The 1954 Montreal Royals team photo . . . Billy Harris

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His first professional baseball contract was signed in a quintessentially Canadian setting. New Brunswick native Billy Harris was competing in a hockey tournament in Buchans, Nfld., when Brooklyn Dodgers scout Bill O’Connor secured the stocky 19-year-old’s signature on a piece of paper. Although the five-foot-seven Harris was a standout stickhandler, it was his right arm... Continue Reading →

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Hall of Fame managers with Canadian links

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Earlier this week, I wrote about Walter Alston’s successful tenure as manager of the Montreal Royals, before he became a legendary skipper with the Dodgers. “The Quiet Man,” as he was sometimes dubbed, would pilot the Dodgers for 23 seasons, leading them to four World Series titles and seven National League pennants. But Alston isn’t... Continue Reading →

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But What Do I Know? … Vernon Wells, Tom Henke, Larry Walker

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My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:  It’s difficult for me to separate the person from the player. Vernon Wells is a good man. He was arguably the greatest community ambassador the Blue Jays have ever had. During his tenure in Toronto, the sure-handed outfielder proved to be much classier... Continue Reading →

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Canadian Mike Gardiner reflects on playing for Sparky Anderson

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Mike Gardiner will always be thankful for the 15 days in 1994 that Sparky Anderson made him a big league closer. With ninth-inning fixture Mike Henneman on the disabled list, the Tigers venerable manager called the Sarnia, Ont., native into his office to tell him he would be the interim closer. “Sparky told me not... Continue Reading →

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Sparky Anderson’s first managerial job was in Toronto

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When the Detroit Tigers won the World Series in 1984, Sparky Anderson became the first manager to win a championship with both an American League and National League (Cincinnati 1975, 1976) club. But while most associate the fiery, white-haired skipper with the Big Red Machine or the powerful ’80s Tigers teams, it’s important to note... Continue Reading →

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1982 All-Star Game was one of the greatest moments in Expos history

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It was the first time that baseball’s elite had assembled outside of the U.S. for the mid-summer classic. Five Montreal Expos populated the National League roster, including three – Gary Carter, Andre Dawson and Tim Raines – voted to the squad by the fans. When you add in that Expos ace, Steve Rogers, was the... Continue Reading →

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