My weekly observations about stories around the baseball world from a Canadian perspective:
– Thanks to Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame volunteer and SABR member, Andrew North, for sharing with me that Huntsville, Ont., native George Selkirk, a former New York Yankees outfielder, once belted four home runs off of the same pitcher in two days. The Canadian victimized Philadelphia A’s starter Bob Joyce for two homers on May 27, 1939 and then took Joyce deep again twice the following day when Joyce appeared in relief for the A’s. It’s not clear if any other player has hit four home runs against the same pitcher in two consecutive days, but David Vincent of SABR revealed that six other players have hit four consecutive home runs in their career off of the same pitcher (but not on consecutive days).
– In case you missed it, two more former Montreal Expos have retired over the past couple of weeks. On February 26, right-hander Carl Pavano, who came to Montreal as part of the Pedro Martinez trade and pitched in the city from 1998 to 2001, announced he was hanging up his spikes, while journeyman reliever Guillermo Mota, who began his big league career with the Expos in 1999, announced his retirement on March 3.
– An interesting fact about Montreal native Denis Boucher, who turned 46 on Friday. In his big league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays on April 12, 1991, the first three batters he faced were Paul Molitor, Robin Yount and Gary Sheffield. In other words, he battled two Hall of Famers and a 500-home run hitter in his first major league inning. Now that’s baptism by fire. For the record, he retired all three in order.
– Happy 29th birthday to former Toronto Blue Jay Jesse Litsch, who’s still trying to comeback from the career-threatening infection he suffered in his shoulder after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in February 2012. Litsch, who last pitched in the big leagues in 2011, reveals in his Twitter bio that he has had six surgeries to fix the issue. He also recently tweeted that he’s looking for a catcher to help him in his rehab. On March 3, he tweeted, “Anybody in North Pinellas County know how to catch? Trying to throw bullpens and can’t find a catcher.”
– Happy 47th birthday to Halifax native Vince Horsman, who toed the rubber for parts of five big league seasons with the Blue Jays and Oakland A’s. To read more about Horsman’s career, you can visit my Cooperstowners in Canada Facebook page.
– Danny Gallagher, co-author of the excellent “Ecstasy to Agony: The 1994 Montreal Expos,” reports that Vancouver filmmaker Michael Hamilton, who recently produced a documentary about Canadian basketball star Steve Nash, is considering creating a film about the 1994 Montreal Expos. You can read more about the potential project here.
– If you have a few moments, I’d suggest visiting the new Facebook page called “Blue Jays – On This Day.” If you go there today, you’ll find out that on March 9, 1981, John Mayberry was named the first captain in Blue Jays history.
– 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 your support.