Family of Marty Healy donates his collection to Canadian ball hall

Marty Healy’s family – from left to right: Paul (brother), Ricky (brother), Wendy (sister), Millie (mother), Martin (father) – made the trek to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on November 8 to donate their brother’s and son’s extensive collection of jerseys worn by Canadian major leaguers. That’s Canadian baseball historian Andrew North on the far right of the photo. Photo: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Official Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame News Release

St. Marys, Ont. – On what would’ve been Marty Healy’s 44th birthday, his family made the trek to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum in St. Marys, Ont., to donate his vast collection of jerseys worn by Canadian major leaguers.

Marty, who co-authored (along with Richard Armstrong) a book about George Gibson and had an encyclopedic knowledge of Canadian big leaguers, passed away on September 11, 2020 after a long battle with congestive heart failure.

A strong supporter of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, Marty was also an enthusiastic participant at the annual Canadian Baseball History Conference and a diehard Toronto Blue Jays fan whose passion for Canadian major leaguers inspired him to assemble a collection of 93 game-worn jerseys that date back to 1964.

More importantly, Marty was a much loved son, brother, uncle and friend who is missed dearly. Marty’s mother, Millie; his father, Martin; his sister, Wendy, and brothers Paul and Ricky travelled to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on November 8 to donate Marty’s collection.

“Marty’s passion for Canadian baseball made it easy for us to honour his wish to have his collection donated to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame,” said Marty’s mom, Millie, on behalf of the family.

Scott Crawford, the Hall’s director of operations, met Marty several times. He was grateful for the donation, which will greatly enhance the museum’s collection, but he accepted it with a heavy heart.

“It’s a tremendous collection, but many of us associated with the Hall were fortunate to get to know Marty. He was a wonderful guy with a deep passion for Canadian baseball. We miss him very much,” said Crawford. “But I think he’d be happy to know that his collection is here and we would like to thank his family for entrusting us with it so that we can share it with future generations of baseball fans.”

Marty’s collection includes vintage jerseys worn by (player, year worn, team):

  • Ken MacKenzie (Gore Bay, Ont.), 1964 San Francisco Giants
  • Dick Lines (Montreal, Que.), 1967 Washington Senators
  • Claude Raymond (St. Jean, Que.), 1969 Atlanta Braves
  • Pete Ward (Montreal, Que.), 1970 New York Yankees
  • Dave Pagan (Nipawin, Sask.), 1975 New York Yankees
  • Reggie Cleveland (Swift Current, Sask.), 1977 Boston Red Sox
  • Terry Puhl (Melville, Sask.), 1986 Houston Astros
Three of the game-worn jerseys from Marty Healy’s collection. Photo: Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

Modern jerseys worn by (player, year worn, team):

  • Russell Martin (East York, Ont.), 2011 New York Yankees (ALDS)
  • James Paxton (Ladner, B.C.), 2016 Seattle Mariners
  • Nick Pivetta (Victoria, B.C.), 2017 Philadelphia Phillies
  • John Axford (Port Dover, Ont.), 2018 Toronto Blue Jays (Canada Day)
  • Mike Soroka (Calgary, Alta.), 2018 Atlanta Braves (from his home debut)
  • Rowan Wick (North Vancouver, B.C.), 2018 San Diego Padres
  • Abraham Toro (Longueuil, Que.), 2019 Houston Astros
  • Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.), 2019 San Diego Padres
  • Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.), 2019 San Diego Padres
  • Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.), 2019 Toronto Blue Jays

Marty’s collection also includes PSA-graded rookie cards of Canadian big leaguers dating back to the early 1900s, vintage George Gibson (London, Ont.) and George Selkirk (Huntsville, Ont.) model gloves and a rare Triple-A Winnipeg Whips hat worn by pitcher Bob Reynolds in the early 1970s.

A note from Kevin Glew: I was one of the lucky ones who got to know Marty over the years. We shared a passion and what I would call a “nerd-dom” for Canadian big league players. When I saw Marty at the Canadian Baseball History Conference each year, we could talk for hours about Ken MacKenzie, Dave Pagan and Terry Puhl. Marty used to give me a hard time about including so much Montreal Expos information on my blog, but that was just good-natured ribbing between two friends. But here’s a story that illustrates the kind of guy Marty was. One day, after a long day of writing, I went to my mailbox and found a bulky padded envelope. I didn’t have any idea what it was. With a little trepidation, I opened it up and found the card below of Paul Hodgson, the second Canadian to play for the Toronto Blue Jays. Marty had listened to me talk highly of Paul and Paul’s better half, Lisa, and he had an extra copy of this 1980 card and wanted me to have it. Marty was that thoughtful. I cherish this card now more than ever. What a person Marty was. I sure do miss him.

Published by cooperstownersincanada

Kevin Glew is a professional writer based in London, Ontario. His work has been featured on CBC Sports, Sportsnet.ca, MLB.com and Sympatico.ca. He has also written articles for Baseball Digest, Baseball America, The Hockey News, Sports Market Report and the Canadian Baseball Network. He has been involved with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for more than 16 years, including a two-year stint as the museum's acting curator.

6 thoughts on “Family of Marty Healy donates his collection to Canadian ball hall

  1. Thank you Kevin for the great article.
    Marty was a well loved fella and passed away way too soon.
    He has left behind a legacy for our collection.
    Great story about Hodgson’s card as well.

  2. What a lovely tribute to Marty. I’m sure the family is heartsick to have lost him but also very proud of him. The HOF (and you Kevin) are lucky to have known him and very fortunate to be able to display his many memories.

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