Though his father was a professional hockey player, Kirk McCaskill opted for a career in baseball after starring in both sports at the University of Vermont. A finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, as the top U.S. college player, McCaskill was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the 4th round of the 1981 draft. The high scoring forward suited up with the American Hockey League’s Sherbrooke Jets for the 1983-84 campaign, before concentrating solely on a baseball career.
Drafted by the California Angels in 1982, McCaskill made his major league debut against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 1, 1985. With 12 wins and six complete games in his first season, McCaskill proved to be a bona fide big league pitcher. He would follow that up with his best season in 1986, recording 17 wins, 202 strikeouts and 3.36 ERA. More importantly, he helped lead the Angels to a berth in the American League Championship Series, where he would start two games.
Signed out of high school by the Montreal Expos in 1972, Gary Carter spent 17 years with the franchise, including three seasons in the minors, 11 in the majors and three as a broadcaster. Nicknamed “The Kid” for his boyish enthusiasm for the game, Carter belted 220 home runs as an Expo (3rd on the Expos all-time list) in 1,502 games with the club (2nd on the Expos all-time list), and was named the team’s Player of the Year four times.
In all, the popular catcher participated in 11 all-star games, won three Gold Gloves and five Silver Slugger Awards. The two-time All-Star Game MVP (1981,1984) also holds the National League record for most games caught (2,056).
Recommended to scout Cy Williams by Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Prentice, John Hiller inked a deal with the Detroit Tigers in 1962. After serving primarily as a starting pitcher in the minors, the Canadian southpaw established himself as a reliable reliever with the Tigers from 1967 to 1970, posting a 3.00 ERA over that four-season span and contributing the club’s 1968 World Championship.
In January 1971, Hiller, just 27 at the time, would suffer a massive heart attack. Doctors told him he would never pitch again, but the stubborn Canuck was determined to return. His hard work would finally pay off when he was cleared to return to the mound in June 1972. Any lingering questions about his stamina were laid to rest in 1973 when he pitched in 65 games, notched 10 wins, posted a miniscule 1.44 ERA and recorded 38 saves (a major league record at the time). For what is still recognized as one of the greatest seasons ever by a relief pitcher, Hiller was named American League Fireman of the Year and finished fourth in both the Cy Young and MVP voting.
What were you doing on April 8, 1969? Many Canadians were focused on an event in New York City, as the brand-new Montreal Expos were playing their first game against what would become the world champion Miracle Mets later that season.
Hope flowed across Canada as Tom Seaver lasted just five
innings against the expansion Expos. Montreal won 11-10 thanks in part to
a three-run homer by third baseman Jose “Coco” Laboy. It was
Laboy’s first major league game after a decade in the minors.
Unlike most players plucked from the scrap heap known as
the expansion draft, Laboy put up solid numbers in ’69, with 18 HR and a
team-leading 29 doubles and 83 RBI. The Puerto Rico native tied for
second in Rookie of the Year balloting, but the popular infielder crashed to
.199 with 5 HR and 53 RBI in 1970. Knee problems limited Laboy’s playing
time through his final season in 1973.
Reality struck with a 1-4 record in the next five
road contests before the Expos played the first major league game in Canada on
April 14 against the Cardinals. An Opening Day crowd of 29,184 piled into
Jarry Park, which had a listed capacity of 28,456.
Montreal won 8-7 despite five errors and five unearned
runs. Lefty Dan McGinn earned the victory in relief with 5.1 innings of
shutout pitching. He proved to be the bullpen workhorse of the first-year
Expos, appearing in 74 games and 132.1 IP with a 7-10 record, 3.94 ERA and six
saves. It took two hours and 16 minutes to complete the high-scoring
The real fun came on April 17 when Bill Stoneman tossed a
no-hitter against the Phillies. It was just the ninth game in Expos
history and the team’s third home game. The 7-0 triumph was witnessed by
a crowd of 6496, which wasn’t an unusually low number for an early season
weeknight game in Montreal. It was a typical Stoneman performance with
eight strikeouts and five walks.
How much have baseball economics changed in a half
century? Expos management gave Stoneman a $2000 raise on his $15,000
contract (the major league minimum salary was $10,000) for the no-no, and
Renault rewarded the right-hander with one of their economy cars. Stoneman
tossed a second no-hitter against the Mets on October 2, 1972 against the Mets
at Parc Jarry.
After beginning with an 11-17 record, the Expos
were outscored 125-49 during a 20-game losing streak that dragged on from May
13 to June 7. The number of explosive tirades launched during the 25-day
string of losses by perpetually intense manager Gene Mauch wasn’t
recorded. A four-game winning streak from September 12-15 was
Montreal’s longest run of success.
Talent is a scarce commodity for new teams, but the Expos
had an All-Star caliber position player and some help from the supporting
cast. Outfielder Rusty Staub was acquired in a trade with the Astros in
February, 1969, and he immediately became a fan favourite.
Le Grand Orange hit .302 with 29 HR and 79
RBI. Opposing pitchers often worked around the left-handed slugger, as
Staub’s 110 walks were third in the National League. Rusty’s .426 on-base
percentage and .952 on-base plus slugging ranked fourth in the NL.
In addition to his performance on the field, Staub
endeared himself to Expos fans by taking French lessons along with living
year-round in Montreal and working diligently to promote the team. The
future restaurant owner’s serious interest in food and wine certainly didn’t
hurt in a French-dominated culture.
Expansion draft pick Mack Jones lived up to his slugging
reputaion by launching 22 homers with 79 RBI and a .270 average.
Shortstop Maury Wills and line-drive machine Manny Mota were traded to the
Dodgers for Ron Fairly on June 11, and he supplied offensive production (12
HR/39 RBI/.293 in 253 AB) and steady defense and first base and in the
outfield. Bob Bailey was another productive bat, as he hit .265 with 9 HR
and 53 RBI in 358 AB.
Pitching proved to be the biggest problem for Mauch’s
Expos. Stoneman (11-19, 4.39 ERA) was the only hurler with more than
seven wins. Fellow starters Jerry Robertson and Mike Wegener went 5-16
and 5-14 respectively. A major league worst 702 walks (the NL average was
533) was a significant factor in the team’s 4.35 ERA. It’s all too easy
to imagine Mauch reciting his saying “Most one-run games are lost, not
won” as wild Expos pitchers repeatedly put opposing runners on base with
Elroy Face was the exception to the general lack of
control. The 41-year old reliever surrendered just 15 walks in 59.1
innings and went 4-2 with a 3.94 ERA and five saves. It was the final
season for the 5’8″ forkball specialist.
A late season deal did more than provide another arm in
the bullpen. The Expos purchased Claude Raymond from the Braves on August
19. Was the trade a disappointment, as Raymond was going from the team
that would win the National League West to a struggling first-year expansion
It was the happiest moment in Raymond’s lengthy (1959 to
1971) major league career. The native of Saint-John-sur-Richelieu, Quebec
(just 40 kilometres southeast of Montreal) became an instant local favourite
and the first Canadian to play for the Expos.
He made 15 late season relief appearances in 1969, and
number 16 came through with a career-high 23 saves for the Expos in 1970.
Raymond then became the franchise’s French-language voice on radio and TV from
1973 to 2001. The right-hander was inducted into the Canadian
Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.
So why didn’t management shake up the roster more than
they did and send the underachievers packing? Montreal may have had the
skimpiest farm system of the post-World War II era. The Expos shared the
Class AAA Vancouver Mounties with the Seattle Pilots, which means there were
roughly a dozen potential call-ups (many not worthy of a shot at the majors)
under team control.
Ironically, the Vancouver arrangement was much more
convenient for the Americans than the Canadians. Seattle is just 225
kilometres south of the British Columbia city, and the Pilots frequently
shuffled their roster. With Montreal located nearly 3700 kilometres and
three time zones east of Vancouver, calling up marginal talent could be
anything but cost effective.
Aside from the few bodies in Vancouver, the rest of the
farm system consisted of the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Expos and the West
Palm Beach Expos of the Class A Florida State League. West Palm Beach
offered little hope of a brighter future, as the team scored a mere 392 runs in
131 games (2.99 per game) while hitting just 81 doubles and 15 HR with a .211
Even the most extreme optimist doesn’t expect a
first-year expansion squad to contend for the pennant, but that didn’t stop
Expos fans from turning out in solid numbers. The paid attendance of
1,212,608 far exceeded the other expansion teams of that year. The Kansas
City Royals drew 902,818, while a ticket count of just 677,944 help doom the
one-year Seattle Pilots to bankruptcy and a move to Milwaukee. The San
Diego Padres had a dismal attendance of 512,970, which means the Expos outdrew
the Pilots and Padres combined.
No-frills Jarry Park had zero amenities, as none of the
seats were covered by a roof or provided any protection from the elements. The
proper name for the facility is Jarry Park Stadium (Stade Parc Jarry), as it is
located in Montreal’s spacious Parc Jarry.
A domed stadium was one of the conditions for Montreal’s
entry to the National League, with 1972 as the original deadline for the new
ballpark. Strikes and other delays kept the Expos in Jarry Park through
the 1976 season. While Jarry had its drawbacks such as the sun setting in
the first baseman’s eyes during early and late season games, many fans found
Olympic Stadium to be a less than ideal setting for baseball.
Putting a team in French-speaking Quebec was a
radical departure from the tired “We’ve always done it that way”
mentality that was pervasive in baseball in the 1960s. The province’s
residents displayed their sincere enthusiasm with attendance that was out of
proportion to the meager results produced by the 1969 roster.
Although the Expos moved to Washington, D.C.
following the 2004 season, Montreal is among the top cities when future major
league expansion to 32 teams is discussed. Quebec baseball enthusiasts
surely hope for a second chance.
Born in Fort William, Ontario, Jeff Heath moved with his family to Victoria, B.C., when he was a year old. Heath would blossom into a top power-hitting prospect and was signed by the Cleveland Indians. His .383 batting average and 187 RBIs with the Tribe’s minor league affiliate in Zanesville in 1936 reinforced his blue chip status and earned the young Canuck a big league promotion that September.
In his major league debut on September 13, 1936, Heath was upstaged by future roommate, Bob Feller, who would strike out 17 batters that same game. The 1938 season was Heath’s breakout campaign. That year, he finished second in the American League batting race (.343) and recorded 21 homers, 112 RBIs and a league-leading 18 triples.
Daniel Joseph Staub, born April 1, 1944 in New Orleans, LA, and nicknamed “Rusty” for his red hair, was affectionately known as “Le Grand Orange” to Expos fans for the same reason. Staub wore the Expos uniform in three of his six All-Star games, in 1969, 1970 and 1971. He also toiled for the Expos in 1979. The left-handed slugger played a total of 518 games for the Expos, amassing 531 hits, 81 homeruns, 284 RBI, 24 stolen bases, and compiling a fourth best all-time .295 batting average, a .402 on-base percentage (1st), a .497 slugging percentage (2nd) and an .899 OPS (2nd). His attempts to learn the French language and his charitable work off the field endeared him to the French-Canadian fans, as did his play on the field. His uniform number (10) was first jersey ever retired by the Expos. In 1972, Expos traded Staub to the Mets for Ken Singleton, Tim Foli, and Mike Jorgenson, a trio that flourished with the Expos for years to follow.
Dick Fowler was a lanky, golden-armed 18-year-old when he dazzled the Toronto Maple Leafs brass at training camp in 1939. The local sensation would debut for his hometown squad in 1940, and Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics would purchase his contract later that same year.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum 23rd Annual Celebrity Golf Classic and Banquet on Friday, June 14 is 70% sold out! Don’t miss out on your opportunity for a great day of golf, while supporting a great cause. This is a first rate event that you will always remember with fondness in future years. Thank you to all golfers who have supported us over the past 22 years in raising funds and recognition for this national entity.
tournament provides an excellent opportunity for you to join three friends on
the golf course with one of our invited celebrities.
2019 celebrities so far are:
2019 inductees: Jason Bay, Ryan Dempster, Rob Thomson and Gord Ash
Hall of Famers: Fergie Jenkins, Pat Hentgen, Steve Rogers, Allan Simpson, Murray Cook, Bill Humber, Ray Carter, Doug Melvin, Jeff Francis, Tim Leiper, Howard Starkman
Former MLB’ers: Larry Landreth, Greg O’Halloran, Pierre-Luc LaForest, Jesse Litsch, Billy Atkinson, John Upham
Former NHL’ers: Dennis Maruk, Merlin Malinowski and Mark Bell
TV personalities: Lindsay Hamilton
can count on a great round of golf, sharing good times with your friends and
the celebrities, and having some good old-fashioned fun. The tournament will
again be a Shotgun start Texas Scramble format.
investment of $1500 which includes entry for four golfers, continental
breakfast, lunch, dinner banquet, hole signage and gift bag. If you
cannot make the tournament but wish to register your company as a Hole Sponsor
for $350, please let us know. Individuals may also register for $300 which
includes the banquet and we will slot you in a foursome. Banquet only tickets
are $80 each.
goal is to raise $30,000 through this event to further enhance our future
the years, participants in our Celebrity Golf Tournament have always commented
on the quality of the prizes. We are committed to seeing that this tradition
continues. Your participation in the donation of prizes as well as hole
sponsorship would be greatly appreciated. If, by chance, you cannot attend the
tournament, perhaps you could help by donating a prize or sponsoring a hole.
tournoi de golf annuel des célébrités et banquet
Déjà 70 % des billets du 23e tournoi de golf des célébrités et banquet du Temple de la renommée et musée du baseball canadien qui aura lieu le vendredi 14 juin sont vendus! Ne manquez pas cette chance unique de jouer au golf tout en soutenant une bonne cause. Il s’agit d’un événement unique en son genre dont vous vous rappellerez le restant de vos jours. Merci aux golfeurs qui ont participé au tournoi au cours des 22 années précédentes et qui nous ont aidé à recueillir des fonds pour notre musée.
Voilà une opportunité en or de jouer au
golf avec trois de vos amis et l’une des célébrités invitées.
les invités au tournoi 2019 sont :
Intronisés 2019 :
Jason Bay, Ryan Dempster, Rob Thomson et Gord Ash
Membres : Fergie Jenkins, Pat Hentgen, Steve
Rogers, Allan Simpson, Murray Cook, Bill Humber, Ray Carter, Doug Melvin, Jeff
Francis, Tim Leiper et Howard Starkman
Anciens joueurs de la MLB : Billy Atkinson, Pierre-Luc LaForest, Jesse Litsch, Larry Landreth et Greg O’Halloran
Anciens joueurs de la LNH : Dennis Maruk, Merlin Malinowski et Mark Bell
Attendez-vous à une excellente ronde de
golf au cours de laquelle vous passerez du bon temps avec vos amis et nos
célébrités et où vous vous rappellerez de bons souvenirs. Le tournoi se jouera
sous la formule Shotgun Texas Scrumble.
Pour réserver votre quatuor, le coût est de
1500 $ pour le groupe et comprend un déjeuner continental, le dîner, le repas au
banquet, une affiche avec le nom de votre compagnie au tertre de départ et un
sac cadeau. Votre compagnie peut également commanditer un trou pour 350 $. Pour
une inscription individuelle, les frais sont de 300 $ et incluent également le
repas au banquet. L’organisation vous assignera un quatuor. Les billets pour le
banquet seulement sont de 80 $.
L’objectif est d’amasser 30 000 $ avec
cet événement afin de concrétiser nos plans futurs.
Au cours des années, les participants au
tournoi des célébrités ont toujours apprécié la qualité des prix et des
cadeaux. Nous nous assurerons que cette tradition se poursuive. Votre
participation à ce chapitre, tout comme la commandite d’un trou, est la
bienvenue et très appréciée. Si, par hasard, vous ne pouvez prendre part au
tournoi, peut-être pourrez-vous contribuer par un cadeau ou une commandite.
Pour plus d’informations sur le Temple de
la renommée et musée du baseball canadien et notre tournoi de golf des
célébrités, communiquez avec nous au 519 284-1838 ou par courriel au
Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame to showcase
Expos artifacts in Montreal
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame will be showcasing historic Montreal Expos artifacts at Olympic Stadium during the Toronto Blue Jays’ exhibition games against the Milwaukee Brewers on March 25 and 26.
“We’re very excited to
be bringing these artifacts back to the city to share with Montreal baseball
fans,” said Scott Crawford, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s director of operations.
“Montreal has a rich baseball history and the story of it will be featured
prominently in our newly renovated museum that will re-open this spring.”
The Hall’s display,
which will be on the concourse level of the stadium, will include the Pearson
Cup. This trophy was named after Canadian Prime Minister and baseball fan
Lester B. Pearson and was awarded to the winner of an annual exhibition game
between the Blue Jays and Expos that took place from 1978 to 1986.
Also on display will
be Mark Grudzielanek’s Expos jersey from the first interleague game played
between the Blue Jays and the Expos. That contest was staged at the Rogers
Centre in Toronto on June 30, 1997 and Grudzielanek was the first player to
walk to the plate.
Fans will also have the opportunity to view a game-used ball from Lachine, Que., native Denis Boucher’s start at Olympic Stadium on September 6, 1993 that was caught by fellow Canadian Joe Siddall (Windsor, Ont.). This game represented the first time the Expos had fielded an all-Canadian battery in the same game. The batting gloves that Pete Rose wore, as a Montreal Expo on April 13, 1984, when he recorded his 4,000th major league hit will also be displayed.
The Hall’s exhibit
will also feature game-used items from Expos legends and Canadian Baseball Hall
of Fame inductees Pedro Martinez, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, Tim Raines,
Vladimir Guerrero, Rusty Staub, Tim Wallach and Steve Rogers, as well as from
Canadians Larry Walker, Matt Stairs and Rheal Cormier.
the rich history of the Montreal Royals will also be on display. Baseball
immortals Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Duke Snider, Tommy Lasorda, Sparky
Anderson, Roy Campanella and Dick Williams all honed their skills with this
International League franchise prior to their legendary big league careers.
The Canadian Baseball
Hall of Fame will also be attending ExposFest on Sunday. This is a fundraiser organized by Perry Giannias that will see proceeds
go to the Kat D DIPG Foundation and the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Larry
Walker, Steve Rogers, Felipe Alou, Dennis Martinez and Claude Raymond will be guests
at the event.
“I’ve been fortunate to meet many passionate Montreal baseball fans over the years and I’m looking forward to meeting more in their home city at ExposFest and at Olympic Stadium,” said Crawford.
Temple de la renommée et musée du baseball canadien à Montréal
St-Marys, Ontario – Le Temple de la
renommée et musée du baseball canadien exposera des objets souvenirs de
l’histoire des Expos de Montréal lors des matchs hors-concours des Blue Jays de
Toronto contre les Brewers de Milwaukee présentés au Stade olympique lundi et
« Nous avons vraiment hâte de
retourner à Montréal avec ces différents artefacts afin de les partager avec
les partisans montréalais, a dit Scott Crawford, le directeur des opérations du
Temple. Montréal a une riche histoire de baseball et elle sera racontée comme
il se doit dans notre nouveau musée fraîchement rénové qui ouvrira ce
L’exposition, qui prendra place au niveau
100, présentera entre autres la Coupe Pearson. Ce trophée, nommé en l’honneur
de l’ancien Premier ministre et grand amateur de baseball Lester B. Pearson,
était remis à l’équipe gagnante du match hors-concours annuel présenté entre
les Expos et les Blue Jays de 1978 à 1986.
Les amateurs pourront également voir le
chandail porté par Mark Grudzielanek lors du tout premier match inter-ligue
disputé entre les Expos et les Jays. Cette rencontre a eu lieu le 30 juin 1997
au Rogers Center de Toronto. « Grudz » était le premier frappeur à se
présenter à la plaque.
Il sera également possible de voir une balle de match utilisée par le Québécois Denis Boucher (Lachine, QC) et son receveur, le Canadien Joe Siddall (Windsor, ON), lors du match du 6 septembre 1993 au Stade olympique. C’était alors la première fois que les Expos alignaient une batterie défensive toute canadienne. Nous aurons aussi la paire de gants qu’avait Pete Rose, alors dans l’uniforme des Expos, lorsqu’il a frappé son 4000e coup sûr dans les Majeures le 13 avril 1984.
L’exposition comprendra également des
objets venant de d’autres légendes des Expos intronisés au Temple de la
renommée du baseball canadien Pedro Martinez, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, Tim
Raines, Vladimir Guerrero, Rusty Staub, Tim Wallach et Steve Rogers et les
Canadiens Larry Walker, Matt Stairs et Rhéal Cormier.
Nous soulignerons également l’histoire des
Royaux de Montréal. Rappelons que les immortels Jackie Robinson, Roberto
Clemente, Duke Snider, Tommy Lasorda, Sparky Anderson, Roy Campanella et Dick
Williams ont peaufiné leurs habiletés à Montréal avant d’entreprendre leur
fructueuse carrière dans les Majeures.
Le Temple sera également présent à
l’événement ExposFest dimanche. Ce banquet-bénéfice, organisé par Perry Giannias
au profit de la fondation Kat D DIPG et l’Hôpital de Montréal pour enfants
accueillera les membres intronisés au Temple de la renommée du baseball
canadien Larry Walker, Steve Rogers, Felipe Alou, Dennis Martinez et Claude
« J’ai été honoré de rencontrer
plusieurs amateurs de baseball montréalais passionnés au cours des années et
j’ai hâte d’en rencontrer encore plus chez eux, à l’ExposFest et au Stade
olympique », a conclu Crawford.
Toronto Blue Jays Honda Instructional Clinic at the Hall of Fame in St. Marys on May 4
The Blue Jays Baseball Academy is proud to announce their Honda Instructional Clinic schedule for 2019. Blue Jays Honda Instructional Clinics will be taking place in St. Marys on Saturday, May 4 from 3pm to 7pm at the Hall of Fame. Registration is open for boys and girls aged 8 to 14 and the fee is only $55 plus HST. The Blue Jays Baseball Academy is aware of the need for local associations to raise funds to offset some of the rising costs they are experiencing. Therefore the host association will receive $25 per registration, after the first 25 registrations.
During the four hour
clinic, players will rotate through drills that will work on fundamental
baseball skills such as hitting, throwing, fielding, pitching, and baserunning. Also,
each Blue Jays Honda Instructional Clinic participant will receive a Blue Jays
hat, T-shirt and baseball manual.
Register now for the St. Marys Blue Jays Honda Instructional Clinic being held at the Hall of Fame on Saturday, May 4 at the Hall of Fame (386 Church St. S.). Parents are welcome to stay and watch or assist with the clinic.