But What Do I Know? . . . Jim Adduci, Vladimir Guerrero, Lloyd Moseby, George Selkirk

My weekly observations and notes about some Canadian baseball stories: ·         It was 41 years ago today that the Toronto Blue Jays began assembling their first team via the 1976 Major League Baseball Expansion Draft. With their first pick, the Blue Jays selected Bob Bailor from the Baltimore Orioles. Bailor proceeded to bat .310 inContinue reading “But What Do I Know? . . . Jim Adduci, Vladimir Guerrero, Lloyd Moseby, George Selkirk”

But What Do I Know? . . . Terry Francona, Brad Mills, Joe Carter

My weekly observations and notes about some Canadian baseball stories: The 1982 Topps Montreal Expos Future Stars card (pictured above) showcases Terry Francona and Brad Mills together on their first Topps baseball card. Both played for the Expos’ only playoff team in 1981 and 35 years later, Mills is serving as Francona’s bench coach forContinue reading “But What Do I Know? . . . Terry Francona, Brad Mills, Joe Carter”

Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Spotlight: Frank O’Rourke

His toughness was legendary. On many occasions, Frank O’Rourke “took the field so crippled up that every move caused him intense pain,” wrote Toronto Star sportswriter Charles Good in 1933. For 13 professional seasons, the Hamilton, Ont.-born infielder had persevered through sprained ankles, sore arms and the deep body bruises that accompany being perennially amongstContinue reading “Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer Spotlight: Frank O’Rourke”

Former Toronto Maple Leafs outfielder Jim King passes away at age 82

Jim King, who was named the International League’s MVP while with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1960, died on February 23 in Fayetteville, Ark., at the age of 82. On top of his heroics in Hogtown, King also clubbed 117 home runs in parts of 11 major league seasons between 1955 and 1967 with theContinue reading “Former Toronto Maple Leafs outfielder Jim King passes away at age 82”

Former Toronto Maple Leafs pitcher Don Johnson dies at 88

Don Johnson, who pitched parts of five minor league seasons with the International League’s Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1950s, died of kidney failure in Portland, Ore., on February 10 at the age of 88. Though his wild and hard-drinking ways sometimes overshadowed his on-the-field performance, Johnson managed to pitch in parts of seven bigContinue reading “Former Toronto Maple Leafs pitcher Don Johnson dies at 88”

Remembering the Canadian who replaced Babe Ruth

*Writer’s Note: This is an updated version of an article that I’ve published previously on this blog. He’s Canada’s Mr. October. But even though George Selkirk earned five World Series rings during his nine-year career with the New York Yankees, the vast majority of baseball fans in Canada and the U.S. don’t know who heContinue reading “Remembering the Canadian who replaced Babe Ruth”

1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Ed Roebuck

From ace starter in Montreal to World Series-winning closer in Brooklyn, Ed Roebuck certainly proved his versatility on the mound in the mid-1950s. After tying for the team lead in wins (18) with the Triple-A Montreal Royals in 1954, Roebuck made the big league Dodgers as a reliever the following spring. Brooklyn bench boss WalterContinue reading “1954 Montreal Royals Team Photo . . . Ed Roebuck”

George Selkirk: Canada’s Mr. October

With five World Series rings, he’s Canada’s Mr. October. Unfortunately, the vast majority of baseball fans don’t know who he is. “Not even hardcore Yankees fans are going to remember George Selkirk,” said Richard Tofel, author of A Legend in the Making: The New York Yankees in 1939, in a 2009 interview. Born in Huntsville,Continue reading “George Selkirk: Canada’s Mr. October”

More on Canada’s Mr. October, George Selkirk

I recently joined the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). My membership paid immediate dividends when I appealed to members for information about Canada’s Mr. October, George Selkirk. Dubbed “Twinkletoes” for his distinct running style, Selkirk was arguably the greatest Canadian player of the first half of the 20th century. Suiting up alongside immortals likeContinue reading “More on Canada’s Mr. October, George Selkirk”