My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
A thank you goes out to Facebook friend Sue Rennie, who shared a photo of an extraordinary 1926 Toronto Maple Leafs team postcard (pictured above) that sold for $881.08 on eBay on October 21. The postcard of the International League and Junior World Series champion Leafs squad is particularly significant because it features Hall of Fame left-hander Carl Hubbell (front row, fourth from the left). Hubbell honed his skills with the Leafs in 1926, before winning 253 major league games with the New York Giants from 1928 to 1943. The eBay seller indicates that this postcard came directly from the estate of Walter “Lefty” Stewart, who also played on the 1926 Leafs (back row, seventh from the left). Hubbell and Stewart (then with the Washington Senators) would later pitch against each other in Game 1 of the 1933 World Series.
An industrious big league general manager could fill four-fifths of their rotation with Canadians this off-season. Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, B.C.), Erik Bedard (Navan, Ont.), Jeff Francis (Vancouver, B.C.) and Rich Harden (Victoria, B.C.) are all free agents, while Russell Martin (Montreal, Que.) is also available to catch them.
Since the end of the regular season, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has claimed six players – Scott Cousins (OF), Cory Wade (RHP), Bobby Wilson (C), David Herndon (RHP), Tyson Brummett (RHP) and Scott Maine (RHP) – off waivers. This prompted Terry Brown, one of my Twitter followers (@t_t_brown), to tweet the following to me: “Maybe they (the Blue Jays) will be able to claim a manager off of WAIVERS. Get him cheaper.”
This State Farm commercial where former Chicago Cub Kerry Wood pulls Andre Dawson out of the ivy at Wrigley Field always makes me laugh: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghITg_eq8Zo
Les Mueller, one of the last living members of the 1945 World Series champion Detroit Tigers, passed away on October 25 in Belleville, Mo., at the age of 93. His only prolonged major league stint came in 1945 when he recorded a 3.68 ERA in 26 regular season games. But in one of those games against the Philadelphia Athletics on July 21, he hurled 19-2/3 innings, allowing 13 hits and no earned runs. He finished that contest with a no-decision.
My last blog entry was about Hunstville, Ont., native George Selkirk, who after replacing Babe Ruth in right field for the New York Yankees, eventually won five World Series rings. Selkirk homered in his first World Series at bat in 1936 against the aforementioned Hubbell. Some amazing footage of this homer has turned up on YouTube. You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwM3tV0JCuo