -- and LA didn’t have to worry about him going through an order a third time -- he allowed nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and two walks ... for an ERA of 21.60. No problem for Darvish who had Wolfe as an agent. The Chicago Cubs signed Darvish to a six-years $126 million in February for the largest contract of the offseason
Wolfe, whose parents grew up in Montreal, orchestrated the trade (no to the Giants, no to the Cardinals) which saw Giancarlo Stanton in pinstripes with what is still the largest contract in history of the game (a 13-year $325 million). Canelo Álvarez signed an 11-fight $365 million video streaming service with DAZN.
He won Trevor Bauer’s arbitration case against the Indians, earning his client $6.525 Million. Besides Bauer (12-6, 2.21 ERA, 221 strikeouts in 175 1/3 innings) Tyler Glasnow (1-5, 4.20 with 64 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings) with the Pirates) had breakout seasons. Clients Nolan Arenado and DJ Lemahieu each earned Gold Gloves. Added to his stable were major league saves leader Edwin Diaz, now of the Mets and Kike Hernandez of Dodgers. Wolfe also saw clients Alec Bohm and Nick Madrigal go third and fourth overall. The Phillies gave Wichita State 3B Bohm $5.85 million, while the White Sox handed Oregon State SS Nick Madrigal $6,411,400.
5. Joey Votto, Reds (1).
The Etobicoke Rangers grad had a down year. His batting average (.284), doubles (28) home runs (12), RBIs (67) and OPS (.837) were all below what he averaged in his first 11 years. Anything else? Oh yeah, he led the NL in on-base percentage (.417) for a third straight year ... which is the goal of the game: get on base and score runs. He missed 17 games which accounts for some decrease.
In May, when asked if he was excited about James Paxton’s no-hitter, Votto said he “doesn’t care about Canada, Canadian baseball or his hometown.” Votto is 35 and is from Etobicoke, while Paxton is 30 and from Ladner, BC. It’s like when you rent a car in spring training, the guy looks at your driver’s licence and he says “Toronto ... Hey, I have a cousin in Calgary. Do you know him?” Or the cabbie in Pittsburgh who upon learning you are from Canada asks “I have a cousin who went fishing near Halifax, did you meet him? His name is Jimmy.” It does get frustrating.
Votto quickly wrote an apology for the Canadian Baseball Network after the story broke and after his game in San Francisco was over, saying his comments came from an “absolutely silly, short-sighted, selfish place.” He apologized the next day on the Blue Jays pregame show. He apologized on a conference call to Toronto writers. He apologized to Cincinnati writers. He took his lumps. At Nationals Park, Votto became the first Canadian to homer in an all-star game taking J.A. Happ deep with a line drive to deep right in the 10th.
Votto was honoured with the 2018 Syl Apps (Kingston, Ont. -- Canada’s first capital) award as Ontario’s athlete of the year. Votto did not make it but he purchased a table for $3,000 for Etobicoke Rangers: AJ Iafrate, Kyle Angelow, Adam McBride, Adam Raitby, coach Jon Kielb, Daniel Murphy, Michael Ferracutti, Kevin Breitner, Bill Thompson and Mark Capone. The Rangers contacted Votto looking for a contact with a uniform supplier for new uniforms. Votto picked up the tab but the Rangers had to give back. They decided to help the Etobicoke Eagles Special Olympics Ontario with their challenger program.
6. Farhan Zaidi, Giants GM, (3).
The Sudbury-born Zaidi was described as “wizard smart” by MLB Network analyst John Hart. He and his pal Alex Anthopoulos hooked up in the National League Division Series. The Dodgers won the best-of-five series 3-1.
The Dodger trio of president Andrew Friedman, GM Zaidi and assistant GM Anthopoulos won 104 games in 2017 before losing in Game 7 of the World Series to the Houston Astros. The duo of Friedman and Zaidi won 92 games and lost the Series in five games to the Boston Red Sox.
The Dodgers were accused of stock piling every day talent for its bench and then asking every day players to contribute as bench players. They were also accused of scripting the game’s narrative which meant for some awkward postgame sessions in the interview room for manager Dave Roberts. MLB Network’s Kevin Millar said if the plan was going to be made up in the afternoon, then the front office should be on the stage with Roberts post game. Now, Zaidi becomes boss of the Dodgers’ rivals, the San Francisco Giants.
7. Greg Hamilton, Baseball Canada (9).
C Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) followed in the footsteps of his brother Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) as a first round draft (receiving a $2,578,138 US signing bonus from the Indians). Of the 14 Canucks to receive $1 million plus signing bonuses, 11 were coached by Hamilton: Besides the Naylor brothers, the others are RHP Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.), LHP Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC), RHP Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.) INF Brett Lawrie (Langley, BC), RHP Landon Leach (Pickering, Ont.) INF Adam Hall (London, Ont.), C Andrew Yerzy (Toronto, Ont.), 3B Scott Thorman (Cambridge, Ont.) and C Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC). The others are Jameson Taillon (The Woodlands, Tex.), Blake Hawksworth (North Vancouver, BC) and Rob Zaztryzny (Edmonton, Alta.).
LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.) hit a two-run homer to give Canada a bronze medal at the Pan Am championships in Panama. Canada also won bronze in 2005 and 2014, as well as a silver in 2011. At the 18U, the Canucks have won bronze (1983, 1987, 1997 and 2006), silver (2012) and a gold (1991).Besides that team, the regular Canadian Junior National Team and help place players south of the border, Hamilton is the busiest coach in the country.
And on next year’s schedule all Hamilton has going is the Pan Am Games qualifier in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, the U18 World Cup in Gijang, Korea and the Premier 12 (highest team that’s not Japan qualifying for Olympics).
Hamilton was inducted into the Peterborough and District Hall of Fame this year.
8. Edward Rogers, Chairman of Rogers Communications, (2).
One plan to re-configure Rogers Centre had home plate moved to the left field corner which would have meant for a postcard image. Fans would have been able to the CN Tower in straightaway centre, assuming Josh Donaldson’s replacement gave the Roof Report and said, “It’s open.” Does not look like that is happening with the original baseball press box demolished for a high-rent district suite behind the plate.
We don’t really understand the continual knocking of the stadium. The Jays led the American League in attendance with 3,392,099 fans in 2016. Crowds dropped 5.6% in 2017 and were down another 27.4% in 2018. It’s similar to when Jack Kent Cooke owned the triple-A Toronto Maple Leafs. He complained about the International League product being second class. Eventually people stopped coming. The Jays team payroll slipped slightly to $150,946,147 according to Spotrac ... 11th in the majors. It is not the perfect stadium for baseball with seats angled too low. So you end up far away from the field very fast. But put a great team on the field and it will sell out.
9. Fergie Jenkins, Hall of Famer (10).
The Jenkins’ foundation paid for the training of two dogs with the Ron & Vicki Santo Diabetic Alert Dog Foundation. Hall of Famer Santo was a diabetic, who at times played third base for the Chicago Cubs with a chocolate bar in his back pocket, electing not to tell management of his diabetes. Jenkins lost his wife, Lydia, persevered keeping all of his charitable events going.
And this summer, 50 teams from 10U to 18U will play in the Fergie Jenkins League run by former Cub Scott Bullett. Organizations fielding teams on different levels include the Bullettproof Prospects, Kingston Colts, Cornwall Royals, Ontario Cardinals, Ontario Athletics, Ontario Giants, Ottawa Knights, Tri-City Giants, Ontario Prospects, Lake Simcoe Nationals, Grand River, Clarington Renegades, Belleville Dawgs, Ontario Blue Jays, Ontario Bulldogs, Ontario Rockies, Ontario Giants East, Durham Outlaws, Halton Badgers and the Oakville Hammers.
10. Pat Gillick, senior advisor, Phillies (11).
When Alomar Sports put on the 1992-93 Back-to-Back Celebrations, two people were in demand by the media and fans: Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson and Gillick, who told wonderful stories about the glory days. He tapped into his memory for stories and anecdotes from the old days.
A senior advisor to Phillies president Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak, as well as a being a minority owner, Gillick served on the 16-man Today’s Game Committee (formerly the veteran’s committee) which elected reliever Lee Smith and Harold Baines to the Hall of Fame. They will be inducted in July in a Cooperstown ceremony.
11. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Buffalo Bisons (33).
Guerrero is everyone’s top prospect in the minors: Baseball America, MLB Pipeline and even the Blue Jays, who if you listen hard are making room for him on the Level of Excellence. He will start at Triple-A Buffalo and be promoted to take over third for the Jays. The Montreal-born Guerrero was in Dunedin Aug. 1, 2015 working out for scouts. The Jays haven’t had a prospect like this since Derek Bell, who was Baseball America’s player of the year -- as Guerrero was -- and then Bell started 46 games in 1992-93.
Splitting time at Triple-A Buffalo, Double-A New Hampshire, class-A Dunedin and the Rookie-Class Jays, he hit .381 with 29 doubles, 20 homers, 78 RBIs and a 1.073 OPS to win the Canadian Baseball Network Randall Echlin award. He received a $3.9 million bonus. Latin America scout Ismael Cruz, scouts Dana Brown, Perry Minasian, Andrew Tinnish and GM Alex Anthopoulos were all involved. Some say he was tired when he got to Buffalo, others worry about weight problems and could wind up at first base. No one argues he can’t hit.
12. Buddy Black, manager, Colorado Rockies (13).
Harry “Buddy” Ralston Black accepted congrats after Game 162 of the 2018 season in his office with his former Royals teammate Jamie Quirk. Black then asked how his former Padres catcher Chris Robinson (Dorchester, Ont.) was doing. Black’s Rockies had snuck past the Washington Nationals -- the team that had hired him three years earlier only to decide not to pay much of a salary -- 12-0. Nolan Arenado homered twice, while Austin Voth, Charlie Blackmon, David Dahl and Trevor Story each homered against the Nats. The win gave the Rockies 91 wins good for a tie with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West. Colorado lost the tie breaker 5-2 in LA.
Black remains WBC eligible since his father Harry was born in the Edmonton area and his mom in from Melville, Sask. His father was recruited from the Olds Elks to skate for UCLA in 1938. Buddy has managed his teams to 827 wins in his 11 seasons and had 121 wins in 15 years, including two wins in three starts for the 1990 Jays.
13. Bob McCown, host, Prime Time Sports (14).
Claude Themalfachuck’s brother Zotique tells me “Robert is better than ever and on target,” as do others who know Rory Calhoun’s distant cousin. From Blue Jays PA announcer to media/winery magnate -- that is McCown.
He knows the game as well as anyone on the air, knows the business of the game and does not worry about “suits.” He draws the best out of guests like Boston’s Bob Ryan, plus Sportsnet’s Dan Shulman, Dave Perkins, Jamie Campbell, Shi Davidi, Arash Madani, Jonah Keri, Kevin Barker, Cliff Floyd, Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler.
14. Tony Staffieri, chief financial officer, Rogers Communications (17).
As one insider said in mid-December: “Tony is stronger today with Rogers than he was a year ago today.” A Rogers financial guru -- Ben Colabrese -- has been sent over from the campus to sit on the Blue Jays on executive board.
Staffieri is coping with the hockey deal now that Scott Moore has departed. The back end of the deal sees increases up to 5% and revenue is not growing that fast.
15. John Ircandia, managing director, Okotoks Dawgs (16).
What began as a dream -- the city of Calgary said no to the team, so did a couple of other places -- Ircandia and his merry band of Dawgs headed south to Okotoks. And the dream continues to grow. There are 175 summer college teams in North America and the Dawgs finished third in average attendance last year. They drew 80,877 to Seaman Stadium, averaging 3,676 fans, behind only the Madison Mallards (6,249) of the Northwoods League and the Savannah Bananas (4,229) of the Coastal Plain loop, according to Ballpark Digest.
As for the Dawgs Academy, they won the midget 16U Alberta title, while Caesar Valero committed to NCAA’s top ranked Oregon State and was one of coach Allan Cox’s 17 players selected to attend Tournament 12.
Many baseball programs around the country are started by parents for their sons. Soon as Little Johnny goes off to school, pop is gone. Ircandia’s son Vince works at Stellaralgo Corp., while son Matthew is with Tourmaline Oil. Yet the passion of the father for the game grows and grows. He is always trying to make things better for the summer Dawgs and players from across the county at the Dawgs Academy. Next month University of British Columbia Thunderbirds former coach Terry McKaig and Michael Rose will be inducted into the Dawgs Hall of Fame.
16. Dan Shulman, broadcaster, Sportsnet (15)
While many people told me how much they loved listening to John Smoltz on FOX during the post-season play, I had more tell me how much they loved listening to Shulman call the games on the radio for ESPN. He missed Game 5 of the World Series when he came down with a case of laryngitis making him sound a little like Barry White. John Sciambi pinch hit in Manny Mota style.
The same went for Blue Jays TV coverage as Buck Martinez and Shulman put the band back together for roughly 50 games. Shulman, a Toronto resident, worked another 30 games in crowded radio booth, plus he did a handful of regular season games for ESPN. One trip to the press box late in the season resulted in a Shulman double play: dulcet-tone dad Daniel and son Matthew, a former Jays intern, who now works at an investment company. Shulman received a bump in the standings for being MC of the Great Lake Canadians inaugural banquet.
17. Russell Martin, Blue Jays (7).
At the start of the season the Jays and Canada’s greatest catcher had a talk about playing time. Martin said one of his best years was 2014 in Pittsburgh when he would play two games and have the next day off. He made 106 starts that year. Still the most popular Canadian playing in Canada,
This season, he started the least amount behind the plate (71) in his 13-year career ... plus 16 at third plus one each at short and left field. He started only twice in September (both at third) as Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire shared most of the duties. Martin has caught 1,519 games in his career. He had the fewest at-bats (289) in his 13-year career. There is still not a statue of a ball player in front of the Rogers Centre -- there is one of broadcasting/wireless pioneer Ted Rogers -- but Martin has a statue of himself in front of Cayleigh Parrish’s The SPORT Gallery in the Distillery section. There are statues of Maple Leafs (double figures) at the former Air Canada Centre.
18. Arlene Anderson, CEO, Sam Bat (19).
Anderson’s product had a starring role in the premiere of a short film. The four minute-12 second piece, which opened with a closeup of Sam Bats, was played before 41,209 fans on Aug. 11 on the scoreboard at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The film, narrated by actor Danny Glover, was made for the Giants retiring Barry Bonds’ No. 25. The piece opens with a close up of a row of Sam Bats -- the lumber Bonds used to break the all-time home run record. Sam Bat founder Sam Holman and his wife Denise were in the friends and family section.
Also on hand were Hall of Famers Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry, and Willie Mays, Bonds’ god father, as No. 25 was retired. Anderson and her husband Jim watched the ceremonies from the deck of their cottage.
Holman gave Pat Bonds, Barry’s mother, a Sam Bats pin to wear on the field with Bonds’ former teammates and managers Bobby Bonilla, Fred Lewis, Ray Durham, Rob Nen, Kirk Reuter, Royce Clayton, Eric Davis, Shawon Duston, Will Clark, Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy and Jim Leyland. Bonds’ number was 10th retired in franchise history. Cyber Monday was Sam Bat’s top day ever online.
Jose Altuve, Marwin Gonzalez and Jack Mayfield of the Astros used Sam Bat in October, while Blue Jays Kendrys Morales, Loudres Gourriel and Teoscar Hernandez used them during a shorter season. Other key clients from the Diamondbacks include Ketel Marte, Carson Kelly; the Braves’ Johan Camargo, Ronald Acuna and Mike Soroka, Adam Jones of the Orioles, Red Sox Hanley Ramirez, Rusney Castillo, White Sox Avisail Garcia and Jose Rondon; Indians’ Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez, Abraham Almonte and Melky Cabrera; Tigers Miguel Cabrera and Leonys Martin; Royals Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon; Angels Francisco and Chris Young, Dodger Joc Pederson; Brewers Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar; Twins Max Kepler; Phillies Pedro Florimon, Carlos Santana, Wilson Ramos and Nick Williams; Pirates’ Gregory Polanco and Eric Wood; Padres Josh Naylor and Fernando Tatis; Giants’ Gorkys Hernandez; Mariners Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Taylor Motter and Mike Zunino, Cardinals Marcell Ozuna, Jack Flaherty; Padres’ Rowan Wick; Nationals Moises Sierra and Tanner Roark.
19. Andrew Tinnish, assistant GM, Blue Jays (25).
Latin American scouting director Sandy Rosario and Tinnish gave Dominican infielder Orelvis Martinez, 16, $3.5 million on July 2. The best comparison to Martinez? Believe it or not -- unfair or not -- some say Vlad Guerrero. Martinez has a big toe tap and big bat wrap, plus he can handle velocity and breaking balls like Guerrero. Martinez is a better fielder but does not have Guerrero’s power. The other top signs among the 27 inked are OF Gabriel Martinez, C Javier D’Orazio and C Junior Ramos.
Tinnish signs to make the majors keep sprouting up like geraniums: SS Lourdes Gurriel, who signed in 2016, as well as LHP Ryan Borucki and INF Jon Berti this year. They join those from his three drafts: Anthony Alford, Daniel Barnes, Anthony DeSclafani, Casey Lawrence, Deck McGuire, Joe Musgrove, Justin Nicolino, Sean Nolin, Daniel Norris, Ian Parmley, Kevin Pillar, Dalton Pompey, Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, and Asher Wojciekowski. Alex Anthopoulos and Tinnish signed Vlad Guerrero.
20. Steven Bronfman, Montreal investor (-).
The No. 1 thing I hear from ball fans is “Hey really liked you on McCown last week” and No. 1A is “When is Montreal getting a team again?” To me it seems far away -- like the NHL returning to Quebec City -- but give credit to Bronfman, of Claridge Inc., for making the right, deliberate moves. He is not Jim Balsillie when he tried to force the hand of the NHL and gain a franchise for Hamilton.
After Tampa Bay’s plans of a new park in the Ybor City area of Tampa, the Montreal investors released a market study concluding the return of the Expos would be viable and would generate strong interest among fans and the business community. The report showed Montreal’s TV market would be 12th out of 27 big-league regions, its population (15th largest), corporate base (19th of corporations with annual sales of at least $5 million and 25 or more employees) and second-largest median household income. Montreal would have the metro population among MLB cities, the 18th highest median household income. Las Vegas, Portland, Ore., Charlotte, N.C., San Antonio and Monterrey, Mex. also want franchises.
Investors group includes Alain Bouchard, Couche-Tard founder; Mitch Garber, chairman of the board of Cirque du Soleil, Eric Boyko, CEO of Stingray Digital Group Inc., Stephane Cretier, CEO of Garda World and Bronfman.
21. Josh and Noah Naylor, Padres, Ontario Blue Jays (63).
When 1B Eric Hosmer and his eight-year contract arrived in San Diego it would have been easy for 1B Josh Naylor to go sit in the corner and pout for a week -- or a season. Instead, he worked hard at learning the outfield. Josh played 89 games in left, 29 at first and 13 at DH. He hit .297 with 22 doubles, a triple, 17 homers, 74 RBIs and an .830 OPS.
Younger brother Noah was a first-round draft in 2018. There was talk on draft night he would go sixth over-all to the Mets, but instead went 29th to the Indians. Noah made his debut with the Indians II Arizona-rookie league team with three doubles, three triples, two homers and a .783 OPS. So, the pair combined for 25 doubles, three triples, 19 homers, 91 RBIs. Next up is youngest brother Myles.
One of our favourite stories of the year was sitting at a Mississauga coffee shop with Josh’s parents, Jenice and Chris -- with Chris sitting in the exact same chair Josh had sat in three years before when I interviewed him. Odds of Canuck brothers going in the first round? One-in-25 billion, according to Paul Bessire of PredictionMachine.com, an analytics-based site in Cincinnati. Noah was given a $2,578,138 bonus and Josh $2.25 Million for a total of $4,828,138. Noah is the fourth rated in the Indians system, while Noah is 15th rated.
22. Stubby Clapp, first base coach, Cardinals (26).
He was endorsed by outgoing manager John Gibbons as the man who should succeed him because “I knew him when he played in our system and I knew him when he coached too,” Gibbons said. “Plus he’s Canadian. He has a personality that would be able to handle a young team and the fans would love him.” Gibbons endorsement didn’t help as Clapp did not even get an interview, although the Jays did make calls on his background.
Clapp managed in Arizona Fall League with Vlad Guerrero on the team. Clapp flew to Jupiter, Fla. the spring home of the Cardinals to be interviewed by President John Mozeliak, GM Mike Girsch and manager Mike Shildt. They interviewed both Jeff Albert and Clapp with two openings. Albert was named hitting coach and Clapp first base coach after his second straight Triple-A International League manager of the honour of the year.
23. Paul Beeston, president emeritus, Jays (23).
Again, Beeston was also part of the 16-man Modern Era Committee which elected former White Sox DH Harold Baines and Cubs reliever Lee Smith in Las Vegas during the winter meetings Baines was still playing for the Texas Rangers when the White Sox retired his number.
Smith had 16 votes and Baines 12. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the committee which included Hall of Famers Robbie Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Pat Gillick, Tony La Russa, Greg Maddux, Joe Morgan, John Schuerholz, Ozzie Smith and Joe Torre; Major League executives Al Avila (Tigers), Andy MacPhail (Phillies) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox) and Beeston, plus veteran media members/historians Steve Hirdt, Tim Kurkjian and Claire Smith, 2016 J.G. Taylor Spink award winner.
24. Rob Thomson, bench coach, Phillies (29).
The first week of the season it did not look as if new Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler would make the second week. Aaron Nola was lifted opening day after 68 pitches with a 5-0 lead. The Phillies lost. Odúbel Herrera was the Phillies best player in 2015 and 2016. The next year he was third and yet he did not start opening day. Nick Williams had 12 home runs in 83 games started two of the first six games and said, “I guess computers are making out lineups.” Kapler went to the bullpen 13 times in the first two games and in Game 3 hooked Vince Velazquez after 2 2/3 innings and brought in Hoby Milner, who had not warmed up.
After dropping four of five on the road to open the season, Kapler was booed at the home opener. Thomson helped Kapler steer the Phillies ship, they went 67-54 to sit half a game out of first. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports quoted a scout in May saying: “Thomson literally has taken over game decisions. He just tells Kapler what to do and he does it – like a puppet.”
Humboldt Bronco defenceman Ryan Straschnitzki (Aidrie, Alta.) was moved to the Shriner’s Hospital in Philadelphia. He threw out the first pitch from his wheel chair at Citizen’s Bank One Ballpark, Thomson was there to shake Straschnitzki’s hand and wish him well.
25. Jim Stevenson, area scout, Astros (27).
The World Series champion Astros received their World Series rings April 2. Scout Jim Stevenson (Leaside, Ont.), who scouts for Houston out of his Tulsa, Oak. home was given his the first day of the draft. The former Leaside coach had his best year ever getting three players to the majors (all junior college picks, all late round selections outside of the 10th round from 2014): RHP Josh James (2-0, 2.35 ERA, seven walks, 29 strikeouts in 23 innings) a 34th rounder and Dean Deetz (0-0, 5.40 ERA, one walk, three strikeouts), an 11th rounder who both were September call ups, with James making the postseason roster. CF Ramon Laureano (.288, five homers, 19 RBIs, .832 OPS in 48 games), a 16th rounder, was dealt to the A’s.
This year he selected RHP Austin Hansen an eighth rounder Oklahoma University, who dominated class-A Tri-City where he had a 1.76 ERA with 13 walks and 45 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings. His LHP Dallas Keuchel (seventh round, 2009, University of Arkansas Razorbacks, $150,000 bonus) is a free agent. He won a Cy Young award and has a 76-63 lifetime won-loss record with a 3.66 ERA, walking 343 and striking out 945 in 1,189 1/3 innings. He also drafted 3B Abraham Toro-Hernandez (Longueuil, Que.) and OF Jonathan Lacroix (Montreal, Que.), who are in the Astros system.
26. Kyle Boddy, Driveline Baseball (18).
Trevor Bauer may be traded before spring training as the Indians try to lower payroll. He had a break out season going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA in 28 games as he walked 57 and struck out 221 in 175 1/3 innings. Bauer is probably Driveline’s most famous alumni.
Bauer is a client of Boddy, born in Cleveland to his Toronto-born father. Boddy runs an indoor facility at Kent, Wash. whose work with weighted balls is ahead of the curve. He has spoken at the Best Ever Clinic. Driveline grads include Matt Boyd who led the Tigers in 31 starts, going 9-13 with a 4.39 ERA walking 51 and fanning 159 in 170 1/3 innings in 2018, Brandon McCarthy, who was 6-3 with a 4.92 ERA in 15 starts with 21 walks and 65 strikeouts in 78 2/3 innings with the Dodgers and Dan Straily, who was 5-6, 4.16, walking 52 and fanning 99 in 122 1/3 innings for the Marlins.
27. Jeffrey Royer, general partner, Arizona Diamondbacks (21).
His Diamondbacks were surprise movers and shakers sending Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals. The Toronto resident committed $160 million US over a 10-year span to own roughly 40% of the Diamondbacks, the same as Ken Kendrick, the face of the franchise in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks ranked 24th in baseball according to Forbes (team value $1.21 billion US), with $258 revenue and an operating profit of $34 million.
A corporate director of Shaw Communications he grew up a fan of Milwaukee Braves Hall of Fame lefty Warren Spahn, mush like myself, but my favorite player was 3b Eddie Mathews.
David Royer, a graduate of the Sunnybrook Sluggers program, works in pro scouting for the Blue Jays, who as we all know are owned by Rogers Communications.
28. Jeff Mallett, part owner, Giants (22).
The North Vancouver resident owns part of the Giants and AT&T Park. The Giants were valued at $2.85 Billion US by Forbes Magazine, fourth highest in the game.
Along with Steve Nash, he owns the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Mallett was part of the 10th annual PCA-SF Bay Area Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship and Awards Dinner at AT&T Park. During the event, PCA recognized Bay Area student-athletes with college scholarship awards. Mallett was recognized with the Triple-Impact Executive award. The program also featured Giants president Larry Baer, who received an award for excellence in leadership. Giants GM Bobby Evans joined the two on stage for a panel on the role leadership and humility play in the Giants success.
He also owns 30% of the San Francisco Bay Area’s regional sports cable television network Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. He helped start up Yahoo! There were 12 people with the company in 1995 and by 2002, the work force was 4,000. He awards the Jeffrey Mallett Leadership Award, an annual scholarship to an outstanding University of Victoria student. He was the inaugural winner of the UVic Business Board of Advisors, Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2004.
29. Mike Soroka, Braves system (36).
Chris Reitzma always said Soroka was special. And on May 1 Soroka became the third youngest Canadian to ever pitch in the majors when he took the mound at Citi Field at age 20 (270 days). Soroka pitched six innings allowing one run in a 4-3 win over the New York Mets. The youngest Canuck is RHP Pete Wood (Dundas, Ont.) who made his debut on July 15, 1885 at age 18 (164 days) for the Buffalo Bisons of the NL. Third youngest was RHP Dick Fowler (Toronto, Ont.) who made his first appearance Sept. 13, 1941 at age 20 (167 days) with the Philadelphia A’s.
Soroka went on the disabled list with (right shoulder, rotator-cuff inflammation) and only made four more starts (2-1, 3.51 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings). Soroka threw to hitters at instructional league in the fall and is supposed to be able to pitch without restrictions when the Braves open camp. Soroka (Calgary, Alta.) pitched for the Calgary PBF Redbirds and coach Jim Lawson. He’s the No. 1 prospect on the Braves list, according to MLB.Pipeline in August and in September he was 20th in the minors.
30. Corey Koskie, Linklete.com
In the old days a newspaper would not mention the other paper in the same market by name. Not that things were competitive then, but we once worked with a city editor insisted all his police reporters carry wooden match sticks whether they smoked of not. Purpose? To jam the match stick down the valves of tires of the other newspaper’s cars so writers could not make it back before deadline.
We’re more mature than that now. We want to tell you about another web site, which if you are a parent or a high school player you should check out: Linklete.com run by former Twin and Blue Jays Corey Koskie. He has travelled the road from Anola, Man., to Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa, to the National Baseball Institute in Surrey, BC, to being a 26th round pick, reporting to rookie ball in Elizabethton, playing three more seasons in the minors, nine in the majors, seeing his career end unfairly due to concussions, to raising four boys and coaching them in hockey and baseball. He is not a typical Little League father.
We here at our web site offer news on the Blue Jays, the Canadians in College or in the minors, on the draft lists or the sandlots. But do yourself a favor mom and dad ... give Koskie’s site a read as he tells you about his journey, his bumps in the road. Many pieces are written by him or others in the know like Justin Morneau (New Westminster, BC). Take a day off from us and read Koskie’s site. Book mark it.
31. Maury Gostfrand, agent (30).
Asked by Sports Agent Blog “What three skills are absolutely necessary for someone to have in order to excel in the sports industry?” he answered “The ability to solve problems, the ability to think creatively, and be passionate about what you are doing.” This Expos fan grew up Chomedey area of Montreal before moving to North Miami Beach, has a star stable with his Vision Sports Group.
He has assembled the best from the booth — 59 announcers from every sport — led by the league leader in information Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Gostfrand represents Hall of Famer Don Sutton, John Kruk, Kevin Millar, Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, BC), Tom Verducci, John Farrell, Steve Phillips and Jayson Stark, 2019 winner of the J. G. Taylor Spink award.
32. Bill Byckowski, scout, Reds (47).
How do the Cincinnati Reds add the likes of LHP Alex Wood and OFs, Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in one package? Well, they unloaded RHP Homer Bailey and his $23 Million contract -- plus farmhands SS Jeter Downs and RHP Josiah Gray.
As a cross checker, Bykowski was in on both Downs, a Miami Gardens, Fla. compensation pick, $1,822,500 million bonus in 2017, and Gray, a third round pick from the Division III Le Moyne Dolphins, given $772,500 iin 2018. Le Moyne is the Syracuse school Peter Hoy (Cardinal, Ont.) and C Cameron Pelton (Ottawa, Ont.) put on Dolphins on the map as a Division I school.
Byckowski and former Jays scouting director Chris Buckley had a lot to do with landing Baseball America’s No. 1 prospect 3B Nick Senzel (second overall from Tennessee in 2016, $6.2 million signing bonus) and No. 3. OF Taylor Trammell (Kennesaw, Ga. first round, 35th overall, $3.2 million), who have been mentioned in talks to obtain Cleveland’s Corey Kluber.
33. David Beeston, Chief Strategy Officer, Red Sox.
He ranks near the very top of the Red Sox hierarchy, as the executive vice preside]]]nt/Chief Strategy Officer, a role to which he was promoted in February. Beeston is one of club president Sam Kennedy’s most trusted advisers. He spearheads many of the creative projects that the Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group are engaged in, as well as doing big-picture thinking and daily stuff. He is probably the first person Kennedy turns to for crisis management.
He is a Maple Leafs fan and come the Sox home opener next spring will own two World Series rings -- as many as his father. He’s come a long way from using a marker to write the out-of-town scores inning by inning on the SkyDome white board in the press box.
34. Ron Tostenson, national cross checker, Cubs (28).
As the Cubs best set of eyes on the ground he was involved in the drafting and signing of Stanford SS Nico Hoerner in the first round (24th over-all) and gave him a $2.724 million signing bonus. He was impressive in the Arizona Fall League and Baseball America has him rated the organization’s No. 1 prospect. The Kelowna, BC native liked second-round pick OF Brennen Davis, a high schooler from Chandler, Az., given $1.1 million bonus.
Tostenson, also known as Sting, selected RHP James Norwood, a seventh-round choice in 2014 and RHP Duane Underwood, a second-round choice in 2012 both made the majors with the Cubs for a cup of tea. LHP Tyler Thomas, a seventh rounder in 2017 from Fresno, was dealt to the Rangers for Jesse Chavez straight up.
35. Dave McKay, coach, Diamondbacks (46).
In addition to looking after the Diamondbacks outfielders for defence and positioning, McKay teaches baserunning. In his sixth year with the Diamondbacks and 35th on a big-league staff, Arizona was seventh in the majors with a 75.96% success rate (25-for-79) stealing. They were behind the Angels, Red Sox, Brewers, Indians, Orioles and Nationals. Jarrod Dyson led with 16, followed by A.J. Pollock with 13 and Chris Owings with 11.
McKay was the first base coach on three World Series champs (1989 A’s, 2006 and ‘11 Cards. He served on Hall of Famer’s Tony La Russa’s staff for 27 seasons. McKay was the first Canadian-born player to appear with Toronto, going 2-for-4 with a RBI in the club’s inaugural game on April 7, 1977 against the White Sox.
36. Walt Burrows, scout, Twins (35).
Only two high schoolers signed from the June draft: Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) who went in the first round to the Indians and LaRon Smith (Spruce Grove, Alta.). Not only did Burrows draft Smith from the Okotoks Dawgs in the 25th round, sign him for a $125,000 bonus but he had a new position for him.
With the Twins rookie league team he hit .205 with two doubles and two homers in 13 games with a .582 OPS. He was the DH for eight games, played first for three, plus one game at third and one in left. Bad start? Well, Hall of Famer Chipper Jones hit .229 his first year in the same league. While he has not caught in games yet, he has been catching bullpens and receiving instruction from catching coaches in Fort Myers before he went south with for the U18 Pan Am in Panama. Smith finished strong hitting a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth to break a 3-3 tie and give Canada a 5-3 win over Nicaragua for the bronze medal Pan Am, Canada’s third.
37. Terry McKaig, director of baseball, UBC (40).
No longer coaching the UBC Thunderbirds, McKaig is not sitting in a hammock thinking about the days when Jeff Francis (North Delta, BC) shut down teams. No, he is a busy, busy man. He spent most of the year fundraising, opening the new stadium on campus, taking a trip to Japan trip and more fundraising.
UBC tourned Japan in August -- with univerrsity president Santa Ono -- made connections and is now planning to host a four-team tourney next August with the University of Tokyo, Keio University, a NCAA Div. 1 school and UBC over a five-day period. The new UBC Thunder, branded under the varsity team’s name, competed in the BC Premier League at three levels for the first time with Mitch Hodge, Vinny Martin and Jeremy Newton coaching the teams.
38. Don Cherry, Hockey Night in Canada (11).
He hit clean up at the 11th annual PrimeTime Sports Management Conference. Cherry is a big-time ball fan and often discusses Kingston diamonds (Megaffin Stadium) and Kingston legends (Wally Elmer, Max Jackson) when he and Brian Williams talk memories on their radio show GrapelIne.
The conference featured the likes of Matt Afinec of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, CFL commish Randy Ambrosie, AHL commish Dave Andrews; former Leafs president Tom Anselmi, former NHL GM Brian Burke, broadcaster Caroline Cameron, Kevin Cheveldayoff of the Winnipeg Jets GM, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, Don Fehr executive director of the NHL Players’ Association. Jeff Hunt, president of the Ottawa Redblacks, Dr. Lynn Lashbrook NFL agent, GM George McPhee of the Vegas Golden Knights, Nelson Millman former GM The Fan, Willie O’Ree, Hall of Fame Inductee, Bruce Popko COO Buffalo Bills, Dr. Dana Sinclair, Human Performance International, NHL agent Anton Thun and others.
39. Doug Melvin, senior advisor, Brewers (42).
Close only counts in horseshoes but he was real close to being hired by Fred Wilpon as the GM of the Mets. Fred Wilpon’s son Jeff Wilpon decided to hire agent Brodie Van Wagenen. Melvin is a senior advisor, sticking with his scouting roots assessing players in Brewers system. Milwaukee went from 73 wins in 2016 to 86 games to 96 this year -- enough to win the National League Central Division.
Toronto management was anti-Melvin after the 2001 season, claiming Melvin had not produced enough pitching running the Rangers and that he demanded a $90 million payroll. Not exactly. Melvin went to the Brewers coming off $43 million payroll, and took them to postseason play twice.
40. Jonah Keri, Sportsnet, CBS Sports (8).
He did not have a good year. Not because he wrote poorly for CBS Sports or Sportsnet -- that would never be the case -- but for the simple reason he did not get anyone elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. That’s Kingston humour kiddies.
In 2017 Keri sat in the sun as Montreal Expos speedster Tim Raines thanked the Montrealer for lobbying for him. Raines would not have attained the required 75% if not for Keri. Some people count Hall of Famers that they have met. Keri can count HOFers he has elected. We have not seen this accomplished by one man -- since Bert Blyleven in 2011. Keri remains an excellent read where ever you read his copy.
41. Chris Mears pitching cross checker, Red Sox (41).
Also getting his second World Series ring next spring is the former Braves right-hander from Victoria. One Mears’ former draft to make it to the majors was 12th rounder LHP Jalen Beeks from the University of Arkansas in 2014. Mr. Beeks traded places with the Rays’ Nathan Eovaldi who helped Boston working 22 1/3 innings in October allowing four runs (1.61 ERA).
Originally a scout for Boston, Mears is in charge of scouting amateur pitchers for GM Dave Dombrowksi. Before his scouting pitching-only days, Mears was in on No. 1 pick (seventh overall, 2015) OF Andrew Benintendi, from the Arkansas Razorbacks, who received a $3.59 million bonus. Benintendi hit .290 with 16 homers, 87 RBIs and a .830 OPS in 148 games for the World Series champs.
This June, the Sox selected these arms in the first 10 rounds: RHP Durbin Feltman, TCU, third round, $559,600; RHP Thad Ward, Central Florida, fifth, $275,000 and LHP Brian Brown, ninth, North Carolina State. $2,500. Arms sitting on MLB.Pipeline’s top 10 list: LHP Jay Groome, a Barnegat, NJ high schooler, given $3.65 million, a franchise record for a drafted pitcher, who has battled injuries, but is still the No. 2; Missorui’s Tanner Houck, given $2,614,500, is No. 5 and Mike Shawaryn, a fifth rounder in 2016 from Maryland, given $637,500, is No. 9.
42. Mike Frostad, assistant trainer, Braves (-).
Frostad, 46, starts his second season assisting George Poulis. For both former Jays trainers the pressure will be on to keep new 3B Josh Donaldson on the field. When Donaldson signed he said, “I’m excited to be back with Alex (Anthopoulos) and a lot of the training staff with the Blue Jays because they know me. They know how to keep me on the field.” That was swipe at the Jays High Performance staff which had 30-year-olds like Troy Tulowitzki and Donaldson doing two-a-days in Dunedin three Januarys ago
Frostad (Calgary, Alta.) has 24 years in pro ball, 22 with the Jays before being let go by the Jays after six with the major-league club. He worked with the class-A St. Catharines, Medicine Hat, Hagerstown and Dunedin before becoming minor league medical coordinator for six seasons.
42-A. Fred Wray, agent (44).
He could wind up representing a member of the Jays rotation in RHP Matt Shoemaker, former Anaheim Angels. Shoemaker will earn $3.5 million after going 2-2 with a 4.94 ERA in seven starts, walking 10 and striking out 33 in 31 innings. RHP Garrett Richards’ signed a two-year $15.5 million deal with the San Diego Padres before the winter meetings.
The former Canadian Junior National team member, Wray (Calgary, Alta.) represented two first round picks in 2018. Hhas top prospects in LHP Sam Hentges in the Indians system, at class-A Lynchbuurg; RHP Jake Irvin, who was at rookie ball with the Nationals in 2018, 1B Grant Lavigne, who was at rookie ball Grand Junction with the Rockies. He pulled off the rare feat of representing both catchers Jason Castro and Mitch Garver in Minnesota in 2018.
43. Brett and Joe Siddall, A’s minor leaguer, Jays broadcaster (38).
Sportsnet said Joe Siddall would take over as studio analyst from Gregg Zaun. Kevin Barker and Cliff Floyd saw plenty of air time too with host Jamie Campbell as well. Siddall was very informed without loud jackets or theatrics. Just the facts -- and the insight -- please. Siddall was also inducted into the Baseball Ontario Hall of Fame, as only the third former player joining Fergie Jenkins (Chatham, Ont.) and Ron Stead (London, Ont.).
Dr. Tamara Siddall and Joe’s son Brett was drafted in the 13th round in 2015 by Oakland scout Matt Higginson (Oakville, Ont.) This season, Brett split time between the class-A Stockton Ports and the Midland RockHounds .208 with 15 doubles, eight homers, 50 RBIs and a .599 OPS in 119 games.
44. Phil Lind, Vice Chairman, Rogers Communications (62).
Besides keeping relations strong with the Jays class-A affiliate in Vancouver, advising on baseball decisions and attending meetings, Lind has taken pen in hand. Written with Robert Brehl, they wrote Right Hand Man: How Phil Lind Steered the Genius of Ted Rogers, Canada’s top entrepreneur. Lind was Ted’s top advisor for 40 years covering wireless, cable, phone, Internet, and media assets.
Lind was there when Rogers purchased the Blue Jays, created Sportsnet and eventually part of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. The book takes us on an honest, behind the scenes look at a high level of the ivory tower and is a must read. Lind was inducted into the Order of Canada and the U.S. Cable Hall of Fame for expanding Rogers into the U.S. He gets bonus spots for looking like my father.
45. Jamie Lehman, California scout, Blue Jays (50).
In his first year scouting the most plentiful of the 53 drafts areas, Lehman drafted and signed five players. He gave $100,000 US to both RHP Troy Watson of Northern Colorado a 15th rounder and RHP Fitz Stadler of Arizona State a 17th rounder. He signed ninth round 1B Jake Brodt of Santa Clara and Arizona OF Cal Stevenson. Both were given $5,000.
At the end of the scouting season Lehman was given back the title of head of scouting for Canada covering the Junior National Team both in the Dominican and in Florida.
46. Tyler O’Neill, Cards prospect (51).
The Cardinals selected him as their 2018 Minor League Player of the Year after O’Neill, 23, hit .311 with 26 home runs and 63 RBIs in 64 games plus a 1.078 OPS for Triple-A Memphis, ranking second in the organization in home runs and eighth in RBIs. The right-handed hitter, who posted six multi-home run games, including a season-high three against Colorado Springs. He was recalled by St. Louis five different occasions during the season. At the time of his final recall, O’Neill’s home run total led the Pacific Coast League and were the second-most hit across all of Minor League ball. He made 57 starts across all three outfield positions and threw out six runners, second-most on the Redbirds.
He was named to the PCL Post-Season All-Star team and recognized by Baseball America as a Triple-A All-Star, Second Team Minor League All-Star, and the PCL’s No. 5 overall prospect and Best Power Hitter in their Best Tools Survey.
He appeared in 61 games (27 starts) across all three St. Louis outfield positions, 42 of which came after the break when he led the Cards with a .523 slugging percentage. Overall, he finished 10th with nine home runs, ninth-highest total in Cards history for a player in the same amount of games played. His final home run of the year (35th between Memphis and St. Louis) marked his first career walk-off and extra-inning blast, a 10th inning blast off San Francisco’s Mark Melancon on Sept. 22.
47. Doug Mathieson, GM Langley Blaze/Diamondbacks scout (37).
The Diamondbacks scout didn’t sign or draft any Canadians, however, three of his former Blaze had outstanding seasons. Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) found himself in the Cardinals outfield hitting .254 with five doubles, nine homers, 23 RBIs and an .803 OPS in 61 games. He made 13 starts in left, 11 in right and three in centre. He also had 26 homers in 64 games at triple-A Memphis.
Andrew Yerzy (Toronto, Ont.), Mathieson’s second rounder from 2016, hit 11 doubles, eight homers 34 RBIs with an .834 OPS in 73 games for class-A Hillsboro Hops. And his son Scott Mathieson (Aldergrove, BC) had a solid season for Yomiuri Giants. He went 0-3, with a 2.97 ERA fanning 41 in 33 1/3 innings. He also had eight saves giving him 53 for his seven seasons in Japan.
His DBacks Langley Blaze team saw these players earn all-tourney honours: Kayden Beauregard (Abbotsford BC), Ryan Capuano (Scarborough, Ont.), Travis McDougall (Abbottsford, BC), Zach McQuaid (Oshawa, Ont.), Colby Ring (Langley, BC), Tate Dearing (White Rock, BC), Jared Anderson (Victoria, BC) and RHP Shane Laforest (Windsor, Ont.). His Langley team makes spring trips Arizona to play first and second-year pro players playing in the first Wayne Norton Memorial Game last March against Mariners minor leaguers.
Plus he also had three players drafted: RHP Nick Trogrlic-Iverson (Oakville, Ont.) 15th to the Brewers, 3B Mitch Robinson (Surrey, BC), 21st, who signed with the Yankees and RHP David Rhodes (White Rock, BC) 40th round to the Mariners. That tied the Ontario Blue Jays for the most drafted.
48. Roger Rai, Rogers consultant (31).
The King of the Rogers Empire is Edward Rogers. And the man with the most love of the Jays and a man who has Edward’s ear on baseball matters is Rai. The two go back to their University of Western Ontario days. Phil Lind has Edward’s ear on all business matters.
Rai phoned former Dodgers GM Ned Colletti to ask him if he was interested in Paul Beeston’s job as president of the Blue Jays in 2014. He also called Kennny Williams of the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles attempting to hire Dan Duquette.
49. Jonathan Hodgson/Jerry Howarth, pals forever (32).
Jays broadcaster retired in the spring, yet he was once a series visitor to the Rogers Centre to check in on friends and broadcasters from visiting teams. Former manager John Gibbons said jokingly: “I’m not sure who told him that we miss him.” Two years ago Howarth send us a note after the top 100 list came out writing: “I would like to turn over my space on the list to my inspiration who has made you and I better and that is Jonathan Hodgson (Calgary, Alta.). The two of us are grateful to him and he would be grateful seeing his name on your list and his accomplishments as noted by you. Can we please do that together?”
Hodgson is back with the Okotoks Dawgs looking after communications, as well as being the webcaster. You can also see his writing at sportsspectrum.com, canadianbaseballnetwork.com and sportsofficialssurrendered.org.
50. Jim Baba, Baseball Canada (90).
Baba was named technical director for the 2020 Japan Olympics from his role as chairman of the tournament commissioner for World Baseball Softball Conference.
He was in Calgary -- as baseball’s reprehensive on Canadian Olympic Committee -- for meetings when voters turned thumbs down on a 2026 Olympic bid. A total of 171,750 (56.4%) voted against Calgary hosting. From there he flew to Japan. Baba flew again to Japan to examine progress on how the addition of 5,000 seats are progressing. And to check on security and expanded suites. Plans call for players not on the major league team’s 40-man rosters to compete. However, two-way star Shohei Ohtani says he’d like to play for his home country.
Yokohama DeNA BayStars will host all games at Yokohama Stadium except for one when Japan plays at Fukushima, which was hit by a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami waves smashed the coast, causing massive damage in 2011. A total of 470,000 people were displaced by the flooding.
51. Mike McRae, assistant coach, Virginia Commonwealth (57).
The Canuck coaching legend switched states but is back to making an impact on the Canadian recruiting scene, as he was when he was evaluating for Niagara and then Canisius. RHP Evan Chenier (Georgetown, Ont.) and LHP Jaden Griffin (Lower Sackville, NS) will pitch as freshman for Virginia Commonwealth next spring. Plus, LHP Campbell Ellis (Georgetown, Ont.) and INF Austin Gomm (Mississauga, Ont.) have committed to VCU next fall.
McRae had plenty of offers -- from the Toronto Blue Jays, Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Longwood and Army at West Point -- before choosing VCU. He spent 14 seasons as head coach of the Golden Griffins, compiling a record of 440-358 record at Canisius, including a 333-222 in the last eight seasons that includes three MAAC regular-season titles.
52. Cal and Paul Quantrill, Padres, Blue Jays (48).
Cal, who turns 24 next month, ranks 10th on MLB.Pipeline’s top Padres prospect list. Quantrill split time at triple-A El Paso and double-A San Antonio combining to go 9-6 with a 4.80 ERA. In 148 innings, he walked 43 and struck out 123. Quantrill pitched for the Ontario Terriers and coach Scott VandeValk and then was given a $3,963,045 million bonus.
Paul, 50, a Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee whose name has been placed on the Baseball Canada Wall of Excellence, is a special assistant for the Toronto Blue Jays. Like Pat Hentgen and Rick Langford, Quantrill works with minor league pitchers.
53. Blake Corosky, agent, True Gravity (56).
In a move that proves once again that good things happen to good people -- and good pitchers -- LHP Andrew Albers (North Battleford, Sask.), a 14-year client of True Gravity, signed a two-year $5.5 million extension with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan after a debut year in which he was a NPB All Star, going 9-2, with a 3.08 ERA, walking 21 and fanning 82 in 114 innings over 19 starts.
His client LHP Conor Lillis White (Etobicoke, Ont.) reached triple-A with the Angels and was traded to the Cubs with an invite to big league camp, while Kole Cottam, whose pop is from Burlington, was drafted in the fourth round by the Red Sox from the Kentucky Wildcats and given a $375,00 bonus.
Crosky represented Kentucky 1B Evan White of Gahanna, Ohio who went 17th overall in 2017, was given a $3.25 million bonus by the Mariners and was an Arizona Fall League All Star. Drew Steckenrider led the Miami Marlins in appearances and is expected to be their closer next year. Two 2018 picks Orioles’ Robert Neustrom, a fifth rounder, and Brewers Korrie Howell, an 11th, have been named to their respective team’s top prospect lists.
54. Jake Kerr and Jeff Mooney, co-owners Vancouver Canadians (53).
It’s not usually good news when attendance stays stagnant as it did for the Canadians. They showed a change in average number of people in the seats between 2017 and 2018 at 0.00. Actually the drop came out to 13 people per night. The C’s averaged 6,292 this season, compared to 6,303 in 2017, according to Baseball Digest, which made Nat Bailey Stadium No. 1 of the 22 short-season class-A teams. The Canadians drew 239,527 fans in 38 home dates at the Nat last year and 239,086 this year in the Northwest loop.
Rounding out the rest of the top five were Brooklyn Cyclones (an average of 5,329), the Spokane Indians (5,222), Tri-City ValleyCats (4,119) and the Hudson Valley Renegades (4,004). Kerr (Vancouver, BC) and A&W’s Mooney (Regina, Sask.) who grew up in Winnipeg, are the co-owners.
55. Shiraz Rehman, assistant GM, Cubs/Rangers (54).
Born on Montreal’s West Island and raised in New York, Rehman can now be fitted for Justin boots. He will assist GM Jon Daniels in the day-to-day management of Major League operations of the baseball department, including player acquisitions, roster management, player contracts, and salary arbitration. He will also be involved in other areas of operations.
The Cubs fell short in 2018, although their relievers won the bullpen dance competition, Rehman’s old school, the McGill University Redman won their fifth consecutive Canadian Collegiate Baseball Association championship. A starting infielder for four years and captain for two. After McGill with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting, he earned an MBA from Columbia Business School. He was an intern with the Red Sox, joined the Diamondbacks and moved to the Cubs after the 2011 season.
56. Allan Simpson, Canadian Hall of Fame selection committee (45).
Another year, another Hall of Fame for Simpson (Kelowna, BC). He was elected into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame in the builder’s category, along with volleyballer Hugh Wong, former NHLer Robert Dirk, ex-CFLer Chad Folk, former Olympian Heather Mandoli-Alschuler and four-time Special Olympian Tracy Melesko.
Simpson was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys in 2011. The founder of Baseball America and a big part of Perfect Game’s draft coverage took over from the late Randy Echlin guiding the 18-person selection committee at the Canadian Hall. Last year player Pedro Martinez and Lloyd Moseby plus historian William Humber were inducted.
57. Justin Morneau, broadcaster/executive, Twins (55).
This season Morneau worked 20 games for the Twins on the TV side (10 as color analyst and 10 in a hybrid role working pre/post responsibilities and as part of a three-man booth for the middle three innings). Morneau also worked Sportsnet’s World Series coverage, helping out Jamie Campbell. Morneau serves in a special assistant role in baseball operations, along with pals Michael Cuddyer, LaTroy Hawkins and Torii Hunter. Plus Bert Blyleven is in the broadcast booth. The Twins respect their ex-players.
As a broadcaster Morneau talks about today’s game. Often you hear a colour analyst talk about “back in the day,” but the announcer doesn’t bring it full circle to the moment on the field. Morneau takes those concepts and makes the relevant to the now. Plus his relationships on the field make for some great stories.
58. Chris Reitsma, former senior advisor amateur pitching, Orioles (39).
The Calgary resident had a good 11 months: the young man he used to tutor, Mike Soroka, made his major-league debut at Citi Field working six innings and allowing one run in Atlanta win. Soroka only made four more starts before being felled by a shoulder injury.
Reitsma was in on selecting Greyson Rodriguez a first rounder (11th over-all) from Nacogdoches, Tex. high schooler who was given a $4.3 million bonus. Scouts say he is a potential top of the rotation guy in 3-to-4 years. He was in on another first rounder Oregon State’s Cayden Grenier (37th over-all) college shortstop of the year third rounder Blaine Knight who went 12-0 at Arkansas and given a $1.1 million bonus. Scouting director Gary Rajsich and Reitsma were not rehired under new GM Mike Elias. Rajsich joined the Braves, while Reitsma is a free agent.
59. Shi Davidi, Sportsnet (58).
He’s a multi-platform threat whether it be on the Sportsnet web site, the pregame show, the radio or teaching journalism at Centennial College. He gave a great speech as Mr. John Lott won the Sport Media Canada award at the Royal York.
It’s not really easy writing about a ball club owned by the company that pays your salary, yet he pulls it off and does not drink the Kool Aid.
60. Scott Thorman, manager, Lexington (64).
If you caught Dayton Moore, Royals GM, on MLB Network during the winter meetings, you heard him raving about his group at Lexington. Managed by Thorman, former Braves first round choice, the Lexington Legends edged the Lakewood BlueClaws for a never-in-doubt 2-1 win to capture the South Atlantic League title, Lexington’s first since 2001. Sounds like a move up the organizational ladder is due.
Thorman’s best included C MJ Melendez, 19, who had 26 doubles, nine triples, 19 homers and 73 RBIs in 111 games with an .814 OPS, OF Seuly Matias, 19, who had 13 doubles, a triple, 31 homers and 63 RBIs in 94 games with an ,853 OPS, 1B Nick Pratto, 19, who had 33 doubles, two triples, 14 homers and 62 RBIs in 127 games with a .786 OPS, RHP Jackson Kowar, 21, given a $2,147,500 bonus out of Florida, was 0-1 with a 3.42 ERA in nine games, fanning 22 in 26 innings and Daniel Lynch, 21, who in nine starts was 5-1 with a 1.58 ERA fanning 47 in 40 innings. In his first four seasons managing Thorman’s teams have a combined 211-198 (.516) record.
61. Alex Agostino, scout, Phillies (77).
He is not only a big deal in Quebec, but will also be honoured as the New York Hot Stove Association as scout of the year Jan. 25. Agostino (St-Bruno, Que.) has OF Ben Pelletier (Varennes, Que) in the system with the class-A Williamsport Crosscutters. Pelletier hit .277 with nine homers and 45 RBIs playing for manager Pat Borders. Agostino also has lefty prospect Nick Fanti, a high schooler from Smithtown, NY in the 31st round. He has a 20-6 record, a 2.93 ERA, walking 52 and fanning 224 in 218 1/3 innings.
Over the years scouting for the Expos, Marlins and Phillies he drafted four major leaguers: C Pete LaForest (Gatineau, Que.) in 1995, but Expos doctors voided the contract due to a back injury, yet LaForest made the majors with the Rays in 2002; LHP Eric Cyr (Montreal, Que.) a 35th rounder in 1996, later drafted by San Diego who pitched for the 2002 Padres; Shawn Hill (Georgetown, Ont.) in the sixth round in 2000, who reached the majors in 2004 and Russell Martin (Montreal, Que.) selected in the 35th round in 2000. The Expos didn’t sign Martin, who attended Chipola College, then was chosen in the 17th round in 2002 by the Dodgers.
62. Joe Natale, President and CEO Rogers Communications (67).
Natale told shareholders and investors at the annual general meeting in April that his company was “on the brink of a technological revolution — a revolution that will fundamentally change the way we live and work,” due to 5G wireless technology. It is true that if you are scoring along at home ... third base and Vladimir Guerrero is signified as No. 5 in the score book. Although we are not sure if that is what 5G means.
Jays president Mark Shaprio now reports to Joe and Edward Rogers. Under the old structure the president and CEO of the club reported to the President of Media Business Unit at Rogers Communications Inc. (now Rick Brace).
63. Tom Tango, MLB Advanced Media, MLB (59)
You might have noticed if you watch MLB.Network when they mention Statcast, they come up with some statistics your father never told you about. The man who created metrics like barrels, catch probability, exit velocity (speed off the bat) and sprint speed to describe performance is Canadian. On-line he is known as TangoTiger.
The Jays’ leader in barrels -- exit velocity (95 mph or harder) -- in 2018 was Teoscar Hernandez with 49, followed by Randal Grichuk (44) and Kendrys Morales (39) while the league leader was A’s Khris Davis (70).
When it came to five-star catches Anthony Alford, Billy McKinney, Curtis Granderson and Hernandez each had one, while the league best was Harrison Bader (seven). The Highest Outs Above Average leader was Grichuk with a +7, far behind Ender Inciarte and Bader at +21. The Highest Overall Exit Velocity (min. 300 balls in play) were Morales (92.3), Hernandez (91.8) and Grichuk (90.6), while the best was Nelson Cruz (93.9). Morales did lead the 186 qualified hitters with a hard-hit rate of 52.6%. Above-average Jays in sprint speed (aka above 27.0 ft/sec) were Hernandez at 28.6 ft/sec, Grichuk (28.3), Lourdes Gurriel (28) and Aledmys Diaz (28).
64. Hazel Mae, Sportsnet (71).
When Fergie Olver was doing pregame interviews with players he’d flash a CTV $50 US bill at a player and it was: interview granted. It’s not that way any more. Mae asks insightful questions -- we recall a sit down interview with Troy Tulowitzki at spring training when he opened up about how frustrating it was battling injuries, the criticism from Jays fans and how he wants to win a World Series.
Looking back we think it was A.J. Burnett who killed the post-game interview train of thought with the shaving cream to the face, which evolved into a Gatorade bucket. We did not need the mood broken when Mae interviewed walk-off hero Rowdy Tellez in his debut when he became emotional talking about his late mom. Who was busier than Mae during the postseason? Working the AL Division Series with Don Orsillo and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley between Cleveland and Houston for TBS. Mae worked pre and postgame ALCS and World Series for Sportsnet.
Broadcasting in not her only line of work. And as a dress designer Mae it a hit there too … with Sophie Trudeau wearing one of her outfitsss.
65. Gord Ash, VP baseball project, Brewers (49).
Ash is close to finishing supervising new Brewers academy in the Dominican, located north east of the Santo Domingo airport, near a Guerra. Complex administrator Manuel Vargas will have the site open in early 2020. The Rogers Centre this summer resembled the SkyDome from 1999 or 2001 as Ash, now a Toronto resident, was a pre-game regular in the press box before games ... even more so than some current Jays executives.
Ash is also part of TSN’s deep roster of coverage of analysts: former New York Mets GM Steve Phillips, as well as Scott Mitchell (Toronto, Ont.), Gregor Chisholm (Saint John, NB) of bluejays.com, Richard Griffin (Kingston) of the Toronto Star, Steve Simmons (Toronto, Ont.) and Paul Hollingsworth (Halifax, NS),
66. William Humber, historian (74).
Many times we have heard Humber speak in St. Marys when the late Roy Miller (in 2009), George Wood (2011) and William Shuttleworth (2016) were inducted. Some years he has been the best voice at the podium, for he is a most captivating speaker. Yet it was always on behalf of others. This June it was his turn and Humber (Bowmanville, Ont.) did not disappoint. He was elected to the Canadian Hall of Fame along with Cooperstown Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez and Blue Jays legend Lloyd Moseby.
He is writing his 12th book -- this one on Bob Addy (Port Hope, Ont.) of the 1871 Rockford Forest Citys. He was the first Canadian to play in the majors. Addy made his debut in the nine-team National Association, which also included franchises Boston Red Stockings, New York Mutuals, Washington Olympics, Cleveland Forest Citys, Chicago White Stockings, Fort Wayne Kekiongas, Troy Haymakers and the Philadelphia Athletics. Addy played six years for the Philadelphia Whites, Hartford Dark Blues, Cincinnati Reds the White Stockings and Boston. He also managed the Whites and later the Reds.
Humber is director of Eco Seneca Initiatives at Seneca College and ran a Spring Training for fans class for 41 years. He said last year was his last. If that is true, he should be the first guest next January. Many of his students -- ah, make that friends -- made the trip for his induction.
67. Ashley Stephenson, former women’s team MVP (-)
Stephenson (Mississauga, Ont.) was one of four finalists for the inaugural Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement award, presented by SABR’s Women in Baseball Committee. Stephenson, who played third base on the Canadian women’s national baseball team for 14 years, competed in all seven World Cups since its inception in 2004, as well as being team MVP in 2005 and 2008.
Stephenson is a two-time recipient of the Jimmy Rattlesnake award honouring on-field accomplishments and leadership and was named to the World Cup international all-star team. She was nominated by Alexis Brudnicki. Perry Barber a pro umpire since 1981, working more than 6,300 games, was the winner. A member of the Wilfrid Laurier Hall of Fame, helping the Golden Hawks win four OUAA women’s hockey titles and the 2005 national title.
68. Michel Laplante, president, Les Capitales de Quebec (-).
When Laplante began phoning to ask if people would buy season’s tickets in 1998 (cost $250), he might as well have been a guy offering to clean air ducts. People hung up on him. Les Capitales played their first game in 1999 with Laplante (Val D’Or, Que.) on the mound in the home opener. It was the first pro game in Quebec since the 1977 Metros were an Expos double-A Eastern League team managed by Doc Edwards. Les Capitales began play in the Northeast League, then joined the Northern League East and in 2000 the Can-Am League where they still play winning Capitales 10 division titles and seven league championships in 20 seasons.
The natural grass at Stade Canac has been ripped up and replaced with turf. In a $4.3 million project included a dome over the field which allows usage to jump to almost 400 hours a year.
69. Greg Brons, Going Yard facility (69).
Once known as ‘The Gap,’ (a player from Saskatchewan told me he was from The Gap. Where? “You know the Gap between Alberta and Manitoba.” Saskatchewan is now a regular fixture at nationals. Brodie Guenther struck out 11 and had two hits as Saskatchewan was edged in extra innings by Ontario at the Ray Carter Cup inside the walls of Kinsmen Stadium. That’s five straight years the province had competed for gold at one level or another. It was the province’s first 15U silver since 2010 a team led by Jordan Schulz (Strasbourg, Sask.) and Jager Toffan (Regina, Sask.). At the peewee nationals the province was fourth and fifth at the Canada Cup.
Saskatchewan Sport initiated a high performance planning initiative with Dr. Peter Davis pushing Brons to come up with a detailed plan in 2011. Academies were established with Rob Cherepuschak and Justin Eiswirth running the Martin Academy in Regina. Danny Demchenko fronted the money behind Going Yard indoor centre, which Brons runs. Saskatoon will have a 90,000 square foot baseball/softball facility at Gordie Howe Complex.
70. Matt Stairs, hitting coach, Padres (34).
Someone called GM A.J. Preller a “rock star” after his offseason additions following the 2014 season. Since then the Padres have rocked on to 74, 68, 71 and 66 wins in 2018.
As a team San Diego had bad numbers at the plate when it came to on-base percentage (.297, last in the majors), batting average (.235, tied for second-to-last), slugging percentage (.380, tied for third-to-last) and strikeouts (second-most, 1,523, or 9.4 per game). After one year as hitting coach Stairs was fired following just one year on the job. His replacement will be the Padres’ 10th hitting coach since Petco Park opened in 2004.
71. Stu Scheurwater, umpire (88).
In his rookie year Scheurwater (Regina, Sask.) worked 118 games, the first Canadian on the major league staff since Jim McKean (Montreal, Que.) retired in 2001. He took over for Dale Scott on the major-leagaue roster, after working parts of six seasons at Triple-A. Scott, who worked the plate in Bat Flip game in 2015, suffered a career-ending concussion at Rogers Centre.
A number of major-league hitters have mumbled that Scheurwater learned his Regina strike zone from Saskatchewan’s Jim Baba.
72. Jonathan Erlichman, Process and Analytics coach, Rays.
He worked five-plus years in the Rays front office, the last two as director of analytics. For 2019 will wear a uniform as part of manager Kevin Cash’s coaching staff. The Toronto native, who never played above T-ball, might be the first big-league coach with a math degree from Princeton.
Erlichman, 28, had an increasing presence in the Rays clubhouse and manager’s office over recent years sharing data and analyzing decision-making. He worked one summer with the Jays as an intern. And in 2013 he joined the Rays as an intern doing everything from lunch runs to organizing scouting meetings.
Jays scout Jon Lalonde (Midland, Ont.) was relied upon a lot this season as the Jays made moves.
73. Jon Lalonde, pro scout, Blue Jays (93).
Lalonde is used as more of a special assignment scout by the current regime. Most of the deals this season -- and the rest of this offseason -- were major leaguers for futures. A year ago, Jim Skaalen, former Jays scout Dan Evans and assistant Andrew Tinnish were in Japan to evaluate two-way man Shohei Ohtani.
As a scouting director, Lalonde ran six amateur drafts, which is like 42 years in dog years of scouting stress. His best picks were when he and scout Tom Burns drafted lefty Brett Cecil, 38th overall in 2007, in the third year of a four-year $30.5 million deal with the Cardinals. Plus, DH Adam Lind, RHP Jesse Litsch, LHP Rickey Romero, OF Travis Snider, C JP Arencibia, LHP Marc Rzepczynski, OF Eric Thames, C A.J. Jiménez, RHP Chad Jenkins, RHP James Paxton, OF Jake Marisnick and INF Ryan Goins to mention a few.
74. Rick Johnston, coach, Ontario Terriers (78).
Established in 2005, there have been few times when the Terriers signings came as quick as recently: LHP Connor O’Halloran (Mississauga, Ont.), son of former major league C Greg O’Halloran has signed to attend University of Michigan, the first since LHP Mike Wilson (Pickering, Ont.) in 2008 and LHP Drew Taylor (Leaside, Ont.) in 2003. Others to mention are Austin Gomm (Mississauga, Ont.) and LHP Campbell Ellis, (Georgetown, Ont.) head to Virginia Commonwealth; while C Matt Ward, (Mississauga, Ont.) Niagara University and RHP Owen MacNeil (Halton Hills, Ont.) University of Charleston
Co-owners Nicole and Mike Tevlin have a deep staff led by Dean Dicenzo, John Milton, O’Halloran and Johnston. Again Johnston had a busy and successful campaign with Team Canada remaining the face of the organization. The 17U team, under his tutelage, won the PBLO 18U title this season. The Tevlins and Johnston also operate The Baseball Zone, which is spreading its wings with innovations in training and the latest in sports science. The Terriers had two players drafted: RHP Jake Sims (Guelph, Ont.) who went in the 31st to the Padres and signed for $50,000 and RHP Ben Abram (Georgetown, Ont.) going in the 37th to the Padres.
75. Adam Stephens and Scott Crawford, Canadian Hall of Fame (85).
A 2,500-square foot addition to the museum was completed late in this summer. Chairman of the Board Stephens (Stratford, Ont.) and Director of Operations Crawford (Georgetown, Ont.) deserve credit for the progress. The expanded area in the museum will offer a multi-purpose room for groups and social events, as well as temporary and traveling exhibits. It also includes an archive and resource library that will house the Hall’s historic documents and serve as the home of the Centre for Canadian Baseball Research. With the addition, the Hall’s entrance way and gift shop have also been expanded.
Renovations to the stone house which served as the museum for the past 20 years are ongoing, as is work on organization and storage of the artifacts (Everything had to be taken off site for the renovation). In its new incarnation, the old stone house will showcase permanent exhibits that are being professionally design by BaAM productions. The new exhibits will be ready for the Hall’s grand re-opening this spring. The upstairs of the old stone house is also being transformed into permanent offices for staff.
76. Shawn Travers, coach, Ontario Blue Jays (83).
Travers had the top high schooler in Canada last June as Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) followed in the footsteps of his brother Josh. The Ontario Blue Jays and the Langley Blaze each had three players drafted. Besides Naylor, 29th over-all, who went to the Indians for a $2,578,138 signing bonus, were RHP RJ Freure (Burlington, Ont.), sixth round to the Astros for a $348,800 bonus and Ryan Rijo 37th to the Phillies.
Besides Travers, other coaches in the 10-team organization include Mike Siena, Joe Ellison, Lawrence Collymore, (Every Day) Eddie Largy, Kevin Mitchell, Pat Visca, Richard Clemons, Chris Naylor, Jay Skorupski, Sean Bignall and Mike Steed. In all 20 graduating players headed to school while Jays teams won six tourneys: Double Play in Sandusky, Ohio, USSSA Kensington Valley Classic in Farmington Hills, Mich., Lancers Classic in Lewiston, NY, 10th annual Battle of the Bats Flat Rock, Mich., Future Stars Series National Trials in Houston and the Marucci World Series in Baton Rouge, La.
77. Steve Wilson, International Crosschecker/Pitching analyst, Yankees (-).
If you look hard enough you can see some tiny maple leafs between the Pin Stripes in the Bronx. That’s because Denis Boucher (Lachine, Que.) covers Canada for scouting director Damon Oppenheimer, while Wilson (Victoria, BC) evaluates international talent.
Wilson cross checked the likes of CF Estevan Florial (No. 1 on MLB.Pipeline’s top 30), RHP Luis Medina (No. 8), RHP Deivi Garcia (No. 11), CF Everson Pereira (No. 13), RHP Roansy Contreras (No. 18), RHP Freicer Perez (No. 19), CF Antonio Cabello (No. 26), INF Dermis Garcia (No. 27), RHP Osiel Rodriguez (No. 28) and RF Anthony Garcia (No. 30).
Donny Rowland signed 3B Miguel Andujar, but when Wilson was with the Chicago Cubs he scouted Gleyber Torres. A Wilson sign, Taiwanese right-hander Tseng Jen-Ho, made it to the majors with the Cubs this season.
78. Adam Stern, coach, Great Lake Canadians (76).
Next to the Langley Blaze and the Ontario Blue Jays, who had three players drafted, Great Lakes saw a pair go in June: RHP Michael Brettell (Fonthill, Ont.), in the 15th from Central Michigan and signed with the Cardinals for a $125,000 bonus. Also drafted was RHP Eric Cerantola, in the 30th to the Rays, who did not sign, enrolling in Mississippi State.
His inaugural banquet, hosted by MC Dan Shulman, before roughly 300 players and parents in Dorchester (home of Chris Robinson) was a success, although we hear Stern may have had some help from Alexis Brudnicki. INF Adam Hall (London, Ont.) top high school position player drafted in 2017 -- who went to the Orioles for $1.3 million was there along with graduate like Myles Gordon (Oakville, Ont.), who is playing in the Cincinnati Reds organization, and Noah Myers (Wyoming, Ont.), who is transferring from Wabash Valley to South Carolina.
Players headed off to school include 1B-C Owen Diodati (Niagara Falls, Ont.) to Alabama, INF Kyle Maves (Burlington, Ont.) to Quinnipiac, OF Matt Jenkins (Toronto, Ont.) to Harvard and INF Brian Zapp (Waterloo, Ont.) to Miami-Ohio. Stern is no longer scouting for the Red Sox, who will name a replacement to cover Canada, likely Greg Morhardt.
79. Les McTavish coach, Vauxhall Academy (82).
The Vauxhall Jets program produced LHP J.P. Stevenson (New Glasgow, PEI) of the Canisius Golden Griffs, elected to the Canadian Baseball Network’s All-Canadian 2018 First Team for a second straight year. LHP Ben Onyshko (Winnipeg, Man.) was a 24th round pick, who signed with the Mariners, while Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC) was selected in the 35th round by the Jays but is headed to Cal State Northridge.
And on the way are LHP Adam Macko (Stony Plain, Alta.) to Purdue, RHP Chase Florendine (Lethbridge, Alta.) to CSU-Northridge, OF-RHP Evan O’Toole (Bridgewater, NS) to Iowa Western, LHP Thomas Little (Lethbridge, Alta.) to Northern Oklahoma Enid College and C Shayne Campbell (Winnipeg, Man.) to the University of Mary. McTavish also scouts for the Mariners.
80. Claude Pelletier, scout, Mets. (73)
The veteran Mets scout was almost a lot higher. On draft night Jim Callis of MLB.Pipeline predicted that when it came to the Mets’ turn in the first round at No. 6 they would select Noah Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) of the Ontario Blue Jays. Callis had been red-hot and informed that night, as he is the rest of the year. Yet, the Mets chose OF Jarred Kelenic, a high schooler from Waukesha Wis.
OF Raphael Gladu (Trois-Rivieres, Que.) who combined to hit .261, with 17 doubles, three homers and 37 RBIs at Class-A St. Lucie and Class-A Columbia is the lone Canuck in the Met system. Former Jays scout Marc Tramuta, the Mets scouting director, sends out a mass email every year to his staff, which contains a link to the annual Canadian Baseball Network’s Top 100 Influential Canadians in Baseball. Tramuta instructs his scouts: “We need to get some Canadians to move Claude higher on the top 100 list.”
81. Ellen Veronica Harrigan, Dodgers (-)
Her role has grown and Harrigan is considered the glue to the office, assisting Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations and last year GM Farhan Zaidi, who headed north to San Francisco after the season. Harrigan’s title is Director, Baseball Administration.
Harrigan keeps the office moving and is loved by her co-workers, according to an ex-Dodger GM, who says, “people gravitate to her.” The former GM of the St. Catharines Stompers, Harrigan is a VERY proud Canadian, who reminds every member of the Dodgers front office all the time, talks about her country a lot and a small Canadian flag sits on her desk in her office.
82. Denny Berni, coach, Pro Teach (84).
Etobicoke Ranger grad Connor Lillis-White (Etobicoke, Ont.), pitched in the Angels system in 2018, splitting time between triple-A Salt Lake and double-A Mobile. He combined to go 4-2 with three saves and a 3.50 ERA, walking 32 and fanning 98 in 72 innings. He was dealt to the Cubs after the season and has an invite to major-league camp. 3B Nicholas Follett hit .360 with 16 doubles, six homers, 33 RBIs and a 1.074 OPS in 40 games for the College of Desert Roadrunners.
Berni runs a busy indoor facility in Etobicoke, where Geoff McCallum looks after the high performance programs. Students from Hollycrest Middle School are there weekdays. You never can tell might drop in some day. Over the years we have seen Carlos Delgado, Chris Archer, Lloyd Moseby, Carlos Baerga, Robbie Alomar and his Hall of Fame dad, Sandy. And the man who visits the most is the former Reds’ MVP Joey Votto, returning to his high school roots where he spent hours hitting as a teenager. When not instructing, Berni coaches the Rangers 18U, coaches his son in Royal York rookie ball and was GM of Humber College. His Rangers lost 5-4 in the 18U gold medal game at Fort McMurray to the London Badgers.
83. Jason Dickson, president, Baseball Canada (79).
He is not a blazer wearer, well, except for special functions like the annual Baseball Canada banquet and fund raiser on Jan. 12 at the Marriott City Centre Hotel. Dickson (Miramichi, NB) reached the top as a pitcher, going from the 1991 gold-medal winning Canuck team at the World Juniors to pitching four seasons with the Angels, gaining an all-star berth, finishing third in the 1997 Rookie of the Year race (behind Nomar Garciaparra and Jose Cruz) and pitching for Canada at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Dickson is the 11th president in Baseball Canada’s 54-year history stepping into the large shoes of Ray Carter, who they named the 15U nationals after. Carter says he hopes to make the 2019 Ray Carter Cup in Oshawa.
84. Robbie Fatal, coach, ABC (108).
Fatal and pitching coach Rene-Dave Pelchat had a summer to remember with the Academy du Baseball Canada. Thanks to Maxime Lamarche, executive director, they played in four Perfect Game tournaments south of the border and won three.
They won the Dynamic 16U Elite Invitational championship at the University of North Carolina edging Canes National 2020 at Durham Athletic Park; the PG 16U Invitational at Clay Gould Ballpark on the University of Texas-Arlington campus going 6-0; beat DBAT-Wilson 10-2 to win the PG 16U Elite Championship at Lupton Stadium on TCU campus in Fort Worth, Tex. ABC was led by C Raphael Pelletier (Mascouche, Que.), Simon Lusignan (Varennes, Que.), Antoine Jean (Montreal, Que.), RF Antony Gilbert (Quebec City, Que.), Cédric De Grandpré (St-Simon-De-Bagot, Que.), Nicolas Tremblay (Mont St-Hilaire, Que.) and 1B Jason Bégin (Sherbrooke, Que.).
85. Mark Ditmars: VP, corporate partnerships, Jays (81).
In three years on the job Ditmars roughly tripled the Jays revenue in corporate partnerships going into last season. With everyone from the scalpers to president Mark Shapiro predicting a dip in attendance for 2019, Ditmars will be charged with bringing in more revenue again after a 27% drop in attendance. Not an easy task.
He’s been with the Jays for more than seven years after playing football at Wilfred Laurier University of Windsor, where he graduated from in 1987. After that he worked at EMI Music and Labatt Breweries.
Ex-Blue Jays marketing whiz Rob Jack landed on his feet as president of Allomarsports.
86. Rob Jack, Alomar Sports (-).
Jack used to work for the Jays. Now helping his pal No. 12, Hall of Famer Robbie Alomar Jack is building a small empire. Jack has hired former Jays employees Jon Cram and Holly Purdon Gentemann. The 1992-93 Back-to-Back Celebrations Jack ran at the Westin Harbour Castle in November attracted a larger crowd of former players, coaches and executives and was more fan friendly than the Blue Jays on-field celebration in August.
Jack also ran the Blue Jays Fantasy Camp in Tampa, which brings in popular alumni from the Glory Years. He also helped get Tournament 12 off the ground, but Jays Care Foundation has taken that over, along with the Blue Jays Academy.
87. Ryan McBride, Toronto Mets (87).
Two ex-Mets were drafted in June: OF Tristan Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) who went in the third round from Kentucky to the Marlins and signed for $645,000 and OF Denzel Clarke (Pickering, Ont.) the 36th round to the New York Mets. Clarke didn’t sign and headed west to play for the Cal State Northridge Matadors.
OF Zach Gardiner (Oakville, Ont.) and C-1B Ryan Leitch (Whitby, Ont.) are off the Marshall Thundering Herd, while OF Matt Turino (Toronto, Ont.) has transferred to Tennessee and OF-C Liam Hicks (Toronto, Ont.) to Arkansas State. Jeff Hardy, Graham Procter.and McBride purchased the Mets franchise from the Caputo family.
88. Jeff Simpson, scout, Brewers (-).
Led by RF Christian Yelich, Milwaukee won 96 games to win the NL Central, finishing ahead of the Cubs and the Cardinals. So, it makes sense that a lot of people -- from top to bottom -- had good years. Jeff, the son of Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Alan Simpson was no exception.
Jeff signed both their organization player of the year OF Corey Ray and pitcher of the year Zack Brown. Drafted fifth over-all in 2016 from University of Louisville, Ray hit .323 with 32 doubles, seven triples, 27 homers, 74 RBIs and an .801 OPS in 135 games at double-A Biloxi. Brown was a fifth-round pick from Kentucky going 9-1 with a 2.44 ERA walking 26 and striking out 116 in 125 2/3 innings at Biloxi. The father writes books about first rounders and the son, based out in Nashville, Tenn., drafted a first rounder in Ray.
89. Dana Bookman and Julie Gosselin, women’s baseball (102).
Dana placed her daughter in a co-ed league three seasons ago. Her daughter didn’t like being the only girl among 400 boys. So this make-it-happen mom rounded up 42 pals for a league in 2016, lining up park permits, insurance, coaches and uniforms. In 2017, enrollment jumped to 350 girls and now in 2018 Bookman says 650 players are registered. The Queen’s grad and founder of Toronto Girls Baseball has seen expansion to Nova Scotia, Manitoba and PEI.
Gosselin and Baseball Quebec’s Maxime Lamarche operated a women’s program similar to the ABC out of the Claude Robillard Centre in Montréal. Athletes are able to combine activities with studies at the high school, CEGEP and university levels. Gosselin’s goal is to allow athletes to train, attend school and compete against the best. Her group had a plan, to identify athletes as well as match up the academic part of the program.
90. Richard Griffin, columnist, Toronto Star (91).
The most difficult thing for a writer is to be as funny in print as they are in person. Mark Whicker can do it in Los Angeles. Same for Ray Ratto in San Francisco and Patrick Reusse in Minneapolis. Add Griffin to the list. The man you read in the Toronto Star or on Twitter has the same sense of humor in person. He has been writing about the Jays for 23 years after 21 years running the Expos P.R. department,
He is a regular with insight and humor on the Scott MacArthur Show, afternoons on TSN, with your host Scott MacArthur, starring Scott MacArthur.
91. Kory Lafreniere: Coordinator, Amateur Scouting, Jays (-).
Jamie Lehman may have left the country but he will still check in on the Canadian Junior Team in Florida, the Dominican or where ever. Beating the bushes in Canada are veteran Jay Lapp (London, Ont.), Adam Arnold (St. Thomas, Ont.) and Jasmin Roy (Montreal, Que.) reporting to Lafreniere (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.).
The guy in the 500 Level may not know what the title of scouting co-ordinator means or what Lafreniere does leading up to the June draft. But look at some of the people in the past who held the position and where they eventually wound up: Jon Lalonde (scouting director), Alex Anthopoulos (GM), Charlie Wilson (director, minor leagues), Andrew Tinnish (assistant GM) and Ryan Mittleman (pro scouting director)..
92. Steve Simmons, columnist, Toronto Sun (-).
Southern Ontario has a white-hot hockey team and an extremely talented hoops team -- both the Leafs and Raptors are saturated by coverage in the daily newspapers. One place to turn for out-STAND-ing reads on the Jays is the Toronto Sun.
Three Simmons memorable pieces, besides his ever-popular Sunday notes, which rival Blackie Sherrod’s Sunday scattershooting in the Dallas Morning News: The end of Josh Donaldson, Farewell to Gibby, World Series teams and big home runs.
93. Mike Wilner, broadcaster, The Fan (89).
For some reason Rogers Communications decided to make the their broadcast booth -- the one which gave listeners tremendous continuity in Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth from 1981 until 2004 -- like a CFL open walk-on camp. Former Bisons man in the booth, Ben Wagner was excellent for the games he worked, taking a couple of weeks off.
Dan Shulman was outstanding as always for 30 games. But in the early going it went like this: Turn on radio, Play guess Ben’s partner. Former Jays Kevin Barker and Josh Thole did seven games each, Chris Leroux and Kevin Brown (not the pitcher, not the catcher, but the broadcaster from Triple-A Syracuse) did six each and Jeff Blair did a few too. Vancouver Canadians’ broadcaster Rob Fai had a stint as well. Wilner did roughly 112 ... why not just go with the incumbent Wilner rather than the nightly auditions?
94. Rob Fai, Vancouver, Canadians broadcaster (-).
Fai is an all-star MC each year at the BC Minor Coaches Convention in Langley, BC, poking fun at head organizer Mike Kelly or visitors from the East. He pitched for Kelly and his North Delta Blue Jays -- like Jeff Francis. He applied to Notre Dame as a high schooler, his mom phoned him at school to say a letter from Notre Dame had arrived. He rushed home, opened the envelope and read: “Thanks for applying ... but this is an all-girls school.”
He has worked Vancouver Canadians games since the C’s were part of the Jays organizational ladder. He is always promoting Canadian ball in BC and Canada. This year we got the chance in Ontario to hear how good he is.
95. Rosie DiManno, columnist, Toronto Star (-).
These days there are three kinds of Jays fans. The first believe Vladimir Guerrero will bat .900 the first half of the season and after the break his name will be raised to the Level of Excellence. Guerrero is the first of the CAN’T MISS prospects like INF Bo Bichette, C Danny Jansen, RHP Eric Pardinho, INF Jordan Groshans, RHP Nate Pearson, SS Kevin Smith, RHP Sean Reid-Foley, 2B Cavan Biggio and INF Miguel Hiraldo. And oh yes the roof will be open every night. They are still angry the Manny Lee-Sammy Sosa suggested trade on the early 1990s post-game show did not go through.
The next is the group still yearning for grass. Think back to the Jays post-season years ... did you hear more people say, “Let’s go to the Dome and watch Robbie Alomar, George Bell, Jose Bautista?” Or ... “If only I could go to the Dome and watch the grass grow.”
The third group, which is the largest, is the most realistic. When things are good with the team, good things should be written ... and when things are bad, the bad things should be pointed out. We have always respected DiManno’s work, but this year the woman was writing what was the equivalent to a feature-length story a night. Guerrero will wish his 2019 season was as good as DiManno’s was in 2018.
96. Adam Arnold, London, Ont., scout, Blue Jays (-)
Arnold did the lion’s share of the scouting for the sixth annual T12 this year and helped scout Canada prior to the draft. He also spent time scouting in the Carolinas and Florida, when not serving as pitching coordinator for the Great Lake Canadians.
The Jays drafted two Canadians: RHP Will McAffer (North Vancouver, BC) in the 25th round, who signed for $50,000 and 3B Damiano Palmegiani (Surrey, BC) in the 35th. Palmegiani went to the Cal-State Northridge Matadors. Arnold is also helpful getting players to schools in the U.S. especially from places across the country that don’t have much exposure.
97. Ben Nicholson-Smith, Sportsnet (-).
Mike Cormack, Steve Cassar and Dave Tredgett assigned the Sportsnet crew to cover the winter meetings in Vegas to keep you in the know. Hazel Mae, Jamie Campbell, Shi Davidi, Jeff Blair, the Jack Graney award winner as presented by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, and Nicholson-Smith were dispatched to Nevada.
Nicholson-Smith had a memorable season at the keyboards from Braden Halladay in spring wondering where his locker and TV cameras were at Little League games -- pop had all those surroundings at the Jays games; comparing teenager Juan Soto of the Nationals and Vladimir Guerrero and his long-distance look ahead at the Jays’ managerial search.
98. Michael Bonanno, agent (105).
He is with BallplayersAgency, which had 93 clients (including ex-Jay and current Brewers C Erik Kratz, who excelled in October,INF Jon Berti and Ian Parmley, who made their debuts for the Jays this year.
Bonanno has done well rounding up Canadians: RHP Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.), a Top 30 Prospect for the Jays, left unprotected at Rule V time and now with the Rangers and a chance to make the team, RP Andrew Case, (St. John, NB), OF Connor Panas (Toronto, Ont.) and OF Tanner Kirwer (Sherwood Park, Alta.) all with the Jays. In all, he looks after 14 Canucks RHP Jordan Balazovic (Mississauga, Ont.) a top 30 prospect with the Twins, INF Eric Wood (Pickering, Ont.), who hit .269 with 11 homers, 39 RBIs and an .808 OPS in 86 games at triple-A Indianapolis with the Pirates, but is headed to Taiwan; LHP Erik Sabrowski (Edmonton, Alta.) and RP Jake Sims (Guelph, Ont.) with the Padres; OF Malik Collymore (Mississauga, Ont.) and INF JD Salmon-Williams both of the Reds.
99. Jay Stenhouse, former P.R. executive, Blue Jays (-).
The ousting of Stenhouse at the end of the 2018 reminded me of the Interbrew SA days of Jays ownership. People made fun of boss Hugo Powell for tarping over the outfield seats (due to a lack of attendance). People made fun of the won-loss record and mocked the crowds. As a result, Interbrew tried to make changes in the Jays P.R. department -- as if they were to blame.
The Jays won 73 games to finish 35 games behind the AL East winning Red Sox in 2018. And so after more than 30 years of service the Jays said good bye to Stenhouse. At the end of the previous season three viable members of his staff were let go. He finished tied for second in voting for the John Cerutti award bbehind winner John Gibbons.
99-A. Dean Dicenzo, Hamilton Cardinals, Terriers (-).
The Cardinals were dead, about to be lowered into the grave as an Intercounty franchise. Owner Gary Molinaro said he was shuttering down things before Christmas. A player in the league for 19 years, most of them with Hamilton and the GM in 2017, DiCenzo didn’t like what he was seeing. He contacted Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s office looking for help. Next, came a call from P.J. Mercanti, CEO of the Carmen’s Group. Mercanti’s group agreed to pay the outstanding debts — about $3,500.
The team was saved but that was not the end of the success. In August, Cardinals DH Connor Bowie hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give sixth-place Hamilton a playoff win over the third-place London Majors. Hamilton had not won a playoff series for 15 seasons playing “21-year-olds against guys who pitched in the World Baseball Classic” as one executive said.
Plus, the east ender, who is a coach with the Ontario Terriers, was named one of the Intercounty’s top 100 players.
100. Erin Woodward, wife of Rangers manager (-).
Chris Woodward played seven seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. He had 408 hits but his biggest hit was meeting his future wife. He wed Aurora’s Erin McCaffery on Oct. 6, 2001 at the Old Mill. And 22 days later Erin’s father, Geoff McCaffrey, former manager of media relations for Ontario Hydro, died of brain cancer after time in Southlake Regional Hospital in Newmarket. Woodward, of Covina, Calf., became the first Jay to live year round in Toronto -- King West Village -- since Paul Molitor.
As wedding day approached, Erin McCaffery and Chris Woodward (earning $235,000 with his two years of service) told friends and family that they did want gifts. They asked for cheques be made out to either the Southlake or the Canadian Cancer Society. We’re not sure how many lineup suggestions she will make to the Rangers skipper, but Erin is now the First Lady or Arlington, Tex.
101. Rest in Peace: Mary Lois Arundel (Kemptville, Ont.), Ron Hayter (Edmonton, Alta.), John Jepson (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.), LHP Mike Kilkenny (Bradford, Ont.), Wayne Norton (Port Moody, BC), 3B Wray Upper (Cambridge, Ont.) and RHP Ozzie Van Brabant (Kingsville, Ont.).
Arundel was part of the handful of regal families in Ottawa. Her son Michael gave a wonderful eulogy and told how his mother loved golf. One day Lois answered the phone and the voice said “Hi Lois, it’s Brooke.” Brooke was Brooke Henderson (Smiths Falls, Ont.). There is talk that Lois may have mentioned once or twice who had called. Mike pitched for the Nepean Brewers, Ottawa-Nepean Canadians, Calgary A’s and Calgary Royals before becoming a brave member of our RCMP.
Hayter, 81, was a player, coach, manager, executive and organizer of Canadian and international ball for almost 50 years. Born in Hudson Bay, Sask., he played in Northern Saskatchewan and BC before taking over Baseball Alberta in 1968, tripling the number of registered teams in three years. He developed the first Canadian rulebook, organized national championships and represented Canada on the international stage. He won the Vanier Award in 1974, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2004, was named a life member of Baseball Alberta, was inducted into the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame, Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
Jepson, 67, was the founder of the Toronto Mets in 2004 and for the past few years he was the glue to the Ontario Terriers. Jepson was given a PBLO Lifetime Achievement honour. Jepson had more impact than strictly picking blue-and-orange Mets uniforms. He joined the PBLO board of directors in 2004 and quickly became the voice of reason, was president of the league from 2012-15 and was the vice-chair (the man behind the curtain telling Don Campbell what to do.)
Kilkenny, 73, pitched parts of five seasons with the Tigers, Indians, Padres and A’s working in 139 games. His best two seasons were his first two: as a rookie with the 1969 Tigers when he was 8-6 with two saves and a 3.37 ERA striking out 97 in 128 1/3 innings. And the next year Kilkenny was 7-6 with a 5.16 ERA striking out 105 in 129 innings.
Norton, 75, came up with the widely successful idea of a Junior National Team from a badminton player. After playing 1,206 minor league games -- including meeting Gov. George Wallace at Double-A Birmingham -- Norton coached Baseball Canada teams internationally. He developed a coaching manual, started the National Baseball Institute which produced 11 big leaguers and scouted for Pat Gillick with the Orioles and the Mariners. Norton signed Greg Halman, Alex Liddi and Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.) Michael Saunders (Victoria, BC) and Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC). He was inducted into the Canadian Hall of Fame in 2016.
Upper, 87, a long-time Cambridge native, passed away in Barrie. On June 18, 1952 his St. Cloud Rox (Giants), of the Class-C Northern League, visited Carson Park home of the Eau Claire Bears (Wisc.). Not just another game of the 195 Upper played. The No. 7 hitter for the Bears was shortstop Henry Aaron, 18, playing in his first pro game on the way to 3,771 hits and 755 homers. Upper played third and managed the Galt Terriers in the Intercounty League for decades. He was an 11-time all-star, from his first selection in 1958 to 1973 winning the 1958 batting title, retiring in 1974, as the all-time leader in games (470), hits (565) and RBIs (232).
Van Brabant, 91, pitched in 11 games in the majors. He broke in with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1954 going 0-2 with a 7.09 ERA in 26 2/3 innings. The next year the team moved to Kansas City and he worked two innings in two games. He also pitched at class-A Lincoln winning 14 games in 1952, class-A Williamsport where he went 16-15, triple-A Ottawa as he was 3-6 and triple-A Columbus, where he went 7-10.
Jim Adduci, Burnaby, BC, Chicago Cubs; LHP Andrew Albers, North Battleford, Sask. Orix Blue Wave; Jordy Alexander, Absolute Academey, Calgary, Alta.; Jeff Amos, Oyen, Alta., Badlands Academy; Alex Andreopoulos, Etobicoke, Ont., bullpen catcher, Blue Jays; J.P. Antonacci, Simcoe, Ont., Canadian Baseball Network; Don Archer, White Rock, BC, scout, Angels; Cole Armstrong, Surrey, BC, hitting coach, double-A Birmingham (White Sox); Pierre Arsenault, Pierrefonds, Que., pro scout, Miami Marlins; Amanda Asay, Prince George, BC, Canada women’s national baseball team.
Nick Ashbourne, Toronto, Yahoo Canada Sports; Casey Auerbach, coach, McGill University, Phillippe Aumont, Gatineau, Que., Tigers system; John Axford, Port Dover, Ont., free agent (last with Dodgers); Justin Ayles, Brampton, Ont., @guruOBG; Evan Bailey, coach, GM, Okanagan Athletics; Scott Ballantyne, coach, Laurier; Ross Baron, groundskeeper, Nat Bailey Stadium; Joseph (Elevator Joe) Bednarz, Rogers Centre; Thomas Bell, Etobicoke, Ont., Covermaster tarps.
Al Bernacchi (Windsor, Ont.) coach of the Windsor Selects is part of the great coaching tree that is Windsor baseball.
Al Bernacchi, Windsor, Ont., coach, Windsor Selects; Matt Betts, Brantford, Ont., Canadian Baseball Network’s Big Man on Campus; Howie Birnie, Leaside, Ont., Baseball Ontario Hall of Famer; Scott Blinn, Toronto, Ont., clubhouse manager, Blue Jays; Rod Black, TSN; Jamie Bodaly, head coach, Langley Blaze, pro scout, Reds; Rob Boik, Spruce Grove, Alta., coach, Parkland Twins; Mike Boon, Etobicoke, Ont.; Toronto Mike Blog; Jason Booth, Richmond Hill, Ont., coach, Ontario Astros 18U, The Dugout; Jean Boulais, Gatineau, president Baseball Quebec.
Steve Boston, Nepean, Ont., Ottawa-Nepean Canadians; Denis Boucher, Laval, Que. scout, New York Yankees; Shawn Bowman, coach, 18U, 23U French National Academy teams; Rick Brace: president, media business unit, Rogers Communications; Kevin Briand Montreal, Que., pro scout, Toronto Blue Jays; Jordan Broatch, White Rock, BC, coach, Douglas College: Sheen Bromley, development and technical coordinator, Baseball Alberta; Charles Bronfman, former Expo owner, Montreal, Que. Gary Brotzel, Cupar, Sask., president, Regina Red Sox WMBL; Alexis Brudnicki, London, Ont., Great Lake Canadians.
Jason Bryans, Tecumseh, Ont., scout, Cardinals; Rob and Rich Butler, coaches, Ontario Prospects; Scott Bullett, Welland, Ont., Bullett Proof Academy; T.J. Burton, Ottawa, Toronto Blue Jays; Greg Byron, North York, Ont., pitching coach, Austin Peay University; Raimondo Callari, Côté St-Luc, Que., scout, Giants; Dick Callahan, Kitchener, Ont. Oakland A’s P.A. announcer; Al Cantwell, Saint John, N.B., assistant coach, Airline High School, Bossier City, La.; Remo Cardinale, Thornhill, Ont., lifetime scholarship; Ken Carson, Barrie, president class-A Florida State League.
Ray Carter, Tsawwassen, BC, head of the Ray Carter Cup; Julien Casaubon, Joliette, Que., assistant coach, Post University; Andrew Case, St. John, NB, Blue Jays system; Pat Cassidy, St. Albert, Alta., owner, Edmonton Prospects; Rory Cava, Thunder Bay Ont., part owner, Thunder Bay Border Cats; Jim Chapman, Langley, head coach Coquitlam Reds; Steve Chatzispiros, Richmond, BC, manager, Whalley Chiefs; Rob Cherepuschak, Regina, Sask., Martin Academy; David Chavarria, Burnaby, BC, pitching coach, double-A Biloxi (Brewers); Mike Chewpoy, coach and GM, Victoria Mariners; Gregor Chisholm, Saint John, N.B. bluejays.com; Dr. Michael Chivers, kinesiologist, Vaughan, Ont..
Voon Chong, Vancouver BC, assistant trainer, Blue Jays; Gary Cohen, Monteal, The Baseball Cube; Jeremy Cohen, New York, vice-president, corporate sales, marketing, MLB; Andrew Collier, GM, Winnipeg Goldeyes; Murray Cook, Sackville, NS, scout, Tigers; Dave Cooper, coach, St. Clair College Saints, St. Clair Green Giants; Heather Connolly, senior manager, baseball administration, Blue Jays; Dr. Glenn Copeland, Toronto, Ont., Blue Jays physician; Shaun Corness, Chilliwack, BC, Chilliwack Cougars.
Wayne Corness, Surrey, BC, pitching coach, UBC; Joanna Cornish, Toronto, Ont., Hum and Chuck; Scott Costello, Barrie, Ont., umpire, triple-A International League; Melissa Couto, Toronto, Ont., Canadian Press; Greg Cranker, coach, Erindale Cardinals; Phil Curtis, Sherwood Park, Alta., midget co-oordinator Absolute Academey; Tom Dakers, Calgary, Alta., Bluebird Banter; INF Wes Darvill, Richmond, BC, Triple A Oklahoma City, Lars Davis, Grand Prairie, Alta., volunteer assistant coach, University of Florida; Darren Dekinder, executive director, Baseball Alberta; Lee Delfino, Pickering, Ont., 17U coach Field House Pirates.
Claude Delorme, Sturgeon Falls, Ont., executive VP operations and events Miami Marlins; Jay-Dell Mah, author, Western Canada Baseball Scoresheet Baseball, Nakusp, BC; Ryan Dempster, assistant to president/GM, Cubs, MLB Network; Sam Dempster, Kingston, Ont., coach, Durham Lords, Team Great Britain; Greg Densem, North York, Ont., coach, Toronto Mets; Kyle Dhanani, White Rock, BC, White Rock Tritons/assistant coach Brooks Bombers; Scott Diamond, Guelph, Ont., free agent; David Dion, executive director, Fredericton, N.B.; Michael DiStefano, Toronto, Canadian Baseball Network; Jack Dominico, Toronto, owner, Toronto Maple Leafs.
Jacques Doucet, Montreal, broadcaster; Rob Ducey, Cambridge, Ont., Philles base running and bunting co-ordinator; Jeff Duda, Surrey, BC, coach, Okotoks Dawgs; RHP Brock Dykxhoorn, Goderich, Ont. Triple A Fresno; Cory Eckstein, Abbotsford, BC, coach, Fraser Valley Cardinals; LHP Claire Eccles, Surrey, BC, Victoria HarbourCats; Bernie Eiswirth, GM, Regina, Sask., Regina Red Sox; Justin Eiswirth, Regina, Sask., Martin Academy, Regina; Dave Empey, North Vancouver, BC, Dave talks Baseball blog; Dwain Ervin, Mississauga, Ont., coach, national champion Mississauga North Tigers/Michael Kim tourney convenor; Ray Fagnant, East Granby, Conn., scout, Red Sox.
Frank Fanning, London, Ont. director of team operations and community outreach, class-A Vermont Lake Monsters; Drew Fairservice, Birds All Day; Dr. Irv Feferman, Toronto, Ont., Blue Jays physician; Scott Ferguson, broadcaster, TSN; Amanda Fewer, Calgary, Alta., Canadian Baseball Network; Kyle Fillier, Campbellford, Ont., coach, Toronto Mets; Dr. Noah Forman, North York, Ont., Blue Jays physician; Pablo Forno, Okotoks, Alta., Grand Slam Sports; Stacey May Fowles, author of “Baseball Life Advice,” The Athletic; 1B Freddie Freeman, Fountain Valley, Calif., Braves.
A. J. Fystro, Calgary, Alta., GM, Grand Slam Sports, Okotoks, Alta.; Eric Gagne, Mascouche, Que., pitching coach the 2019 rookie-class Arizona League Rangers; Martine Gaillard, Sportsnet; Danny Gallagher, Toronto, author Blue Monday (1981 Montreal Expos) published by Dundurn Press, Canadian Baseball Network; Ted Giannoulas, London, Ont., The Famous Chicken; Shawn Gillespie, Lucan, Ont., president, Ontario Nationals; Kevin Glew, London, Ont., Cooperstowners in Canada, editor Canadian Baseball Network, chair Jack Graney selection committee; George Godfrey, Kingston, Ont., Blue Jays Aggregator; Mitchell Godkin, Walton Ont., Leadbury Bat Company; Nick Gorneautl, Springfield, Mass., scout Anaheim Angels; Dr. Bernie Gosevitz, Toronto, Ont., Blue Jays physician.
Bryan Graham, Thunder Bay Ont., PA announcer/part owner Thunder Bay Border Cats; Chris Graham, Brampton; Ont., umpire, triple-A International League; Dr. Pat Graham, Mississauaga, Ont., Blue Jays physician; Patrick Gray, Oakville, Ont., senior director of development, University of Michigan athletics; Taylor Green, Comox, BC, supervisor pro scouting, Brewers; Trevor Grieve, Oshawa, Ont., umpire; Marc Griffin, Quebec, Que., vice-president Baseball Quebec; Mike Griffin, Nanaimo, BC, class-A manager, Pirates system; Patrick Griffin, Oakville, video operations, Vancouver Canadians; Evan Grills, Whitby, Ont., Rockies system; Dr. Allan Gross, Toronto, Ont., Blue Jays physician.
John Haar, director of baseball operations, North Shore Twins; Matt Hague, Covington, Wash., Nationals organization; George Halim, Toronto, Ont., infield coach, Niagara County College, development director, Fieldhouse Pirates; Tim Hallgren, Victoria, BC, pro scout, Tigers; Jayson Hajdu, Regina, Sask., media relations director, University of North Dakota; Mike Hansford, Burlington, Ont., Corbett`s Source for Sports; Jason Hart, Thunder Bay, Ont., coach, Port Arthur National Little League/Thunder Bay Lakers; Ian Harvey, Oakville, Ont., pitching coach, Fieldhouse Pirates; John Hashimoto, Blue Jays Academy; Mustafa (Moose) Hassan, Toronto, Ont. home clubhouse manager, equipment; Ernie Hawkins, North Delta, BC, coach North Delta Blue Jays.
Former Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Blake Hawksworth (North Vancouver BC) has moved south to Newport Beach to work for the Scott Boras Corpotation;
Blake Hawksworth, North Vancouver BC, Scott Boras Corpotation; Ed Heather, Cambridge, Ont., top researcher for Intercounty Baseball League 100th anniversary top 100 team; Luc Hebert, Cocagne, NB, pitching coach, Prairie Baseball Academy; Chris Henderson, Jays Journal; Andrew Hendricks, Toronto, Ont., writer, Canadian Baseball Network; Matt Higginson, Oakville, Ont., scout, A’s; Chad Hofmann, Muenster, Sask., coach; Tyler Hollick, Calgary, Alta., Okotoks Dawgs; Paul Hollingsworth, Dartmouth, N.S., broadcaster, TSN; Vince Horsman, Dartmouth, N.S., pitching coach, double-A New Hampshire; Ted Hotzak, president, BC Premier League.
Dustin Houle, Penticton, BC Triple-A Colorado; Cam Houston, St. Albert, Alta. Prospects Academy; Paul Howarth, Burlington, Ont., coach Field House Pirates; Peter Hoy, Cardinal, Ont., coach, St. Lawrence College (NY); Todd Hubka, Claresholm, Alta., Prairie Baseball Academy; David Huctwith, Mississauga, Ont, president, Baseball Ontario; Marc Hulet, London, Ont. the longester serving scribe at Fangraphs; Frank Humber, coach, Corner Brook, Nfld.; Ian Hunter @BlueJayHunter @DailyHiveTO; JJ Hyde, Coquitlam, BC, Tri-City Indians; Todd Ireland, Burlington, Ont., associate head coach, Tusculum College.
Dutche Iannetti, owner, Fort McMurray Giants; Aaron Izaryk, Markham, Ont., head coach, Bridgton Academy, North Bridgton High, Maine; Steven Jaschinski, Burlington, Ont., class-A Northwest League; Jeremy Jayaweera, coach Ontario Nationals, scout Angels; Mike Johnson, Sherwood Park, Alta., coach, St. Francis Xavier Academy/Canadian Junior National Team; Doug Jones, Oyen, Alta., GM Brooks Bombers/Badlands Academy; Frank Kaluzniak, Brandon, Man., Parksville Royals; Tom Katelnikoff, president, West Kelowna, BC, West Kelowna Diamondbacks; Sam Katz, Winnipeg, Man., owner, Winnipeg Goldeyes; Mike Keating, Miramichi, NB, president, Baseball New Brunswick; Mike Kelly, North Delta, BC, BC Minor.
Chris Kemlo, Oshawa, Ont., Toronto Mets/PBR; Kevin Kennedy, Toronto, Ont., Pitch Talks; Mike Kicia, Edmonton, Alta., assistant minor league strength and conditioning coordinator New York Yankees; Mike Kozak, Kirkland, Que., assistant trainer, Marlins; Blair Kubicek, Digby, NS, Okotoks Dawgs Hall of Famer; Kevin Kvame, Lethbridge, Alta., president WMBL, GM Lethbridge Bulls; André Lachance, Baseball Canada; Maxime Lamarche, executive director, Baseball Québec; Jessica Lack, Calgary, Alta., digital media coordination, community relations, class-A Tampa Yankees; Jacques Lanciault, Laval, Que., jacqueslanciault.com; Scott Langdon, Etobicoke, Ont., Canadian Baseball Network.
Eric Langill, bullpen catcher, Kirkland, Que., New York Mets; Jean-Gilles Larocque, Sudbury, Ont., The Baseball Academy; Jay Lapp, London, Ont., scout, Jays; Brent Lavallee, North Delta, BC, coach, LSU-Shreveport; France Lauzière, Montreal, president, TVA; Jim Lawson, Calgary, Alta., coach, PBF Redbirds; Anthony Leblanc, Thunder Bay Ont.,former Blackberry VP/ex-owner Arizona Coyotes/putting together the Atlantic CFL team, part owner, Thunder Bay Border Cats; Randy LeBleau, Winnipeg, Man., assistant coach, Campbellsville College; Kevin Legge, Paradise, Nfld, president, Newfoundland and Labrador; Ken Lenihan, Halifax, N.S., vice president of operations, Team Nova Scotia.
Marty Lehn, White Rock, BC, GM White Rock Tritons, Brewers scout, Big League Experience; David Laing, executive director, Langley, BC, Baseball BC; Marc LePage, Welland, Ont., coach Brock University; Chris Leroux, Mississauga, Ont., Sportsnet; Honsing Leung, Toronto, Ont., coach, Toronto Mets; Linda Lewis, Port Lambton, Ont., Baseball Ontario, Hall of Famer; LHP Conor Lillis-White, Toronto, Ont., Triple A Salt Lake RP Adam Loewen, Surrey, BC, New Britain, Atlantic League-IND; C Morgan Lofstrom, Kelowna, BC Triple-A Louisville Bats; Mr. John Lott, scribe, photographer, The Athletic; Jeff Lounsberry, coach, Burlington Bandits; RHP Carson Lumley started 15U Ray Carter Cup gold-medal game -- as an underager, London Bagders.
Mike Lumley, coach, London, Ont. London Badgers; Jim Lutton, Oshawa, Ont., Baseball Ontario Hall of Famer; Shawn Lynn, coach, Ontario Royals; Scott MacArthur, Toronto, Ont., TSN; Drew MacDonald, Bradford, Ont., trainer double-A New Hampshire; Geoff MacDonald, Regina, Sask., coach, Regina Red Sox; Mitch MacDonald, Regina, Sask. Player Personnel Assistant, Regina Red Sox; Ryan MacDonald, Kennetcook N.S, Prairie Baseball Academy/Lethbridge Bulls; Walter MacEwen, Charlottetown, PEI, president of Baseball PEI; Todd MacFarlane, Edmonton, Alta., collector.
Josh MacInnis, Cole Harbour, NS, Okotoks Dawgs; Kevin Malloy, visiting clubhouse manager, Rogers Centre; Arash Madani, Toronto, Ont., Sportsnet; Kevin Mandzuk, Regina, Sask., umpire rookie-class; Chris Marco, Waterdown, Ont., umpire, double-A Eastern League; Dave Margetts, Burlington, Ont., umpire; Dave Martin, Ottawa, newspaper collector; Keegan Matheson, Toronto, Ont. Baseball Toronto; RHP Scott Mathieson, Abbotsford, BC, Yomiuri Giants;John Matthew IV, Ormond, Ont., producer extraordinare, bluejays.com; Brooks McNiven, North Vancouver, BC, North Shore Twins.
Mitch Melnick (Montreal, Que.) was at Olympic Stadium when the Expos were there and now he keeps his listeners updated on TSN as to what is next …
Mitch Melnick, Montreal, Que., TSN 690; Cory Melvin, Tampa, scout, Brewers; Greg Mercer, Kitchener, Ont., Kitchener Record/Intercounty Baseball blog; Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro, Tim and Sid Sportsnet; Jason Miller, Winnipeg, Man., executive director, Baseball Manitoba; Matt Mills, Hamilton, coach, Ontario Royals; Larry Millson, Toronto, Ont., Jack Graney Award winner, The Sports Xchange; John Milton, Brampton, Ont., Ontario Terriers, St. Petersburg Baseball Commission, program coordinator; Scott Mitchell, writer, broadcaser TSN; Ryan Mittleman, director, pro scouting, Jays; Dustin Molleken, Regina, Sask., free agent.
Herb Morell, Mississauga, Ont., Intercounty League statistican, official scorer at Rogers Centre; Peter Morris, East Lansing, Mich., historian/author; Greg Morrison, owner, Medicine Hat Mavericks; Adam Morissette, Baseball Canada; Morris Mott, Brandon, Man., chairman Manitoba Hall of Fame; Neil Munro, North Bay, Ont., Canada’s stat guru, Canadian Baseball Network; Leo Mui, Bluebird Banter; Mike Mutlow, Swift Current, Sask., president, Swift Current 57s; Aaron Myette, New Westminster, BC, Baseball Canada women’s coach.
Bill Neale, Collingwood, Ont., head coach Kansas Wesleyan University; Shawn Neale, Collingwood, Ont., assistant coach, West Texas A&M University; Scott Neiles, Winnipeg, Man., Home Run Sports; Nancy Newman, New York, Yankees Magazine, host, YES Network; Mike Nickeas, Vancouver, BC, assistant coach, hitting, Georgia Tech University; Danny Nucci, secretary/president Port Arthur National Little League, Thunder Bay Border Cats; Trevor Nyp, Kitchener, owner Playball Academy Kitchener, associate scout Nationals; Greg O’Halloran, coach, Ontario Terriers; Cory Olafson, Moose Jaw Sask., GM, Moose Jaw Miller Express; Ron Oneson, coach, London, Ont., Ontario Nationals; Santa Ono, Vancouver, BC, president, University of British Columbia
Peter Orr, pro scout, Brewers Garnet Pawliw, Surrey, BC, Cloverdale Nationals; James Parker, Toronto, Ont., area scout, Padres; Matt Pearson, Thunder Bay Ont., Sleeping Giant Brewery/Second Vice President, Thunder Bay Border Cats; Rob Pegg, Flesherton, Ont., coach, Vanguard University; Josue Peley, interpreter, Blue Jays organization; Curtis Pelletier, Victoria, BC, director of player development Victoria HarbourCats; Dave Perkins, Toronto, Ont., Prime Time Sports; Dr. Marc Philippon, Hamilton, Ont., Steadman Philippon Research Clinic, Vail, Col.
Marc Picard, Windsor, Ont., coach, Windsor Selects; John Picco, Windsor, Ont., GM/coach, Windsor Selects; RHP Nick Pivetta, Victoria, BC, Philliesl Jamie Pogue, bullpen catcher, St. Louis Cardinals; Dalton Pompey, Mississauga, Ont., Jays 40 man roster; Mark Polishuk, London, Ont., MLB Trade Rumors; Rye Pothakos, Saskatoon Sask., assistant director of recruiting, Regina Red Sox; Dr. Mike Prebeg, Toronto, Ont., Blue Jays physician; Adam Prendergast, Montreal, Que., assistant athletic director/communications director/official scorer Troy University Trojans; Elliott (no relation) Price, Montreal, Que., The Fan.
1B Kate Psota, Burlington, Ont., Team Canada women’s team; Terry Puhl, Melville, Sask. coach, University of Houston-Victoria; Dr. Keith Pyne, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., chairman, medical services advisory board, Nationals; Shawn Pynn, Brampton, Ont., head recruiting coach NCSA (Next College Student Athlete); Keith Radix, St. Albert, Alta., Mark Randall, director Vimy Ridge; Claude Raymond, Ste-Jean, Que., former Expo; Al Ready, London, Ont., assistant coach, University of Indianapolis; Jackie Redmond, Sportsnet, NHL Network, MLBNetwork; Darryl Reid, Oshawa, Ont., coach, Toronto Mets.
Morgan Reiter, Regina, Sask., Inside Pitch Baseball Academy; Jimmy Richardson, Mississauga, Ont., 18U coach Field House Pirates; Jeremy Reesor, Stouffville, Ont., analytics, Blue Jays; Federick Rioux, Aurora, Ont., minor league operations assistant, Seattle Mariners; Dave Robb, coach Lac La Biche, Alta. coach, Mesa Community College, Okotoks Dawgs Hall of Famer; Chris Robinson, Dorchester, Ont., director of operations, Great Lake Canadians; Randy Robles, Toronto, Elias Sports Bureau; OF Jacob Robson, Windsor, Ont. Triple-A Toledo Doug Rogers, co-owner, coach, Mid-Island Pirates; Melinda Rogers, Jays Care Foundation, Rogers Communications; Jamie Romak, London, Ont., SK Wyverns, Canadian Baseball Network offensive player of the year, foreign or indy ball; Prof. Mal Romanin, Burlington, Ont., former Blue Jays P.R.; RHP Jordan Romano, Markham, Ont. Triple A Buffalo/Rangers.
Ben Rosen, Thornhill, Ont., umpire, class-A New York Pen League; Jamie Ross, Sussex, NB, Globe and Mail; Jeff Ross, equipment manager, Blue Jays; Jasmin Roy, Quebec City, Que., Que., Jays scout; Jean-Philippe Roy, Quebec City, Que., scout Milwaukee Brewers; Linda Russell, CEO, OES Inc. scoreboards, London; Dennis Ryan, Hamilton, Ont. umpire, Baseball Ontario Hall of Famer; Nick Salahub, Nanaimo, BC., Vancouver Island Baseball Institute; Dustin Saracini, head of podcasts, Canadian Baseball Network, The Score.
Michael Saunders, Victoria, BC, free agent; Jesse Sawyer, Lethbridge, Alta., coach, Lethbridge Bulls/Prairie Baseball Academy; Pat Scalabrini, Sherbrooke, Que., manager, Quebec Capitales; Matthew Shuber, general counsel, Blue Jays; Trevor Schumm, Edmonton, Alta., international scout Pacific Rim, Europe, Latin American cross checker, Padres; Gladwyn Scott, Manitoba Hall of Fame, Carberry, Man.; Dr. Mark Scappaticci, Mississauaga, Ont., Blue Jays physician; Claudette Scrafford, Hawkesbury, Ont., manuscript archivist, Hall of Fame, Cooperstown; Larry Scully, East York, Ont., pitching coach, Bradley University.
Bill Shaikin, Montreal, Que., ball scribe, Los Angeles Times, Mike Shaw, Oakville, travelling secretary, Blue Jays; Meyer Shemtov, Barrie, Ont. scout, Colorado Rockies; Tony Siemens, Rosenort, Man., Baseball Manitoba; John Silverman, Montreal, equipment manager, Marlins; Marie-Pierre Simard, La Beauce, Que., co-owner Les Capitales de Québec; Matt Skirving, London, Ont., coordinator, amateur scouting, Pittsburgh Pirates; Annakin Slayd, hip-hop, rap, passionate Expos fan; Dr. Jason Smith, Toronto, Ont., Blue Jays head physician; Paul Solarski, Toronto, Ont., head coach, Polish National Team.
Ryan Snair, Margaret’s Bay, N.S., head coach, Sullivan County Community College; Bernie Soulliere, Windsor, Ont., chef de mission Team Canada, Baseball Ontario Hall of Famer; Chris Soulliere, Windsor, Ont., Windsor Selects; Matt Spatafora, Scarborough, Ont., assistant coach/recruiting coordinator, Niagara University; Tanner Spencer, Craik, Sask, pitching coach Minot State/Moose Jaw Miller Express; Marnie Starkman, Mississauga, Ont., vice-president, marketing, Blue Jays; Sammie Starr, Toronto, Ont., assistant coach, University of British Columbia; Mike Steed, Burlington, Ont., pitching coach, manager 17U, Ontario Blue Jays; Brandon Steele, London, Ont., assistant coach, Tusculum College; Dale Stevens, Dundas, Ont., longest-serving member, MLB.com; Andy Stewart, Oshawa, Ont., Toronto Mets.
John Stewart, Brighton, Ont., Co-ordinator ballpark and clubhouse operations, Vancouver Canadians; Andrew Stoeten, Torornto, Ont.; The Athletic; Charlie Strandlund, Victoria, BC, manager, Victoria Eagles; Andrew Swagers, director Father Mercredi Trappers Baseball Academy, Fort McMurray Alta.; Jim Swanson, Prince George, BC, Victoria HarbourCats; Jameson Taillon, The Woodlands, Tex., Pittsburgh Pirates; Patrick Tardif, Dieppe, NB, coach, Team New Brunswick; Dr. Ron Taylor, Leaside, Ont. physician emeritus Blue Jays; Wes Taylor, Port Coquitlam BC, Coquitlam Reds; Nichole and Mike Tevlin, Toronto, Ont., co-owners The Baseball Zone, Ontario Terriers; Dr. John Theodoropoulos, Toronto, Ont., Blue Jays physician; Jason Thomasen, Brooks, Alta., president, Brooks Bombers; DJ Lauren (LO) Thompson, Toronto, Ont., Bellosound.
Jordan Tiegs, Woodstock, Ont,, assistant coach Indiana State; Dale Tilleman, Tabor, Alta., scout Tigers/ High Performance Coordinator Alberta Baseball Tom Tippett, Boston, Mass., independent statistical analyst; Rene Tosoni, coach, Coquitlam Reds; David Tredgett, executive producer live events, Rogers Communications; Jean Tremblay, Quebec City, Que. co-owner Les Capitales de Québec; Pierre Tremblay, Quebec City, Que., co-owner Les Capitales de Québec; Randy Town, Calgary, Alta., associate director for athletic operations and director of physical education Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges; Tom Valcke, Stratford, Ont., coach, Team Hong Kong.
Dave Valente, Thunder Bay Ont., president/press box music man/technical guru, Thunder Bay Border Cats; Scott VandeValk, coach, Ontario Terriers; Jimmy Van Ostrand, Richmond, BC, director of player minor league character/leadership development coach, Mariners; Ben Van Iderstine, Regina, Sask., hitting instructor, Inside Pitch Academy; Gary Van Tol, Pincher Creek, Alta., coach, Boise State; Raul Verde Rios, Richmond, BC, Richmond City Chuckers; Melissa Verge, Titusville, NB, Canadian Baseball Network; Dan Vertlieb, Vancouver, BC, agent; Allison Vickers, Trillium Health Centre, Queensway Health Centre; Adnan Virk, Kingston, Ont., Baseball Tonight, ESPN.
Carson Vitale, Victoria, BC, minor league field coordinator, Mariners; Doug Walton, producer, Sportsnet; David (Mr. Bourne) Wall, Richmond Hill, Ont., Canadian Baseball Network/ CollegeBaseba12; Sean Wandler, Kamloops, BC, Kamloops RiverDogs; Tanner Watson, Arnprior, Ont. Watson Elite Academy, Rob Watt, Chemainus, BC, head coach, Mount Olive College; Gerry White, GM, North Delta Blue Jays, Cavanagh Whitely, Prince George BC, Douglas College; Matt Whipple, Fredericton, NB, umpire, rookie-class Gulf Coast League.
Rowan Wick, North Vancouver, BC, Cubs system, on 40-man roster; Justin Willard, Brampton, Ont., pitching coach class-A Cedar Rapids Kernels; Mark Wilson, Delta, BC, Nettex netting; Charlie Wilson, director, minor league operations, Blue Jays; Nigel Wilson, Ajax, Ont., Competitive Edge, Ontario Yankees; Robert Witchel, Toronto, Ont., executive director, Jays Care Foundation; Joe Wiwchar, Morden, Man., museum administrative manager, Manitoba Hall of Fame; Greg Wolfe, Edmonton, Alta., New Zealand Baseball Federation development officer; 3B Eric Wood, Pickering, Ont., Taiwan; Fred Wray, Calgary, Alta. Independent Sports & Entertainment agent.
Andrew Wright, Woodstock, N.B., head coach, University of Charleston; Bill Young, Hudson, Que., co-author Ecstasy to Agony: The 1994 Montreal Expos; Bill Yuill, Medicine Hat, owner, Medford Rogues, West Coast summer league; LHP Rob Zastryzny, Edmonton, Alta., Cubs; Murray Zuk, Souris, Man. scout, Padres; Dan Zhou, Niagara Falls, Ont., director of international affairs, Fergie Jenkins Showcase League; Fred Zinkie, Newcastle, Ont., fantasy exper; Arden Zwelling, Sportsnet;
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Previous most Influential Canadians in baseball:
2018 Larry Walker
2017: Joey Votto
2016: Joey Votto
2015: Alex Anthopoulos.
2014: Edward Rogers
2013: Blue Jays fans
2012: Paul Beeston
2011: Greg Hamilton
2010: Joey Votto
2009: Paul Beeston
2008: Paul Beeston
2007: Paul Godfrey, Greg Hamilton