April 24, 2022
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
My weekly Canadian baseball news and notes:
-Right-hander Cal Quantrill (Port Hope, Ont.) was activated by the Cleveland Guardians in time to make his start against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. The Ontario Terriers and Junior National Team alum had been placed on the COVID-19 list on Wednesday. Despite coming off the illness, Quantrill was sharp against the Bronx Bombers, allowing three runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings. The Guardians eventually lost 5-4. Also, of note, Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) belted his first home run of the season for the Guardians. It was a two-run shot in the top of the fifth.
-Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.) turned 29 on Thursday and celebrated by notching his seventh save of the season in the Toronto Blue Jays’ 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Romano added another save on Friday in the Blue Jays’ 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Ontario Blue Jays and Junior National Team grad has collected saves in eight of the Blue Jays’ 10 wins this season and has now registered saves in a franchise record 31 consecutive opportunities.
-The Chicago Cubs will unveil a statue of Canadian baseball legend Fergie Jenkins (Chatham, Ont.) outside of Wrigley Field on May 20. In the meantime, Jenkins returned to his hometown of Chatham, Ont., for a visit this week and stopped by his childhood home (See photo below). In a CTV News story (watch it here), Jenkins said he hopes to relocate his foundation and its museum, which is currently in St. Catharines, Ont., to Chatham.
-Montreal Canadiens great and Hockey Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur passed away on Friday at the age of 70. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. His passing made me think of this wonderful photo (below) of him and Gary Carter at Olympic Stadium. Here’s hoping these two have reunited somewhere.
-Count Joey Votto (Etobicoke, Ont.) among the many who has admired Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera over the years. Cabrera recorded his 3,000th major league hit on Saturday with a single in the first inning off Colorado Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela. Earlier in the week, Votto, who is relatively new to Twitter, sent out this message:
-Right-hander Rowan Wick (North Vancouver, B.C.) is rediscovering his 2020 form with the Chicago Cubs. In five relief appearances this season, he is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA and has six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Wick was sidelined for much of 2021 by an oblique injury. After he was activated last season, the Vancouver Cannons and Junior National Team alum posted a 4.30 ERA in 22 relief appearances. He struck out 29 batters in 23 innings and picked up five saves. Selected in the ninth round of the 2012 MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, Wick was a catcher when he entered the minor league ranks before being converted into a pitcher. He made his major league debut with the Padres in 2018.
-I’m sending my best to the courageous and inspirational Amy Kaufman who agreed to share the story of the horrible abuse she suffered at the hands of Montreal baseball writer Jonah Keri with Anna Maria Tremonti for the CBC National. The details are horrific. You can hear them in the video below. Amy is a hero. She is now working towards ensuring what happened to her doesn’t happen to other women.
-It was 43 years ago today that the Blue Jays signed a teenage infielder out of the Domincan Republic named Tony Fernandez as an amateur free agent. Fernandez went on to play 12 seasons in Toronto and evolved into one of the best players in franchise history. During the mid-80s, the smooth-fielding shortstop led the Blue Jays in batting average twice (1986, 1987), hits three times (1986, 1988, 1990) and triples four times (1986, 1987, 1989, 1990). He was also a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner during that stretch. After two seasons in the National League with the San Diego Padres and New York Mets, Fernandez was dealt back to the Blue Jays in June 1993 and proceeded to hit .306 in 94 games and play an integral role on that year’s World Series-winning squad. Following one-year stints with the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees and Cleveland, Fernandez returned to Toronto to hit .321 and drive in 72 runs in 1998. He followed that up with a .328 batting average in 1999, the fifth best single-season average in Jays’ history. In his final tenure in Toronto in 2001, Fernandez set a club record with 16 pinch hits. The Blue Jays legend retired as the club’s all-time leader in hits (1,583), games played (1,450) and triples (72), and ranks third in batting average (.297). For his efforts, his name was added to the Blue Jays Level of Excellence in 2001 and he was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.
-This week’s trivia question: Who are the only two active major league players to have hit a REGULAR SEASON home run at Olympic Stadium in Montreal? Please provide your answer in the “Comments” section below.
-The answer to last week’s trivia question (There have been two coaches that have served as the big league pitching coach for the Montreal Expos and the Toronto Blue Jays (at different times during their respective careers, of course). Name one of them.) was one of Galen Cisco or Brad Arnsberg.