By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
I’ve been posting an “Uplifting Canadian Baseball Photo/Video of the Day” on Twitter and Facebook.
I realize that many of you don’t follow me on social media, so each Friday, my plan is to share three of these posts with you (from the previous five days).
I hope these photos/videos will bring a smile to your face during these challenging times.
1. Canadian Fergie Jenkins (Chatham, Ont.) signs with the Philadelphia Phillies 58 years ago.
It was scout Gene Dziadura, based in Chatham, Ont., who discovered, worked with and then signed a local teenage pitching sensation named Ferguson Jenkins for the Philadelphia Phillies on June 15, 1962. Of course, the Phillies made a colossal blunder when they traded him to the Chicago Cubs less than four years later, but some forget that it was the Phillies that originally signed the greatest Canadian pitcher in major league history.
This tweet (below) was well-received when I sent it out on Monday to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Jenkins signing with the Phillies.
2. Stubby Clapp made his MLB debut 19 years ago this past Thursday.
It’s one of the most inspirational Canadian baseball stories there is. Stubby Clapp, a hard-nosed, 5-foot-8, 175-pound infielder from Windsor, Ont., was selected way down in the 36th round of the 1996 MLB draft by St. Louis Cardinals. His best tools were his heart and his desire. Few expected him to make the big leagues, but after parts of six seasons in the minors, he did. And in his first plate appearance with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2001, the home fans gave him a standing ovation.
I sent this tweet (below) out on Thursday and even got a response from Stubby Clapp himself.
3. How I like to remember Tony Gwynn on the sixth anniversary of his death.
This eight-time batting champion died of salivary gland cancer six years ago this past Tuesday when he was just 54. He was Mr. Padre and one of the greatest hitters of his era. But as a Canadian baseball history buff, I like to remember him for his 1991 Upper Deck baseball card (below) that showcases him signing autographs at the SkyDome prior to the 1991 All-Star Game in Toronto. I posted this card on Twitter on Tuesday as a tribute to Gwynn.