Saturday, June 28, 2014


Belleville Minor Football League-2014 Award Winners

Belleville Minor Football League-2014


Award Winners


Most Valuable Player-Matt Sherwin

                                      Trent Hills Titans




Rookie of the Year-Vanessa MacDonald

       Scott’s Haulage/Diamond Electric Falcons



Offensive Player of the Year-Tanner Feurherdt

       McConnell Funeral Home

       Centre Hastings Centurions


Defensive Player of the Year-Ben Trumpour

                  SWE Autoglass Chargers



Offensive Lineman of the Year-Mackenzie Baker

                        Quinte Pediatric Saints



Defensive Lineman of the Year-Aiden Brownlee

           Hotch’s Auto Parts Razorbacks



Commissioner’s Award-Connor Hodge

           Trenton Kiwanis Tiger Cubs



Coaches’ Award-Logan Vanslyke

        Bancroft Esso on the Run T Hawks                                       

Friday, June 27, 2014


Halls of Fame 2014

Two halls of fame are in the news this week. On Monday, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced its inductee list for 2014. Four players, one coach and one on-ice official made the grade this year: Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, Dominik Hasek, and Mike Modano are the players. An interesting sort, as they all hail from different countries. Pat Burns was a police officer for 17 years, then hung up his shield and began coaching. He won the Cup with New Jersey in 2003. Bill McCreary was on the ice for 1982 games in the NHL, and worked international hockey as well. All well deserved.



The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is now firmly situated in the town of St. Marys, Ontario, west of Toronto, east of Windsor. In his remarks in the program for the induction ceremony, Mayor Steve Grose has a word of thanks to all of the folks who have contributed to the success of the event. He writes that they “have ensured St. Marys a spot on the international map and have significantly added to the success of our town”. Cooperstown, New York, is a sleepy community most of the year. But in the summer, especially during induction week, it comes alive with the spirit of baseball fans from around the world.



Last weekend, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inducted four members, one player and three others who have significantly contributed to the game: Tim Wallach, Dave Van Horne, Murray Cook, and Jim Ridley.



At the height of his playing career, Wallch stood at 6’ 3”, and weighed 220 pounds. He was drafted tenth overall by the Expos, and began his career in Montreal, playing five games in 1980.  He played 71 games in 1981, and became a full time player the following year. In 1982, he smacked 28 home runs, and drove in 97 runs. From that point on, the brass in the Expos organization knew that they had a keeper.



“Eli”, as he was dubbed by his teammates, went on to become the best third baseman in the history of the Expos. He played there for 13 seasons, from 1980 to 1992. He was selected to play in five All Star games, and won three Gold Glove awards. He won two Silver Slugger Awards in 1985 and 1987. He spent the final four years of his career with the Dodgers and the Angels.



He continues to work in the game, and is now the Dodger bench coach, alongside Dodger Manager Don Mattingly. He is a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, and the California State Fullerton Athletics Hall of Fame.



Wallach also leads the Expos in many statistical categories: games played (1 767), hits (1 694), doubles (360), and total bases (2 728).



Dave Van Horne was the voice of the Expos for 32 seasons. His sidekick was Duke Snider for several years, and in my humble opinion, they supplied the best baseball chatter ever. Duke was so knowledgeable, and Van Horne knew the buttons to push to keep the dialogue flowing. 1n 2001, he was awarded the prestigious Ford C. Frick Award, the Cooperstown nod for broadcasting excellence. He joins a host of other Expo family members in the Canadian Hall: Charles Bronfman, John McHale, Jim Fanning, Rusty Staub, Claude Raymond, Ron Piche, Steve Rogers, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Larry Walker, and Rheal Cormier.



Good friend Pam Murray attended the festivities. One of her observations was that there was a lot of chatter about “bringing back the Expos”. With all of the names I have thrown around here, you can understand that notion; however, money talks, and it just ain’t sayin’ Montreal is ready for Major League baseball again. Not just yet.



Maybe some day.


James Hurst

Wednesday, June 04, 2014


Out of the Blocks....

Sprinters know that you must get out of the starting blocks quickly in order to win races. By no means is the baseball season a sprint, with each team playing more than 160 games. But it never hurts to get off to a good start, and that is exactly what the Toronto Blue Jays have done this year.


They began a brief visit to Detroit for three games last night, then return home to play the St. Louis Cardinals this coming weekend. There is a trip running to the ball park from Wellington for the game on Sunday. Call Bob Lavender at 613-399-1486 for tickets.


A special tip of the ball cap to Edwin Encarnacion. He has simply played the best baseball of his life, so far this year. He registered 16 home runs in May. In 1956, Mickey Mantle also homered 16 times in May. In May, 2001, Barry Bonds hit 17 homers. In 1998, Mark McGwire had 16 dingers in the month of May. Understandably, the totals for Bonds and McGwire are suspect, due to the whole “performance enhancing drugs” scenario. Consequently, Edwin tied the record of one of the greatest hitters in baseball.


Babe Ruth hit 17 home runs in September, 1927, plus one game in October. That was the year he surpassed the totals of Lou Gehrig, and went on to hit 60 home runs. Encarnacion’s production moved him ahead of teammate Jose Bautista, who had 14 home runs in June, 2012.


As we witnessed last weekend, Bautista can also play a little defence. A line shot was hit to him in right field. Instantly, he decided to make a play. He realized that the batter, Billy Butler of the Kansas City Royals, was not the fastest runner in the game. Bautista scooped up the ball, and, in one fluid motion, uncorked a perfect throw to first base. Butler was out by a step, on this truly remarkable play. It is an extremely rare occasion, and many factors have to be in place for such an occurrence.


Billy Butler is a big lad, standing a little over six feet. But he tips the scales at almost 250 pounds, and usually is the designated hitter for the Royals. Consequently, Bautista knew he had a shot at him, with the perfect hit. I do believe that his play was not instinctive, but well thought out in advance. He made the kind of play that will be etched in the minds of Blue Jay fans for a long time.


Bautista has also contributed with his bat as well. For that matter, most of the Blue Jays have done what it takes to provide the offence required to win games. Many of us do not get a chance to attend a lot of games during the season. We might also have other things on the go: jobs, Stanley Cup Finals, “Honey Do lists” (I know I’ll pay for writing that!), plenty of life’s offerings. But it is most satisfying to read, in the morning papers, that the Jays have won again, and now find themselves on top of the East Division of the American League, by a whopping four games over the Yankees!


Mark Buehrle pitched a gem last Sunday, giving up six hits in eight innings. He is a workhorse, and his style is appreciated by his teammates. Ken Fidlin talked with Bautista about Buehrle’s style: “It’s not a surprise that when he pitches, there are plenty of defensive plays made. He keeps everybody engaged in the game because he works quick. He gets everybody to relax, and that allows us to execute our game plan.”


A quote from Billy Butler: “He frustrates you. He feeds off your over-aggressiveness. And he’s got a really good changeup. He’s always had that. Back door cutters, front door. Pounding you with it. Throwing two-seamers, running them back. He’s crafty.”  It appears as if Buehrle has Butler’s number!


OK, Blue Jays. Let’s play ball!


James Hurst

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