Allan Simpson

Allan SimpsonNom de famille : Allan Simpson
Elected: February 7, 2011
Induction: 18 juin 2011
Born (date, year, place): le 21 avril 1948 à Kelowna (C.-B)
Position : Fondateur et éditeur de Baseball America

Baseball America’s motto is “Baseball news you can’t find anywhere else.”  The same can be said about its founder, as he is absolutely one-of-a-kind.  A public accountant and baseball junkie, Simpson had briefly dipped his toes in baseball industry waters as general manager of the Lethbridge Expos in the rookie-level Pioneer League, and he spent three summers with the semi-pro Alaska Goldpanners, during which time he doubled as sports editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

« J’ai été assez chanceux de voir Dave Winfield devenir un joueur à temps plein avec Fairbanks en 1972 et Andrew Dawson faire ses débuts professionnels à Lethbridge trois ans plus tard », se rappelle Simpson de son domicile de Durham en Caroline du Nord.

When The Sporting News ignored the growth of college baseball, and reduced its baseball coverage of the minor leagues, winter and summer leagues, the draft, the ambitious but admittedly naive Simpson, decided to step in and fill the void.  He had no publishing background, limited financial resources, and few active contacts in baseball.  Yet he believed he could produce a bi-weekly publication covering every corner of the baseball industry while doubling up as circulation manager, advertising manager and production manager, out of his garage, in Canada no less.

Le récipiendaire du prix Jack Graney en 2004 a alors déménagé sa famille à White Rock (C.-B.) et a ouvert des boîtes postales à Blaine et à Bellingham dans l’état de Washington.

“I had to do everything I could to give readers the impression this was a USA-based publication.  Otherwise, it was akin to starting a hockey publication in the U.S. – it wouldn’t have worked if readers thought it was a Canadian product,” added Simpson.

“I had none of today’s sophisticated word-processing and production capabilities. My garage in White Rock was equipped with a typesetter so primitive that it had no memory.  You could see the line you were typing on the screen and nothing more.  If the processor ate your copy, it was gone.”

Au départ, Simpson avait 1500 abonnés. 30 ans plus tard, on en compte près de 250 000.

Pat Gillick, intronisé au Temple de la renommée en 1997, se rappelle que les meilleurs dépisteurs avaient une certaine crainte envers Baseball America en raison des informations que Simpson réussissait à trouver.

« Cette reconnaissance est méritée, a dit Gillick.

Allan a toujours eu un amour et une passion pour le baseball et, aujourd’hui, lorsque les dépisteurs, les directeurs-généraux, les joueurs et les partisans veulent une information exclusive, ils vont vers Baseball America. »

Le Temple de la renommée a également reçu des commentaires élogieux d’Alex Anthopoulos, Doug Melvin, Dave Dombrowski, John Schuerholz, Terry Ryan, Gary Hughes, Greg Hamilton et Jim Callis, entre autres.

« C’est véritablement tout un honneur personnel, certainement le meilleur que je n’ai jamais reçu, a avoué Simpson.

De plusieurs façons, ceci valide et met en perspective tout ce que j’ai fait dans le monde du baseball. Et, plus important encore, c’est à propos du Canada. Je n’ai jamais oublié mes racines canadiennes.

“Baseball was underexposed in many areas at the grassroots level of the sport, in both Canada and the United States, when I had the good fortune to launch Baseball America 30 years ago.  I take great satisfaction in the role that I have played through the years to help publicize and promote this great game. I am very grateful to the Canadian Hall of Fame for recognizing this contribution.”

Simpson and his wife Jill have three children, all Canadian-born, Jordan, Kelsey and Jeffrey.  He left Baseball America after 25 years to become vice-president and director of national scouting with Perfect Game USA,the world’s largest baseball event company and scouting service.  They are about to open a new complex in Cartersville, Georgia, where they will expand their staging of high school tournaments and showcases.