Top of the Tenth – Winter Edition

The ball fields may be snow-covered and the Museum closed, but the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is, in fact, a beehive of activity.  We’ve recently welcomed two new Directors to the Board, Elizabeth Walker of the City of Waterloo Museum and veteran sportscaster Rob Fai from Vancouver.  We’re preparing for the February 5th announcement of the 2019 inductees and will shortly be posting ads for summer jobs.

In the past couple of weeks, Scott’s been busy out of town, mounting a large exhibit of CBHFM memorabilia and merchandise at the second annual Jays Winter Fest at the Rogers Centre and speaking to the class “Baseball Spring Training for Fans” at Seneca College in Etobicoke.

At the Jays event, he renewed acquaintances with inductees Tom Henke and Pat Hentgen and Howie Starkman; plus had a great conversations with Sportsnet writer Ben Nicholson-Smith. Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro dropped by to see our display, along with Andrew Miller Executive Vice President, Business Operations.

An appreciative crowd at Seneca gave their full attention to a progress report on the Museum renovations.  We’re still aiming to reopen the Museum in the spring. At this point, the new addition is complete, except for the actual exhibits and furnishings, while work continues on the old farmhouse that housed the original Museum.  

The addition comprises two large rooms, one of which will house our research centre and archives, to be open to researchers and other interested parties by appointment.  Across the hall, we find a spacious multipurpose room with a large window overlooking the diamonds. This area will permit us to hold receptions, meetings and special events, host bus tours in a more professional manner and mount special exhibits.  The central corridor of the addition, which leads to the Museum proper, will house the reception area and shop.

The upstairs area of the stone house will consolidate CBHFM’s administrative offices and the current downtown location will be closed.  The Museum itself will still occupy the four main floor rooms of the house, with each devoted to a specific theme. There will be a Builders room, Players Room, Major League room and a beautiful Hall of Fame room, wherein all our inductee plaques will be displayed.  After intensive consultations with Scott and heavy-hitters in the baseball history community, including Canada’s preeminent baseball historian Bill Humber and baseball blogger Kevin Glew, the creative production company BaAM is working on the displays that will populate each room.  

BaAM’s worked with us before and comes with impressive credentials, counting among its clients the Invictus Games, the International Olympic Committee, Amazon, the Kansas City Royals, La Lune Rouge, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, the National Football League, FIFA, Aramark, the New England Patriots, Stanford University Alumni Association, and the Washington Nationals.

If the reaction of the Seneca class is any indication, there is lots of interest in the updated, upgraded Museum and in the Grand Opening, for which details are being worked out.

While at Seneca, Scott showed off a few vintage baseball gloves, an 1985 team signed Toronto Blue Jays bat and a Montreal Expos helmet.

In the wider world, Baseball Canada’s Senior National Team will embark on a journey to São Paulo, Brazil for the Pan Am Games Qualification Tournament that will take place from January 29 to February 3. The seven-nation event will see the top four squads secure a berth in the Pan American Games baseball competition that will be held in Lima, Peru in July. Canada has won the past two Pan-Am games gold medals (2011, 2015).

Toronto Blue Jays prospect and Montreal born Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is ranked the #1 prospect in Baseball leading into the 2019 season.