My weekly observations about stories around the baseball world from a Canadian perspective (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
– The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame will announce its class of 2013 this week. Stay tuned to this blog for more details.
– New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, who owns three Super Bowl rings, will not be participating in today’s championship contest, but the Super Bowl talk that has dominated the airwaves this week reminded me that Brady was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round in 1995. Not to be outdone, the Toronto Blue Jays have also drafted a quarterback that has a Super Bowl ring. Though Doug Williams had wrestled the starting job away from him, Jay Schroeder, whom the Jays selected in the first round of the 1979 amateur draft, was part of the Washington Redskins squad that prevailed in Super Bowl XXII.
– The pride of Maple Ridge, B.C., Larry Walker, has joined Twitter with an unmistakably Canadian handle. You can follow him at: @Cdnmooselips33
– Last week’s column asking about the whereabouts of little-used 1993 World Series team member Willie Canate has sparked some discussion, but so far no leads. Others have asked whatever happened to Turner Ward. Ward, who like Canate served as a backup outfielder with the Jays in 1993, was recently appointed the assistant hitting coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks. You can read more about his new position here: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20121219&content_id=40751760&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb
– The number of former Expos that are still active dwindled by two this past week when Brian Schneider and Nick Johnson announced their retirements. Schneider caught for the Expos from 2000 to 2004, while Johnson played 73 games with the Expos in the club’s final season.
– Former Expo Earl Williams passed away on Monday after a valiant battle with the leukemia. After belting 33 homers for the Atlanta Braves in 1971 and earning National League Rookie of the Year honours, Williams later played with the Orioles, before landing with the Expos in 1976. A catcher for much of his big league career, Williams played primarily first base in Montreal, socking eight homers in 61 contests. He died in Somerest, N.J. on Monday at the age of 64.
– In case you missed it, former Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. As part of the contract, he received an invitation to the Bosox big league camp this spring.
– If you haven’t already done so, please “LIKE” the Cooperstowners in Canada Facebook page. I update this page with vintage photos and links to Canadian baseball stories daily. Thanks for all your support.
Great info Kevin. it’s amazing how some of these part time players become coaches and some of the best players in the world don’t!
Big week for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame!!!!
Former Expo and one of my favourites Shawn Hill will be trying to make the show with the Tigers this spring; after of course, he leads Team Canada to a WBC title!
Thanks for the comment, Scott. Yes, glad to hear that Shawn Hill – former Expos and Jay – is still pitching.
From Devon Teeple:
Amazing info about tom Brady and jay schroeder . I had no idea.
Thanks for bringing that to light.
Thanks, Devon. I knew that Schroeder had been drafted by the Jays, but I didn’t realize that he had actually played four seasons in the organization until I visited his page on Baseball Reference.
Kevin, I had dinner with Jay Schroeder, his last night in spring training with us. He told me he was quitting baseball. Said he wanted to play another year at UCLA and marry his cheerleader fiance. I asked Jay about after school ? He replied, ” I don’t know Paul, my dad has a little real estate along the coast to give me, you know, to get me started in the business… about 400 acres or so in Malibu” Lol, I knew Jay would be alright… but I guess football intervened.
That’s a great story, Paul. I appreciate you sharing your memories from the professional ranks. Thanks for your support.