Inductees committed to Canada
It’s not the biggest induction class ever, but it may be one of the most personable.
The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame will induct three new members, including two players who were never at a loss for something to say. Former Montreal Expos superstar Pedro Martinez, longtime Toronto Blue Jays centre fielder Lloyd Moseby and Canada’s foremost baseball historian William Humber will be inducted into the Hall in a ceremony on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Hall grounds in St. Marys.
Moseby was one of the most personable Blue Jays to wear the uniform, while Martinez was quick with a quote.
“Pedro and Lloyd are both very outgoing and respectful and happy with their times in (Canada,)” said Scott Crawford, director of operations for the Hall of Fame. “Lloyd is still helping the Jays Care Foundation and Tournament 12 and Blue Jays Academy.
“Pedro had four years in Montreal and when he won the World Series with the Red Sox he said, ‘This is for the people of Montreal.’ Those two have shown their love and commitment to Canadian baseball.”
Usually inductions are dominated by the players, but Crawford says as a Hall of Fame and Museum having a historian like Humber inducted is important to the game in Canada.
“Bill Humber is the most knowledgeable person in Canada about Canadian baseball history,” he said. “The history part is so important. We’re a museum as well as a Hall of Fame and we have to keep the history of the game alive and Bill is one of the guys who fills in the details and fills in the blanks when guys don’t know it. He either knows it or goes and finds it out.
“Baseball is a game of history, tradition and statistics and Bill is the guy who knows that stuff.”
Admission to the induction ceremony is free.
There are several activities leading up to Saturday’s induction, including a Friday golf tournament. There is still one foursome open for that tournament.
Moseby is one of the most popular Blue Jays. In the mid-1980s he was part of what was considered one of the most potent outfields in the major leagues with George Bell and Jesse Barfield.
He broke in with the Jays in 1980 and roamed centre field for the next 10 years.
Moseby made a big statement in 1983 when he batted .315 with 18 home runs, 31 doubles, seven triples and 27 steals. He also topped American League centre fielders with 11 assists.
He became the first Jays outfielder to win a Silver Slugger Award and was the team’s player of the year. He was also selected to the Sporting News and Baseball America all-star teams.
The next year he hit another 18 home runs, led the American League in triples with 15 and stole 39 bases.
In his 10 seasons with the Blue Jays, Moseby played on two division-winning teams in 1985 and 1989 and ranks among the franchise’s all-time leaders in several categories, including first in stolen bases, second in triples, third in atbats and walks and fourth in games played, runs, hits and doubles.
He played two seasons with the Detroit Tigers to finish off his 12-year major league career before spending two years with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan.
Martinez came to the Expos in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers for Delino DeShields in 1993. He was a member of the 1994 team that led the National League East before a strike wiped out the season. It was one of the most difficult years for Expos players and Canadian baseball fans.
But it was Martinez’s 1997 season that established him as one of the best pitchers of his era.
He posted a 17-8 record for the Expos, leading the league with a 1.90 ERA. He led National League pitchers in complete games with 13. His 305 strikeouts set a single-season franchise record. He became the first and only Expo to win the NL Cy Young Award.
The Expos were forced to deal him the next year because of financial issues and the Boston Red Sox were the beneficiaries. In his four years with the Expos, Martinez was 55-33 with a 3.06 ERA while striking out 843 batters.
In seven years with the Red Sox he won four American League ERA titles and two Cy Young Awards. He was a member of the team that won the 2004 World Series, the first World Series win for the Red Sox in 86 years. He finished his career with a three-year stint with the New York Mets and one year with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Martinez was an eight-time allstar in his 18-year career. In total Martinez wound up with 219 wins and a 2.93 ERA and is one of four pitchers to complete their career with more than 3,000 strikeouts and less than 1,000 walks. In 2015 he became a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Humber is one of Canada’s top baseball historians. He’s done numerous presentations about Canadian baseball and authored numerous books, including Diamonds of the North: A Concise History of Baseball in Canada.
He’s also a builder of the game. He was instrumental in establishing the Toronto Hanlan’s Point chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research and the only Canadian to have served on its board of directors.
In 1979 he created a course called Baseball Spring Training for Fans at Seneca College, which continues to this day. He has taught the course since its inception.
In 1989 he was the driving force behind an exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum called Let’s Play Ball: Inside the Perfect Game, which celebrated 150 years of Canadian baseball history.
Humber also serves on the selection committee for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and for the Clarington Sports Hall of Fame and in 2006 he was elected to the Black Ice Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame in the writers category.
Former all-star outfielder Lloyd Moseby gives hitting instructions during the Toronto Blue Jays Honda Super Camp on June 23, 2014, at Fergie Jenkins Field at Rotary Park in Chatham. Moseby is one of three inductees into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend.