Esteemed Toronto Sun baseball scribe Bob Elliott was named the 2010 winner of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Jack Graney Award yesterday.
This honour has been handed out just 12 times in the past 24 years. Here’s a list of the previous winners, as well as some information about Jack Graney himself (courtesy of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame:www.baseballhalloffame.ca):
Previous winners of the Jack Graney Lifetime Achievement Award:
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 – TSN & CIQC
2001 – Tom Cheek – Toronto Blue Jays
2002 – Ernie Harwell – Detroit Tigers
2003 – Allan Simpson – Baseball America
2004 – Jacques Doucet – Montreal Expos
2005 – Len Bramson – TBS Sports
2009 – Ian MacDonald – Montreal Gazette
2010 – Bob Elliott – Toronto Sun & canadianbaseballnetwork.com
Note: Jack Graney’s road to the big leagues began in St. Thomas, Ontario, where he was born and recommended to the Chicago Cubs by fellow Canadian Baseball Hall-of-Famer, Bob Emslie. After a season in the Cubs organization, Graney was sold to the Cleveland, where he would evolve into a steady, dependable outfielder. His big league resume boasts a number of firsts. When Graney walked to the plate in a game against the Red Sox on July 11, 1914, he became the first batter to face Babe Ruth. Almost two years later, on June 26, 1916, he would be the first major leaguer to bat wearing a number on his uniform.
A scrappy leadoff hitter, Graney would lead the American League in walks twice (1917 and 1919) and in doubles once (1916). The speedy Canuck also finished in the top 10 in triples in 1913 and 1916, with 12 and 14 three-baggers respectively. He was also a member of the World Series-winning Indians squad in 1920.
Following his playing career, Graney became the first ex-player to make the transition to the broadcast booth, performing radio play-by-play for the Indians from 1932 to 1953.