logo2St. Marys, Ont. – Legendary Montreal Expos beat writer Serge Touchette will be presented with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2015 Jack Graney Award on Saturday, April 2 when the Toronto Blue Jays battle the Boston Red Sox in a preseason game at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.

Touchette will be presented with the award in a ceremony to take place between innings by Hall board members John Starzynski and David Morneau.

Le Temple situé à St-Marys remet annuellement ce prix à un membre des médias qui contribue de façon significative au développement du baseball au Canada par son travail.

“For three decades, Serge Touchette covered the Montreal Expos with tremendous passion and skill,” said Scott Crawford, the Hall’s director of operations. “He’s a respected leader in his field and is one of our country’s most knowledgeable, charismatic and beloved baseball writers. We’re proud to recognize him with this award.”

Born in Montreal on August 1, 1952, Touchette fell in love with baseball the first time he saw Giants superstar Willie Mays play on TV in the 1960s. He began covering the Expos as a reporter for Le Journal de Montréal in 1975 and remained on the Expos beat, with the exception of a six-week period in 1999 in which he served as a columnist, until the club moved to Washington in 2004.

During his tenure covering the Expos, he was on hand to document the club’s sole playoff appearance in 1981, Dennis Martinez’s perfect game on July 28, 1991, Gary Carter’s last season in 1992 and Vladimir Guerrero’s entire record-breaking tenure with the club.

Touchette was also a fixture in the press box during the Expos’ 1994 campaign that saw the club compile a 74-40 record to sit six games atop the National League East division before a players’ strike wiped out the rest of the season. He was also present at the Expos’ last game at Olympic Stadium on September 29, 2004.

Serge Touchette Graney presentationWhile on the Expos beat, Touchette also served tenures as the president of the Montreal chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) and vice-president of the national (Canadian) BBWAA. He was also a generous mentor to up-and-coming sportswriters, including Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Bob Elliott.

A versatile journalist, Touchette has covered more than 20 World Series, The Masters, two Olympics, three Super Bowls and several Stanley Cup Finals. He currently writes for the NHL’s website.

Through it all, baseball has remained Touchette’s No. 1 passion and for his efforts, he was inducted into Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013.

“Wow! I didn’t expect this. Thank you to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and to those that voted for me for this award,” said Touchette. “When I read the names of the past winners, I realize how special this honour is. I’m flattered to have my name on this award alongside so many of the previous recipients that I respect and admire.”

Né à St Thomas (Ontario), Jack Graney était le premier frappeur des Indians de Cleveland. Sa carrière dans les Majeures se résume en plusieurs premières : il a été le premier frappeur à affronter Babe Ruth des Red Sox de Boston au monticule le 11 juillet 1914 et le premier à porter un numéro sur son uniforme le 26 juin 1916. Lorsqu’il a accroché ses crampons, Graney est devenu le premier ancien joueur à faire le saut sur la galerie de presse en tant que descripteur à la radio pour les Indians. Il a occupé ce poste de 1932 à 1953.

Lauréats précédents :

1987 – Neil MacCarl – Toronto Star
1988 – Milt Dunnell – Toronto Star
1990 – Austin “Dink” Carroll – Montreal Gazette
1991 – Joe Crysdale & Hal Kelly – CKEY
1996 – Dave Van Horne – Expos de Montréal
2001 – Tom Cheek – Toronto Blue Jays
2002 – Ernie Harwell – Tigers de Détroit
2003 – Allan Simpson – Baseball America
2004 – Jacques Doucet – Expos de Montréal
2005 – Len Bramson – TBS Sports
2009 – Ian MacDonald – Montreal Gazette
2010 – Bob Elliott – Sun Media &
2011 – W.P. Kinsella – Auteur « Shoeless Joe » adapté du « Champ des rêves ».
2012 – Jerry Howarth – Toronto Blue Jays
2013 – Rodger Brulotte – Expos de Montréal, Blue Jays de Toronto
2014 – Richard Griffin – Toronto Star
2015 – Serge Touchette – Montreal Expos writer