Monday, January 30, 2017

Canadians in the Major Leagues: What Team Has Had the Most?

A reader commented on my blog about wondering what team has had the most Canadian born players..

So I decided to look it up. And I was surprised at the result. 

First, my methodology:

I took teams that were in the American or National Leagues. For the earlier teams in the NL, I disqualified certain teams that have no modern counterpart. (Louisville, Detroit Wolverines, Cleveland Spiders) 

I looked at each iteration of a team as a separate identity. So for my purposes, the Oakland A's are different from the Kansas City A's and the Philadelphia A's. 

So now that I've explained my process... Let's see who's had the most.. 

It's a Tie, actually... 

The Phillies and the Pirates have each had 26 Canadians play for them.

In a way, it makes sense since they've both been around since the 1800s. 

The next highest teams are the Red Sox and Blue Jays with 24. 

Now, with the Red Sox, they had a player do two tours with them. Fergie Jenkins played two separate stints with the Sox.. In those cases, I counted it once.. 

The Cubs, Indians, Reds, and Cardinals have each had 21 Canadians suit up for them. 

The final results are:

Arizona: 3
Atlanta: 3
Baltimore: 7
Boston: 24
Boston Braves: 10
Brooklyn: 8
Cubs: 21
White Sox: 12
Cincinnati: 21
Cleveland: 21
Colorado: 5
Detroit: 16
Houston: 7
Kansas City A's: 5
Royals: 8
Angels: 9
Los Angeles Dodgers: 8
Miami: 7
Milwaukee: 12
Milwaukee Braves: 3
Minnesota: 9
Montreal: 16
New York Giants: 12
New York Mets: 8
New York Yankees: 12
Oakland A's: 11
Philadelphia A's: 10
Phillies: 26
Pirates: 26
Cardinals: 21
Browns: 6
Padres: 10
San Francisco Giants: 2
Seattle: 12
Tampa: 3
Texas: 12
Toronto: 24
Washington Nationals: 3
Washington Senators Part 1: 8
Washington Senators Part 2: 2

Now: The Senators Part 1 and 2 are the separate teams that moved to Minnesota and Texas respectively. 

If we look at Franchise numbers:

The Athletics from Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Oakland combined have had 26.

The Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves have had 16

The Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers have had 16

The New York/San Francisco Giants: 14

The Washington Senators/Texas Rangers: 14

The Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins: 17

And... As much as it pains me to write these words:

The Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals: 19

I hope this was interesting, or at the very least, informative. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Best of Canada: Canadians In the Field.

My last post on Rob Ducey had someone comment about wanting to see a best of for each position, mentioning a few players they know.. 

Oddly enough, I've been thinking about, forgetting about, meaning to but completely getting sidetracked until today, writing on that exact topic..

According to Baseball Reference  there have been 246 Canadian-Born players in the Major Leagues.

So I'm going to, for lack of a better thought, make an "All-Canadian Team" made up of the best players at each position. 

We even have a Manager for this team!
He was born in London, Ontario July 22, 1880 
George Gibson was a player and manager.
 He managed the Pirates in 1920-1922 then again in 1932-1934. He also managed the Cubs in 1925. 

In his managerial career, he lead his teams to a 413-344 record, and is one of only six Canadians to have managed a Major League team.


Russell Martin. 
He has been playing since 2006 and is currently a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
He was born in East York, Ontario on February 15, 1983. 

So far, he has hit .254/.350/.404 162 HR 691 RBI 
He is also a four-time All Star.

First Base

Justin Morneau was born May 15, 1981 in New Westminster BC. 
He is currently a Free Agent after spending 2016 with the Chicago White Sox.

In 14 years, he's hit .281/.348/.481 247 HR 985 RBI 
He is a four-time All Star and an AL MVP winner.

(If I revisit in a few years, it'll likely be Votto here)

Second Base

Dave McKay was born March 14, 1950 in Vancouver BC
He played from 1975-1982 for the Twins, Jays, and A's. 

.229/.266/.313 21 HR 170 RBI 

The middle infield has been generally a thin position for Canadian born players. For Second Basemen, it was really McKay or Pete Orr.. 

Third Base

Corey Koskie was born June 28, 1973 in Anola, Manitoba. 

He played from 1998-2006 for Minnesota, Toronto, and Milwaukee.

.275/.367/.458 124 HR 506 RBI


Arthur Irwin was born February 14, 1858 in Toronto.
He played from 1880-1894 and was responsible for innovations in a few sports.

.241/.299/.305 5 HR 396 RBI 

Left Field

Jeff Heath was born April 1, 1915 in Fort William, ON

He played from 1936-1949 for Cleveland, Boston, Washington, and St. Louis Browns.
.293/.370/.509 194 HR 887 RBI 

He was a two-time All Star.

Centre Field

Terry Puhl was born July 8, 1956 in Melville Saskatchewan.

He played from 1977-1991 for Houston and Kansas City.

.280/.349/.388 62 HR 435 RBI 505 BB 507 SO

Right Field

Larry Walker was born December 1, 1966 in Maple Ridge, BC

He played from 1989-2005 for Montreal, Colorado, and St. Louis.

.313/.400/.565 383 HR 1311 RBI 230 SB 76 CS 

For the Bench:

The Starting Rotation

Fergie Jenkins was born December 13, 1942 in Chatham Ontario

He played from 1965-1983 for the Phillies, Cubs, Red Sox, and Rangers.

284-226 3.34 ERA 997 BB 3192 K 1.142 WHIP

He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Reggie Cleveland was born May 23, 1948 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan

He played from 1969-1981 for the Cardinals, Red Sox, Rangers, and Brewers. 

105-106 4.01 ERA 543 BB 930 K 1.319 WHIP

Ryan Dempster was born May 3, 1977 in Sechelt BC

He played from 1998-2013 for the Marlins, Reds, Red Sox, Cubs, and Rangers

132-133 4.35 ERA 1071 BB 2075 K 1.432 WHIP

Kirk McCaskill was born April 9, 1961 in Kapuskasing, Ontario

He played from 1985-1996 for the Angels and White Sox

106-108 4.12 ERA 665 BB 1003 K 1.396 WHIP


Claude Raymond was born May 7, 1937 in St. Jean Quebec

He played from 1959-1971 for the White Sox, Braves, Astros, and Expos. 

46-53 3.66 ERA 82 SV 225 BB 497 K 1.298 WHIP

Paul Quantrill was born November 3, 1968 in London Ontario

He played from 1992-2005 for the Red Sox, Phillies, Jays, Dodgers, Yankees, Padres, and Marlins.

68-78 3.83 ERA 21 SV 336 BB 725 K 1.416 WHIP

Rheal Cormier was born April 23, 1967 in Moncton New Brunswick
He played from 1991-2007 for the Cardinals, Red Sox, Expos, Phillies, and Reds

71-64 4.03 ERA 2 SV 317 BB 760 K 1.281 WHIP

John Hiller was born April 8 1943 in Toronto, Ontario

He played from 1965-1980 for the Tigers

87-76 2.83 ERA 125 SV 535 BB 1036 K 1.268 WHIP

Eric Gagne was born January 7, 1976 in Montreal Quebec

He played from 1999-2008 for the Dodgers, Red Sox, Brewers, and Rangers

33-26 3.47 ERA 187 SV 226 BB 718 K 1.156 WHIP

So that's my list... What do you think? Comment below!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Canadians in the Major Leagues: Rob Ducey

The probably not much anticipated return of this series. 

Hello again.. I have energy and the feeling of writing, so I figured why not do another one of these. 

I had to go back through the archives and see who I have done so far. After finding I haven't covered this guy yet, today Is his day..


Rob Ducey.

Rob Ducey was born in Toronto, Ontario and lived in Cambridge. 
He was signed as a free agent by the Jays in 1984.

He started his professional career in Medicine Hat, Alberta for the Medicine Hat Blue Jays, where he won League MVP. Because of that, he rose through the minors and made his Major League debut on May 1, 1987.

An interesting note: His first career home run came against the Baltimore Orioles in a game the Jays set the record for most home runs in a game with 10. 

From 1987 to 1992, he bounced between Toronto and Syracuse, not quite being able to crack the outfields of the time. In 1987, for example, the Jays had what many fans considered the best outfield in George Bell, Lloyd Moseby, and Jesse Barfield. After Barfield was traded, Junior Felix took over. 1990 saw Mookie Wilson in Centre, and 1991 and 1992 saw Candy Maldonado, Devon White, and Joe Carter. 
As a result, he was traded at the deadline in 1992 with Greg Myers to California for Mark Eichhorn's return. 

At the end of 1992, he was released by the Angels, signing with the Rangers, again bouncing between the Majors and Triple A. this time Oklahoma City. 

In October 1994, he was purchased by the Nippon Ham Fighters. 
In 237 games in Japan, he hit .248/.357/.491 51 HR 120 RBI. 

He would return to the Majors, signing with Seattle in 1997.

He would sign with the Phillies in 1999, then be traded to and from Toronto in separate deals. 
July 26, 2000: Traded to the Blue Jays for a Player to be Named Later. (John Sneed)
August 7, 2000 : Traded to the Phillies to complete a deal for Mickey Morandini.

2001 saw him released by the Phillies on June 7th, then picked up by the Montreal Expos June 12th. 
In doing so, he was the second Canadian Born player to start his career with the Blue Jays and end his career with the Expos. 
He also became one of four Canadian Born players to play for both the Jays and Expos. The others are Denis Boucher, Matt Stairs, and Shawn Hill. 

His playing career ended in 2002 with the Adirondack Lumberjacks of the North Eastern League.

Following his playing days, he started scouting and coaching. 

He is currently listed as the Hitting Coach for the Florida State League Clearwater Threshers. 

In 1986, he won the Tip O'Neill Award, given to a Canadian baseball player "judged to have excellent individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to the highest ideals of the game of baseball."

He is one of three Tip O'Neill Award winners to also be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame:

Larry Walker and Terry Puhl are the others. 

I hope this wasn't too painful a walk to the past.. :) 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Throwback Uniforms on Cards

Before I get into today's topic, I want to just mention something first..

Or more to the point, ask a question.. 

Does anyone else have those days where you're looking for something you know you have but can't find it regardless of where you look and for how long you look? It drives me insane to be looking for something I know I have and can't find it.. 

Anyway... On to today's topic.. Throwback uniforms on cards!

I've seen a few of these over the years, oddly enough though, mainly in 1992 sets. It's something I like seeing but at the same time, feel it would be too tough to collect, so... 

I just want to highlight the ones I've found..

Seeing as the 1991 Score set has a few players in these uniforms, I wouldn't be surprised if the photos were taken on the same day, or if they were a regular uniform choice on certain days. 

This was the uniform they wore in 1917. 

Even the current uniform is somewhat of a throwback, as they used the current style in 1951. 

Bill Swift in what looks like a throwback to the 1942 Giants uniforms. 

They did these ones at least once. 

They also did these ones.. 

From the information I found, it looks like the 1925 uniforms. 

I can tell from the patch on the front. 

And here's the image from the Hall Of Fame's Dressed to the Nines exhibit online.

Here's another look at the uniform Bill Swift was wearing above. 

A couple Phillies from 1942. 

The road uniforms were rather interesting, with "PHILS" written across the front.. 

Here's some photos of Phillies from 1942. 

Again, Dressed to the Nines 

This one is more difficult to pin down.. The Indians used this style a couple times
1910-1914, though the Dressed to the Nines show collars on those
1929-1932, which looks like the likely time frame. 

This is the one I think.. 

Juan Gonzalez in a throwback that I don't know what they're throwing back to. 

I know I have others but I'm going to leave it here.. 

Do you know of any cards that show players in throwback uniforms?