Influential Figures and Milestones in Canadian Baseball
Canadian baseball has a rich, diverse, and deeply rooted history, one that spans fully two centuries. As was true in the United States, the stories reflect the competitive and entrepreneurial spirits of a rapidly changing time. Baseball’s development north of the border was shaped by the same social and economic influences, and at roughly the same times, as it was to the south. Arranged chronologically, the essays in his volume tell the tales of the influential figures and milestone events that defined and directed the game’s growth in Canada. The articles shine a spotlight on the movers and shakers, the pioneers, the leagues and games and tournaments, and the regions all across the country that hosted them.
Crowds as large as 10,000 viewed matches between London and Guelph in the 1870s, at a time when the combined population of the two cities was less than 27,000. Thousands flocked to Vancouver’s Powell Street Grounds in the 1920s and 1930s to watch their local heroes, the Asahi, a team of Japanese Canadians. The Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team played their first game in 1895. Almost 100 years later, over four million people would spin the turnstiles to see the Toronto Blue Jays. Canadians played in the Negro Leagues and in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGBPL), and Canada has been home to both affiliated minor leagues and “outlaw” leagues.
This book is an initiative of the Centre for Canadian Baseball Research and the Hanlan’s Point (Greater Toronto) Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research. It is the collaborative effort of more than 30 SABR members, almost all of them Canadian.