Born in 1942 in Winnipeg, MB, Norton played in 1,206 minor league games – including five seasons in Triple-A – before becoming a trailblazing baseball executive and scout in Canada. In the mid-1970s, Norton founded and established Baseball Canada’s Junior National Team and he became a long-time coach and manager for the organization, while doubling as a part-time scout for the Montreal Expos. He also managed Canada’s Pan Am Games team in 1975, prior to helping to launch Baseball B.C. two years later. In the late 1970s, he was enlisted to create and write Baseball Canada’s first coaching manuals and many of the guidelines from those are still employed today.
In 1986, Norton established the National Baseball Institute (NBI) in Vancouver and hired 2007 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee John Haar to be the first coach. The NBI evolved into the best baseball academy ever created in Canada and is often cited as the standard for similar facilities. Among the NBI graduates to play in the big leagues are 2015 Canadian Baseball Hall of Famers Matt Stairs (Fredericton, N.B.) and Corey Koskie (Anola, Man.), as well as Denis Boucher (Montreal, Que.), Steve Sinclair (Victoria, B.C.), Paul Spoljaric (Kelowna, B.C.), Rob Butler (East York, Ont.), Jason Dickson (Miramichi, N.B.), Aaron Guiel (Vancouver, B.C.) and Derek Aucoin (Lachine, Que.).
After leaving the NBI in 1994, Norton evolved into one of Canada’s most respected baseball scouts. Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Pat Gillick hired Norton to scout for the Baltimore Orioles from 1996 to 1999 and when Gillick accepted the Seattle Mariners’ general manager position in 2000, he brought Norton with him. Norton has served as a scout for the Seattle Mariners since 2000 and has signed several Canadians, including Michael Saunders (Victoria, B.C.), Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.), Tyson Gillies (Vancouver, B.C.) and Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, B.C.). For his excellence in scouting, Norton was named Mariners’ International Scout of the Year in 2007 and Canadian Scout of the Year by the Canadian Baseball Network in 1998 and 2013. Wayne passed away January 6, 2018.
“The phone call informing me of my induction made me very happy,” said Norton. “It will certainly be an honour to be included in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. I am extremely grateful to my friends who nominated me, and to my baseball colleagues and family who supported my nomination. Their regard means a great deal to me. It is gratifying to have my contributions to baseball in Canada recognized and valued by my peers and acknowledged by the selection committee. I look forward to what promises to be a fantastic couple of days in St. Marys!”
CAREER MINOR LEAGUE STATISTICS
For season by season career stats click HERE.