St. Marys, Ont. – For the third time in his major league career, New Westminster, B.C., native Justin Morneau will be honoured with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Tip O’Neill Award.

The St. Marys, Ont.-based shrine presents this honour annually to the Canadian player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals.

To determine the winner, the Hall takes into account a number of criteria, including each candidate’s on-the-field performance, contributions to their team, community and charitable endeavors and support in fan voting. Starting on November 18, the Hall had encouraged fans to vote for their top three candidates and they responded by casting their votes via e-mail and on the Hall’s website.

Morneau, who captured the National League batting title in his first season with the Colorado Rockies, becomes the fourth player to win the award three times, joining Maple Ridge, B.C., native Larry Walker (a nine-time winner), Etobicoke, Ont., native Joey Votto (four-time winner) and Trail, B.C., native Jason Bay, a three-time recipient.

“Justin Morneau represents everything you want in an ambassador for the game of baseball and for the sport in our country,” said Scott Crawford, the Hall’s director of operations. “Yes, he’s a batting champion and a Gold Glove finalist on the field, but he’s also a passionate supporter of the national program and he quietly and selflessly supports a long list of charities. We’re proud to present this award to such a great all-around player and humanitarian.”

After 10 successful seasons with the Minnesota Twins and a little over a month with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Morneau signed with the Rockies and enjoyed an outstanding comeback season. The left-handed hitting first baseman, who won the American League MVP Award in 2006, secured his first batting title (.319) in 2014. In doing so, he became only the third Canadian (along with Walker and Tip O’Neill) to accomplish that feat.

A participant in this year’s Home Run Derby at the all-star game, Morneau led Canadian big leaguers in most offensive categories and was second amongst National League first basemen in slugging percentage (.496) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.860). His offensive output catapulted him into second place amongst Canadians in several all-time offensive categories, including hits, RBI, doubles and total bases.

On top of his offensive accomplishments, Morneau was a Gold Glove finalist, a NL Comeback Player of the Year nominee and he finished 24th in NL MVP voting. He was also selected to suit up for a post-season all-star team that travelled to Japan.

Off the field, Morneau and his wife, Krista, are active in numerous charities. For the past six years, they have organized a Casino Night to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation, a cause that’s close to Morneau’s heart because his niece, Madelyn, suffers from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Also in recent years, the couple has spearheaded the Winter Warm-Up Coat Drive for the Salvation Army in Minneapolis. Last year, they collected over 1,500 coats for people in need.

The New Westminster Firefighters’ Charitable Society, the Starkey Hearing Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House are among the other charities that Morneau has supported in recent years. For his humanitarian efforts, he has been nominated for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award three times (2010, 2012, 2013).

“I would like to start by saying thank you for being named the winner of the 2014 Tip O’Neill Award. With the high quality of Canadian baseball and softball players that now hail from Canada, it is truly one of the great honours of my career,” said Morneau. “To be mentioned amongst the great Canadian players in 2014, and to ultimately win the Tip O’Neill award is very special. When you look at the list of past winners, it is truly humbling to be listed with them again. I would also like to thank the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for not only this award, but also for doing such a great job of promoting and developing the game of baseball in Canada.”

Morneau will be presented with the award in a ceremony at a Rockies home game during the 2015 season.

Russell Martin (Montreal, Que.), Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, Ont.) and James Paxton (Ladner, B.C.) also garnered significant support for the award, as did Team Canada Women’s MVP Stephanie Savoie (La Pocatière, Que.) and Jamie Romak (London, Ont.)

The Hall’s Tip O’Neill Award is named after Woodstock, Ont., native James “Tip” O’Neill, who was one of Major League Baseball’s first legitimate stars. With the American Association’s St. Louis Browns in 1887, O’Neill set big league records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage and total bases, while compiling a .492 batting average. Walks were counted as hits in 1887, but if O’Neill’s average was calculated by today’s standards, it would be .435, the second highest in big league history to Hugh Duffy who hit .440 in 1894.

Past winners of the James “Tip” O’Neill Award:

1984 – Terry Puhl

1985 – Dave Shipanoff

1986 – Rob Ducey

1987 – Larry Walker

1988 – Kevin Reimer

1989 – Steve Wilson

1990 – Larry Walker

1991 – Daniel Brabant

1992 – Larry Walker

1993 – Rob Butler

1994 – Larry Walker

1995 – Larry Walker

1996 – Jason Dickson

1997 – Larry Walker

1998 – Larry Walker

1999 – Jeff Zimmerman

2000 – Ryan Dempster

2001 – Corey Koskie

2001 – Larry Walker

2002 – Eric Gagné

2002 – Larry Walker

2003 – Eric Gagné

2004 – Jason Bay

2005 – Jason Bay

2006 – Justin Morneau

2007 – Russell Martin

2008 – Justin Morneau

2009 – Jason Bay

2010 – Joey Votto

2011 – Joey Votto

2011 – John Axford

2012 – Joey Votto

2013 – Joey Votto

2014 – Justin Morneau

Two of golf’s greatest golfers of all time and one of St. Louis’ most prestigious country clubs will be inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame during a special enshrinement ceremony on Monday, April 27, 2015, at the beautiful 1,000-seat Chaminade Skip Viragh Center for the Arts.

South African Gary Player, who topped off his 1965 Grand Slam by winning the United States Open in a playoff at Bellerive Country Club, and Nick Price, winner of the 1992 PGA Championship at Bellerive, will be honored along with Bellerive, which has hosted numerous other significant golf events at the club.

To qualify for the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame, an individual or site, must have an area connection.

For Player, who is known as the “Black Knight” because of his signature black attire, and Bellerive, the year 2015 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Open championship. In all, Bellerive has hosted nine national golf championships.

In addition, a “local legend” in St. Louis golf, esteemed golf professional Dick Shapier, who has touched so many golfers over the years, will be inducted into the St. Louis Shrine. Shapier is credited with founding the concept for charities to raise money through golf tournaments. In fact, he has been involved with raising more than $25 million for hundreds of needy causes.  At one time, Shapier managed some 55 charity tournaments a year at Norwood Hills Country Club.

Also being honored that night will be two more “local legends” – Jim Holtgrieve and Ellen Port.  Besides their incredible playing records each coached a United States amateur team to a World Championship – Jim the mens’ Walker Cup team and Ellen the ladies’ Curtis Cup squad.

Two new awards also will debut on April 27. The Jim Holtgrieve Trophy and the Ellen Port Trophy will be awarded to a boy and girl between the ages of 17-21 from the metro area who have excelled on the course and in the classroom.  Those winners will be announced at a later date.

In addition, the great Lee Trevino has also been invited to be inducted for his 1972 St. Louis Open win at Norwood Hills and his participation in Junior League charity events here in the past.

Player, Price and Trevino will be participating in a PGA Champions Tour event the weekend prior to the induction.

A nationally known golf broadcaster will lead the discussion in our interview format at the enshrinement event.  The round-table conversation will be a golf fans dream evening!

Tickets for the 7 p.m. event will be available shortly and will be sold at the Chaminade Theater box office.  A limited number of sponsorships will also be available. More information about the event may be obtained by calling Kristie at 314-479-7100, or the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame office at 314-753-1570.

 

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (December 5, 2014) – Santa Claus will visit the World of Little League®: Peter J. McGovern Museum and Official Store from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 14.

There will be free admission at the museum, 525 Montgomery Pike (US 15), during Santa’s visit. He will be joined by Mrs. Claus in the Museum’s Connections Gallery, Presented by ACTIVE Network. Not only will visitors have the opportunity to take their photographs with the Jolly Old Elf and see the recently renovated museum, they also will receive a free holiday gift (vintage Little League World Series pin) with any purchase at the Official Store.

Throughout the upcoming holidays, the museum will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and will be closed on December 24, 25, 31, and January 1. Contact the museum (570-326-3607) or check its Facebook page at Facebook.com/LittleLeagueMuseum for updates on store specials, weather alerts, and more.

Rates for the museum are $2 for children up to the age of 12, $3 for anyone 62 and older, and $5 for general admission. Children 4 and younger are admitted at no charge.

About Little League®

Little League® Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with 2.4 million players and one million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and more than 80 other countries. Founded in 1939, more than 35 million people around the world, from a U.S. president to community leaders to professional athletes, can call themselves Little League graduates. And every year, millions of people follow the hard work, dedication, and sportsmanship that the Little Leaguers display at our nine baseball and softball World Series events, the premier tournaments in youth sports. For more information, visit LittleLeague.org, or follow Little League on Facebook (facebook.com/LittleLeague), Twitter (twitter.com/LittleLeague), and Instagram (Instagram.com/LittleLeague).

For more information contact:

Brian McClintock, Director of Media Relations, Little League Baseball & Softball

Office: 570-326-1921, ext. 2252; Cell: 570-772-2431;

E-mail: bmcclintock@LittleLeague.org;  Website: LittleLeague.org

Another exciting season of Patriots football has brought some special moments and milestones along with it, and The Hall continues to chronicle that history and preserve it as it’s being made. Artifacts from the current season are now part of a special display case at The Hall.

1393516_10152506910228061_4387145036792999101_nThe most recent artifacts added came straight from Indianapolis to The Hall. Jonas Gray rushed for 201 yards and a franchise-record four touchdowns in the Patriots 42-20 win on Nov. 16. His four touchdowns set a single-game rushing record and tied Randy Moss for the most touchdowns in a game. His white away, game-worn jersey and the ball he carried into the end zone for his fourth TD are now at Hall.

Tom Brady continues to dot the NFL and Patriots record books as he plays his15th season in New England. Brady moved past Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks Warren Moon and John Elway for fifth on the all-time NFL passing yardage list this season and also eclipsed the 50,000 passing yards mark. The home navy blue jersey Brady wore to eclipse the 50,000-yard mark in the Oct. 5 game against the Bengals along with the ball he threw are both on display at The Hall. The ball used to pass Elway, which happened in the Nov. 2 game against the Broncos, was sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Brady wore the same blue jersey two weeks before, on Sept. 21 against the Raiders, when he won his 150th game as a starting quarterback during his team’s 16-9 win at Gillette Stadium.

IMG_0202One of Brady’s all-time favorite receiving targets is tight end RobGronkowski, who also continues to assault the team’s and the NFL’s record books. Gronk’s navy blue home jersey and blue gloves worn against the Broncos when he caught his 50thcareer touchdown pass are also part of The Hall’s new display. Gronkowski caught his 50th in just his 59th game and tied Randy Moss as the second fastest receiver to reach that plateau (Lance Alworth did it in 54 games).

Gronk wore the same jersey the week before against the Chicago Bears on Oct. 26 when he teamed with Brady to set a franchise record for touchdown connections between a quarterback and receiver. The tandem entered the game having connected for 45 touchdowns, which tied them with the Drew Bledsoe-to-Ben Coates connection. But Gronkcaught three TD pass from Brady that day to establish the new mark.

photoHead coach Bill Belichick, who has 225 total wins, reached the 200 regular season win mark against the Vikings back in September. The Hall has his headset from the game on display along with a painted ball marking the accomplishment.

When the Patriots beat the Jets in October, defensive lineman Chris Jones blocked a 58-yard Nick Folk, game-winning field goal try. The ball that was blocked and Jones’ gloves worn to block it also are part of the display. Jones’ block came a year after his penalty on a missed Folk field goal moved the Jets 5 yards closer and awarded a re-try, on which Folk connected to send the Patriots to defeat.

Check put a few photos from the 44th ISHA Conference in Nashville.

 

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On November 1, 2014, a crowd of 700 people attended the induction ceremony for athletes Kevin Dugas, Scott Fraser, Theresa MacCuish, Richard G. Munro, and Ken Poole; builders Dr. Cathy Campbell and Anthony Hall; and the 1998 Truro TSN Bearcats Hockey Club. The event was emceed by CBC Charlottetown sportscaster and colour commentator Bruce Rainnie. The Induction class represented a diverse selection of sports this year, including the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame’s first stock car racing inductee—the late Scott Fraser.

 

The group photo from left to right: (back row) Truro Bearcats GM Larry Anthony, Scott Fraser’s brother Frank Fraser Jr., Anthony Hall, Kevin Dugas, (front row) Truro Bearcats GM Jim Foley, Ken Poole, Dr. Cathy Campbell, Richard G. Munro, Theresa MacCuish.

St. Marys, Ont. – Longtime Toronto Star baseball columnist and former Montreal Expos publicity director Richard Griffin has been named the winner of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2014 Jack Graney Award.

The St. Marys, Ont.-based shrine presents this award annually to a member of the media who has made significant contributions to baseball in Canada through their life’s work.

“Fully aware of the impressive list of winners of the Graney Award, I was humbled when Scott Crawford [the Hall’s director of operations] called with the news,” said Griffin. “By December 2016, I will have spent equal parts of my life as columnist with The Star and in the front office with the Expos. Just two jobs in 42 working years, both of them absorbing the wonderful life lessons of baseball. How lucky can one person be.

“My thanks to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and to every GM, scout, manager, player, writer and broadcaster with whom I ever worked. I have learned something important from them all.”

Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1954, Griffin fell in love with baseball when he began listening to World Series games on the radio on the north shore of the island in the early ’60s. His parents moved to Montreal in 1963, where Griffin graduated with honours from Loyola High School before attending Concordia University and playing Junior Varsity basketball.

Griffin secured his first job in Major League Baseball with the Expos while he was still a student at Concordia in 1973. He rose through the Expos’ ranks to become director of publicity in 1978 and he soon garnered a reputation as one of the best in the business at working with reporters, players and broadcasters. While employed by the Expos, he also volunteered in a public relations role for the commissioner’s office for 17 playoffs and World Series. He has witnessed all or parts of every World Series since 1978.

For his efforts, he was named the recipient of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Robert O. Fishel Award in 1992, one of two Canadians to be so recognized, along with Howard Starkman of the Blue Jays, who was honoured in 1995. This award is handed out annually to an individual who best exemplifies public relations excellence in Major League Baseball.

When Expos radio play-by-play man Dave Van Horne shifted to the club’s TV telecasts, with his various partners, Griffin stepped into the radio booth and broadcast games for the club from 1985 to 1994. During the 1994 season, which saw the Expos leading the National East by six games when a player strike wiped out the rest of the campaign, Griffin hosted a post-game radio show.

After that devastating season, Griffin decided to take his career in another direction, and on February 13, 1995, he was hired to be the Toronto Star’s baseball columnist. He has now served in that capacity for the past 19 years and his work has become essential reading for baseball fans across the country.

“Richard has an immense passion for baseball and you can feel that in his columns,” said Scott Crawford, the Hall’s director of operations. “Over the past 20 years, he has become one of the most respected and knowledgeable baseball columnists in the business. He was also a tremendous contributor to the success of the Montreal Expos during the ’80s and ’90s.”

When not behind the keyboard, Griffin provides baseball analysis for TSN Radio and TV and is the head coach of the Oakville A’s junior rep team. He has coached for Baseball Oakville for more than 15 years and he led the organization’s midget AAA team to a Central Ontario Baseball Association title in 2011 and the Juniors to the same title in 2014. He has twice received a Sport Recognition Award from the town of Oakville for his commitment to coaching.

Born in St. Thomas, Ont., Jack Graney was a scrappy leadoff hitter for the Cleveland Indians. His big league resume boasts a number of firsts. When he walked to the plate in a game against the Boston Red Sox on July 11, 1914, he became the first batter to face Babe Ruth. Almost two years later, on June 26, 1916, he was the first major leaguer to bat wearing a number on his uniform. After hanging up his spikes, Graney became the first ex-player to make the transition to the broadcast booth, performing radio play-by-play for the Indians from 1932 to 1953.

 Previous Winners of the Jack Graney Award:

1987 – Neil MacCarl – Toronto Star

1988 – Milt Dunnell – Toronto Star

1990 – Austin “Dink” Carroll – Montreal Gazette

1991 – Joe Crysdale & Hal Kelly – CKEY

1996 – Dave Van Horne – Montreal Expos

2001 – Tom Cheek – Toronto Blue Jays

2002 – Ernie Harwell – Detroit Tigers

2003 – Allan Simpson – Baseball America

2004 – Jacques Doucet – Montreal Expos

2005 – Len Bramson – TBS Sports

2009 – Ian MacDonald – Montreal Gazette

2010 – Bob Elliott – Sun Media & canadianbaseballnetwork.com

2011 – W. P. Kinsella – “Shoeless Joe” novel adapted to film “Field of Dreams”

2012 – Jerry Howarth – Toronto Blue Jays

2013 – Rodger Brulotte – Montreal Expos, Toronto Blue Jays

2014 – Richard Griffin – Toronto Star