October 25, 2023
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame’s class of 2024 has a decidedly baseball flavor.
Former big league slugger Justin Morneau (New Westminster, B.C.), late Women’s National Team star Amanda Asay (Prince George, B.C.), legendary big league scout Wayne Norton (Port Moody, B.C.) and the 1998 Langley Little League All-Stars were among the 2024 inductees announced on Wednesday.
They will be honoured alongside golfer Richard Zokol, swimmer Ryan Cochrane, freestyle skier Cassie Sharpe and broadcaster Don Taylor in a ceremony in May.
Beverley Felske (ringette) and Dr. Bob McCormack (sports medicine) will also be honoured in the Builder/Coach category, while the 1921-22 Vancouver Amazons women’s hockey team will be celebrated in the Pioneer category.
Here are the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame bios of the baseball inductees:
-One of Canada’s greatest female baseball players.
-Led Canada to five medals (two silver, three bronze) at the Women’s Baseball World Cup during her career.
-At the 2006 tournament where Canada won bronze, she was the only Canadian named to the World Cup All-Star team.
-Led Canada to an historic silver medal in women’s baseball at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, the first major multi-sport Games to feature women’s baseball.
-Two-time winner of Baseball Canada’s female player of the year award (2006, 2016).
-In 2017, Baseball America ranked her seventh overall in the world among all female baseball players, the only Canadian named to the list.
-At the time of her tragic death in 2022, she was the longest-serving member of the Canadian women’s national baseball team, first joining the team at age 17 and remaining a member for the next 17 years.
-Born and raised in Prince George, resided in Vancouver and Nelson in recent years. Died in January 2022.
-Considered among the greatest Canadian players ever to appear in Major League Baseball.
-Fourteen-season MLB career (2003-16) playing 1,545 regular season games at first base with the Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago White Sox.
-During his career he accumulated 1603 hits, 247 home runs, 985 runs batted in, and a .281 batting average.
-Winner of the 2006 American League MVP award, one of only three Canadians ever to win an MLB MVP award (Larry Walker and Joey Votto are the others).
-Two-time winner of the American League Silver Slugger award (2006, 2008) as the top offensive first baseman in the league.
-Four-time American League All-Star (2007-10). 2014 National League batting champion with a .319 average.
-Three-time winner of the James ‘Tip’ O’Neill Award as Canada’s top baseball player.
-Born and raised in New Westminster, currently resides in Medina, Minnesota.
-Key figure in Canadian baseball in a variety of roles for over forty years.
-Founded and served as general manager of the National Baseball Institute (NBI) based in Vancouver (1986-95), developing top Canadian prospects, nine of whom were later drafted into Major League Baseball including Corey Koskie, Matt Stairs, and Rob Butler.
-From 1973-86, he served as coach and general manager of Canada’s senior national baseball team and as Baseball BC’s executive director developing programs and coaching manuals still in use today.
-Founded Canada’s junior national team.
-Served as a Canadian scout for both the Baltimore Orioles (1996-99) and Seattle Mariners (2000-17), identifying several Canadian players who went on to play in MLB.
-Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Moved to Port Moody in 1966 and resided there for the remainder of his life. Died in January 2018.
1998 Langley Little League All Stars Boys Baseball
-Finished tied for third at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, one of Canada’s best-ever finishes in the tournament, captivating the BC sport community.
-No Canadian team has finished higher in the 25 years since Langley’s result.
-Earlier in the tournament, Langley finished first in the four-team International pool, going 3-0 with victories over Mexico, Europe, and Japan.
-The All Stars missed a trip to the final by a single run falling to Japan 3-2 in extra innings in the semifinal.
-Pitcher Jeff Duda set a LLWS record of 17 strikeouts in that semifinal game, a record which still stands to this day.
-To reach Williamsport, Langley won the Canadian Little League Championship defeating the Glace Bay Colonels 3-1 in the final.
-Langley compiled a perfect 16-0 record through district, provincial, and the Canadian championships.
-Team Members: Andrew Bell, Faizan Choudhry, Clayton Deglan, George Duda (coach), Jeff Duda, Mike Erickson, Brad Fraser, Mark Henderson, Jared Krause, Jordan Lennerton, Brett Logan, Brad MacDonald, Dave Mihalech (coach), Tanner Mikesh, Karl Reddick, Brian Sargent (manager), Sean Sargent.
For more information about all of the 2024 inductees, click here.