Denis Boucher is one of the two Canadian former professional baseball pitchers who were elected for induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2023. Boucher was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in Lachine, Quebec, located on the island of Montreal, but a separate city at the time.
Denis Boucher is being honoured both for his professional playing career, and for his contributions to Canadian National Baseball through his work with Baseball Canada. Denis Boucher pitched for both Canadian major league teams, the Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays, in his four-year major league career. After his major league retirement, Boucher has coached for Baseball Canada for the past twenty years, coaching and participating in events such as the Olympics, the Pan American Games, the World Baseball Classic, and the Premier 12.
Early in Boucher’s career, he played for the Canadian Junior National Team and developed his skills at the National Baseball Institute in Vancouver, British Columbia.
In August 1987, Boucher pitched for Team Canada in the Pan American Games, where Canada placed fourth. The Games ran from August 7th – 23rd and Boucher was signed by a Toronto Blue Jays scout during these games, on August 18th, 1987.
Pictured here are a pair of Boucher’s game-used cleats, which he wore in 1991, the year of his debut with the Toronto Blue Jays.
After spending parts of four seasons in the Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league system, Boucher made his Major League debut on April 12, 1991, as the starting pitcher against the Milwaukee Brewers in a Toronto home game. Boucher pitched 5 1/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers and held them to three earned runs in a 5-4 victory by the Toronto Blue Jays. Boucher had six more starts with the Blue Jays before being traded to the Cleveland Indians (now Guardians) in a multi-player deal. Boucher earned his first major league win with the Cleveland Indians later that summer, on July 20th in a 4-1 victory over the California Angels (now the Los Angeles Angels).
As a Toronto Blue Jay, Boucher wore number 35. Below is a mesh warm-up jersey worn by Boucher in the 1991 season. The left sleeve has a patch for the 1991 All-Star Game, which was hosted by Toronto.
After spending 1992 with Cleveland, Boucher was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 1993 National League expansion draft. Boucher spent the majority of the 1993 season in the Rockies’ minor league system before being acquired by the Montreal Expos. On September 6th 1993, Denis Boucher made his debut with the Montreal Expos, becoming the first Montreal-born player to pitch for the team. Boucher held the visiting Colorado Rockies to 1 run over six innings pitched in a 4-3 victory for Montreal. He finished the 1993 season with a 3-1 record and 1.91 ERA in five starts.
On Boucher’s Expos debut, fellow Canadian Joe Siddall was the team’s catcher, creating a rare all-Canadian battery. The below baseball is autographed by both Boucher and Siddall, noting the game’s date of September 6, 1993.
This cap was worn by Boucher when coaching for Baseball Canada in the World Baseball Classic.
Boucher has been a pitching coach for Baseball Canada since 2003 and has coached in the Olympics (2004 and 2008), the World Baseball Classic (2006, 2009, 2013, 2017, 2023), the 2011 Baseball World Cup, the Pan American Games (2010, 2011, 2015), and the 2015 Premier 12. Canada won gold in both the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games.
Boucher was elected to the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012. He was also previously honoured by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017 with fellow members of the 2015 Canadian Men’s Senior National Team – the Pan American Games gold medal team.