After being educated in Guelph and St. Davids, George Sleeman became the general manager of his father’s Silver Creek Brewery at age 18. Just six years later, he was a partner, and by 1868, the enterprising 27-year-old owned the company. Sleeman was also passionate about baseball, pitching for the Guelph Maple Leafs in 1863. In 1869, his Leafs squad captured the Canadian championship, downing teams from Ingersoll and Woodstock in a three-day competition.
Already the chief financial backer of the Leafs, Sleeman was named president of the club in 1874 and became one of the first Canadian managers to import American players. It was a strategy that worked: his club was victorious in a tournament tabbed as “the non-professional championship of the world” in Watertown, New York in 1874.
Ron Hayter has been a player, coach, manager, executive and organizer of Canadian and international baseball for close to 50 years. Born in Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, he played in Northern Saskatchewan and British Columbia before taking charge of Baseball Alberta in 1968. The passionate sportsman revived the struggling provincial body and tripled the number of registered teams in just three years, before stepping down in 1971.
He would later serve Baseball Canada in various capacities, from developing the first Canadian rulebook to organizing the inaugural national championships. He also represented Canada with the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) for 18 years, sitting on the legal and technical commissions, and receiving the IBAF’s President’s Award in 1990.
Son of Montreal Maroons hockey star, Jimmy Ward, Pete Ward was born in Montreal, before moving to Portland, Oregon when he was eight years old. In 1958, the Baltimore Orioles signed him and he toiled in Vancouver during his first professional season.
After five seasons in the minors, the talented Canuck made his big league debut with the Orioles on September 21, 1962. In his first at bat, he hit a two-run single against the Twins. During that off-season, Ward was traded to the Chicago White Sox in a blockbuster deal that would bring Luis Aparicio to Baltimore. In his inaugural campaign in the Windy City, he was transformed into a third baseman. In 157 games that season, he hit .295, socked 22 home runs and finished second in the American League to Carl Yastrzemski in hits. He was named The Sporting News American League Rookie of the Year for his efforts.
An All-American outfielder when the Blue Jays selected him the 1978 amateur draft, Dave Stieb would evolve into the most successful pitcher in franchise history. With his focus solely on the mound, Stieb rocketed through the Jays system and made his big league debut on June 29, 1979.
After winning 17 games and setting club records by tossing 288.1 innings, 19 complete games and five shutouts, Stieb was named The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year in 1982. The intense righty would top the American League in innings (267) again in 1984, en route to a 16-8 season. Embracing his role as ace on the Jays’ first division-winning squad in 1985, Stieb topped the American League with 2.48 ERA and started three games in the American League Championship Series. He would follow that up with three more seasons of 15 or more wins.
George “Moon” Gibson was a standout catcher on his hometown London squad in the 1901 Canadian League, before he inked a deal with the Eastern League’s Montreal Royals in 1904. In the middle of the 1905 campaign, the Pittsburgh Pirates purchased the rights to Gibson from the Royals.
The rifle-armed catcher would play 12 seasons in Steel Town and evolve into one of baseball’s most reliable defensive backstops. In 1909, he caught 133 consecutive games (then a major league record) and led the league in fielding percentage and putouts. Gibson would also limit Ty Cobb to two stolen bases in his team’s World Series upset of the Detroit Tigers that season.
With his 6-foot-5 frame making him one of the tallest catchers in big league history, Larry McLean toiled for parts of 13 seasons in the majors. Dubbed “Larry” due to his physical resemblance to Larry “Nap” Lajoie, the young Maritmer moved to the Boston area with his family when he was a child, but returned to his native country to begin his pro career. McLean would suit up for semi-pro squads in St. John and Fredericton, prior to making his big league debut with Boston in 1901. After just nine games in Beantown, however, McLean was released and soon resurfaced with the Halifax Resolutes.
He competed in one contest with the Chicago Cubs in 1903 and 27 more with the St. Louis Cardinals the following campaign, before returning to the minors. His .355 batting average with the Pacific Coast League’s Portland Beavers in 1906 earned him another big league opportunity with the Cincinnati Reds. It was in the Queen City that “Big Larry” would enjoy his greatest big league success, hitting .289 and knocking in 54 runs in 1907, prior to delivering a career-best .298 batting average and 71 RBIs in 1910.
Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum 2020 Baseball Survey
July 14, 2020 Baseball is back – almost – and Canadians have a lot to say about what they love about the game, their favourite teams, players and memories…and what they think needs to change!
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and
Museum / IMI International baseball survey polled 904 adults across Canada from June
18 to June 30, 2020. 91% of
respondents classified themselves as “passionate” fans of the game.
As baseball looks to return to action in
the coming weeks, Canadians have some interesting perspectives on what they
love, what works and what needs to change about baseball. One consistent theme is a passion for the
sport and the pure enjoyment of some memorable moments.
“We were very pleased
to be able to partner with IMI International to complete our 2020 survey,” said
Jeremy Diamond, Chair of the CBHFM Board of Directors. “At the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and
Museum, our mission is to champion education, respect, diversity and healthy
lifestyles across generations through the power of baseball. The survey provides some interesting insights
into baseball in Canada we hope it sparks further conversations. Like all fans of baseball, we are excited to
see baseball return!”
Among the results of our survey:
Toronto Blue Jays truly are Canada’s team, with 81% of respondents across the
country choosing them as their favourite. The Detroit Tigers were a very
Carter’s walk-off home run to win the 1993 World Series is the all-time
favourite moment in Canadian baseball across all ages of those surveyed; but
for respondents under 40, Jose Bautista’s Bat Flip homer in the 2015 ALDS is a
was voted Canada’s top baseball mascot with 46% of respondents choosing him.
28% chose B.J. Birdie, the original Blue Jays’ mascot. Interestingly, the Jays’
current mascot, Ace, ranked first in the voting among female respondents.
of Dreams is respondents’ favourite baseball movie, finishing ahead of Bull
Durham and Moneyball, with A League Of Their Own and Major League tied for
hot dogs were voted the go-to ballpark food/beverage with beer a close second!
chose Roy Halladay and Roberto Alomar as the best Blue Jays’ pitcher and
position player of all-time. Pedro Martinez and Vladimir Guerrero, Sr. won
those titles for the Expos – and they’re all honoured members of the Canadian
Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum!
Martin was voted the top Canadian-born Blue Jay ever, ahead of Hall of Famers
Matt Stairs and Paul Quantrill.
of respondents attend 5 games or fewer per season, but 68%
say one of the things they
miss most about baseball is being able to watch games on TV.
that the DH being universal is one of the top things they’d like to see changed
about the game, with 15% wanting the DH eliminated; while 24% want to get rid
of replay review and 15% want to expand it.
chance to see a perfect game was at the top of list of baseball events to see
in person, but when asked if they could do anything they wanted, sitting in the
dugout for a big-league game was the #1 answer.
asked how they feel about the length of Major League Baseball games, 51% of
respondents said that the games take too long.
These are just a few of the findings! Based on the survey results, 51% of respondents go out of their way to ensure they have free time to watch/ record/ listen to baseball.
For additional information, interviews or quotations please contact:
Jeremy Diamond, Chair, Board of Directors, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 416-722-9754
Scott Crawford, director of Operations, Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Email: email@example.com Cell: 226-927-6853
About the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum serves as the home of Canada’s rich baseball history. Established in 1982, our museum, located in St. Marys, Ontario, is a registered charity with a vast collection of artifacts that date back to the 1860s. The Hall of Fame and Museum is situated on our 32-acre site, that also houses the Harry Simmons Memorial Library, four baseball fields and walking trails. We strive to not only educate our visitors and supporters but also champion a culture that prioritizes respect, diversity and a healthy lifestyle. Our 133 inductees range from World Series-winning players to pioneering grassroots executives, and each of their unique and inspiring stories are highlighted in our museum. Each year, we also honour the top Canadian player with our James Tip O’Neill Award, as well as present our Jack Graney Award, to a media member who has made significant contributions to baseball in Canada through their life’s work. At our core, we exist to ensure that Canadians and visitors to Canada value baseball and are able to benefit from the important life lessons the sport can teach. We strive to contribute positively to our community, our province and our country and to economic development at each of those levels. For more information visit: http://baseballhalloffame.ca/
About IMI International
IMI International is an independent marketing consultancy focused on insight driving profit. With 50 years of experience and offices on four continents, IMI serves 150+ partners across multiple industries to optimize marketing spend effectiveness. IMI is recognized as an industry leader in offering its partners fact-based thought leadership, 24/7 accessible insight platforms and custom solutions. For more information visit: https://www.consultimi.com/
Neal Covant, VP, Client Services, North America O. 416-440-0310 x 343 M. 416-671-1211
Membership 2021 – value $110
Autographed Fergie Jenkins baseball bat
– value $100
Autographed limited edition Matt Stairs
induction bat – value $70
Autographed Pat Hentgen baseball – value
Baseball readers 5 book gift pack – value
Family Museum Pass – expires August 31,
2022 – value $35
Andre Dawson was a standout at Florida A&M University when he was spotted by Montreal Expos scout, Bill Adair, who would convince his employers to select the Miami native in the 11thround of the 1975 amateur draft. After minor league stints in Lethbridge, Quebec City and Denver, Dawson would make his big league debut on September 11, 1976. The following year, he would hit .282 and belt 19 home runs, earning himself National League Rookie of the Years honours.
Over his next nine seasons with the Expos, the five-tool outfielder evolved into the best all-around player in franchise history. In Dawson’s successful tenure in Montreal, he was selected to three all-star teams, won three Silver Slugger Awards and captured six Gold Gloves. The quiet Expos leader was also named The Sporting News Player of the Year in 1981. In his 11 seasons in Montreal, Dawson accumulated 225 home runs, 838 RBIs and 2,679 total bases – all numbers that rank second in franchise history. For his efforts, his No. 10 was retired by the club in 1997.
After two seasons as an outfielder in the Milwaukee Braves organization in 1964 and 1965, Toronto native Jim Ridley returned to Canada where he would have a significant impact on baseball in his home country for the next four decades.
While continuing his playing career in the Intercounty Baseball League – where he was named league MVP with Stratford Hillers in 1974 – Ridley launched his storied coaching and scouting career. He began as a part-time scout with the Detroit Tigers in 1973, before joining the Toronto Blue Jays in 1976 to run the club’s first tryout camp in Utica, N.Y. In his 26 years as a scout with the Blue Jays, Ridley was the driving force behind the club’s decisions to sign Canadians like Paul Spoljaric, Rob Butler and David Corrente. He also served as a coach with the Blue Jays’ rookie-level affiliate in Medicine Hat from 1978 to 1980.
The Houston Astros offered Terry Puhl a contract after he led his hometown midget squad to a Canadian championship in 1973. The fleet-footed youngster would report to Houston’s rookie league club in Covington, Virginia, in 1974, where he would hit .284 and cement his status as a bona fide prospect.
Just five days after his 21st birthday, the wide-eyed Saskatchewan native would start his first big league game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. So nervous he was shaking, Puhl would overcome his jitters to record his first hit and score the game-winning run. He would go on to hit .301 in 60 games that season and win himself a starting role in 1978.