Currie’s Corner 621, May 10, 2018
Today’s Trivia question, how many Canadian baseball players have made it to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown? The answer is one, and no it’s not ‘Stubby Clapp” who was legendary with Canada’s national team when the Pan Am Games were played in Winnipeg in 1999.
The answer to my question is Ferguson Jenkins who was born in Chatham Ontario in 1942. Fergie hung around in the majors as a pitcher for 18 seasons, primarily with the Cubs in the National League and the Texas Rangers in the American League. He won more than 250 games and he was the only pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues. Fergie just made it into Cooperstown in 1991, and it might well have NOT happened at all because of an incident fairly late in his career.
Going through customs one day he was found to be carrying small amounts of marijuana, hashish and cocaine in his luggage. He was suspended as a player by the baseball commissioner , but quickly reinstated after his case was reviewed by an arbitrator.
Larry Walker and Joey Votto are Canadian-born players who might make the Hall of Fame but it’s not an easy process, and it filled with lots of double standard and hypocrisy. Names like Pete Rose and Roger Clemens will probably never appear in Cooperstown, yet Ty Cobb is there, even though there’s evidence that he may have killed a couple of guys.
This past week, a pitcher from B.C. named James Paxton tossed a no hitter for Seattle. He’s only the second Canadian to do that. The first was Dick Fowler who tossed one in 1945 while playing for the Philadelphia Athletics. Fowler is not in Cooperstown, but neither are dozens of other pitchers with no hitters in their resume. Even tossing the only perfect game to ever happen in a World Series wasn’t enough to get Don Larsen into the Hall.
Take me out to the Ball Game .. Please !
I’m Roger Currie