My weekly observations about stories around the baseball world from a Canadian perspective (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
– This column is dedicated to the memory of Bob Crawford, the father of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s director of operations, Scott Crawford, who passed away last week at the age of 65. Bob was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and a tireless community volunteer in Georgetown, Ont., and at Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame functions. He will be sorely missed.
– I strongly encourage you to bid in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Christmas Silent Auction. There are a number of fabulous baseball items up for bids, including signed jerseys, limited edition bats and even a lunch with former Montreal Expos manager Jim Fanning. You can check out the auction items here.
– Because he pitched less than 50 big league innings in 2012, Milwaukee Brewers closer Jim Henderson (Calgary, Alta.) was still considered a rookie in 2013. On the strength of his 28 saves, 2.70 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 60 innings this season, he was named the relief pitcher on Topps’ 2013 Rookie All-Star Team which was unveiled earlier this week.
– MLB Trade Rumors was the first to report that London, Ont., native Jamie Romak had signed a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers on November15. The 28-year-old first baseman/outfielder is heading into his 12th professional season. Last year, he belted 22 homers with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate Memphis Redbirds. Alexis Brudnicki, a talented scribe for the Canadian Baseball Network, has also written an excellent article about Romak here.
– I was sorry to learn of the passing of former Vancouver Mounties pitcher Eddie Erautt. Born in Portland, Oregon in 1924, Erautt pitched in parts of six big league seasons – mostly in relief – for the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals from 1947 to 1953. But he spent most of his final professional season with the Triple-A Vancouver Mounties of the Pacific Coast League in 1957, where he posted a 2.41 ERA in 19 games. In retirement, he was heavily involved with the St. John of the Cross Catholic Church in Lemon Grove, Calif. He died on October 27 at the age of 89.
– Vancouver-born left-hander Jeff Francis has joined Twitter. You can follow him at @jeffwfrancis
– Congratulations to the inaugural class of Baseball Ontario Hall of Fame inductees, which included Fergie Jenkins in the “Player” category and Carmen Bush and Vi Christopher as builders. The Windsor Chiefs Senior Baseball team (1982 to 1991) – which boasts former Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame president and iCASE founder Tom Valcke amongst its alumnus – was also elected in the Team category. For more information on the inductees, you can visit the Baseball Ontario website.
– In case you missed it, Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Dave McKay (Vancouver, B.C.) was named first base coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks on November 1. The former Toronto Blue Jay held the same position with the Chicago Cubs for the past two seasons and with the St. Louis Cardinals for 16 previous seasons.
– If you haven’t already done so, please “LIKE” the Cooperstowners in Canada Facebook page. I update this page regularly with links to Canadian baseball stories. Thanks again for all your support.