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According to the information provided by Sean Forman's brilliant, there have been more than 200 Canadian-born major league ballplayers, men actually born in The True North Strong and Free.

Before we move on to an international Hall of Names challenge, let's see if we can't build the best possible 25-man roster from this considerable pool of candidates; your arguments and corrections are welcome and invited!

So here we go, let's welcome ...

The CBC (Canadian Baseball Club)
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
@ indicates active in 2005

MGR: Bill Watkins (Brantford, ONT native won 454, 1884-99)

Starting Lineup
C George "Mooney" Gibson (.236, just 132K in 3776 AB, 1905-18)
1B Justin Morneau@ (.248, 45 homers through 2005)
2B Dave McKay (.229, 1975-82)
SS Arthur "Doc" Irwin (.241, 93 SB, 1880-94)
3B Corey Koskie@ (.277, 112 homers through 2005)
LF Larry Walker@* (.310, 383 homers through 2005)
CF Tip O'Neill (.326, 1883-92)
RF Jeff Heath* (.293, 194 homers in 14 years)
DH Matt Stairs@ (.267, 207 homers through 2005)

C Jay "Nig" Clarke (.255 in 1536 AB, 1905-20)
3B/SS/2B Frank O'Rourke (.254, 1912-31)
IF Danny Klassen (.226, 1998-2003)
OF Jason Bay@* (.295, 62 homers through 2005)
OF Terry Puhl* (.280, 217 SB in 15 years)
3B/1B/OF Pete Ward (.254, 98 homers, 1962-70)

RHSP Fergie Jenkins** (284-226)
RHSP Russ Ford (48-17, 1910-11; 99-71 career)
RHSP Rich Harden@ (26-16 through 2005)
LHSP Jeff Francis@ (17-14 through 2005)
5SP-RH Kirk McCaskill (106-108)

CL-RH Eric Gagne@* (169 saves through 2005)
RH-SET Ryan Dempster@* (33 saves in 2005)
LH-SET John Hiller* (86-76, 125 saves)
RH-LONG Reggie Cleveland (105-106, 25 saves)
LH-LONG Rheal Cormier (69-61, 2 saves)

Among Those Not Making the Cut ...
Who else belongs on this list, even?
RHRP Paul Quantrill@ (68-78, 21 saves through 2005)
RHSP Jason Dickson* (26-25, 1996-2000)
RHRP Jesse Crain@ (15-5 through 2005)
RHRP Claude Raymond (46-53, 83 saves)
OF Jack Graney (.250, 148 SB, 1910-22)
OF Doc Miller (.295, 1910-14)
OF Goody Rosen (.291, 1937-46)

O, Canada ... Sure, there's only the one lefty in the rotation, but Jeff Francis going to be a good one -- besides, Rheal Cormier is around to take a start against a tough lineup calling for a southpaw stint ... Just about any team in baseball would love to have a 2007-09 team with Francis and Rich Harden (not to mention Erik Bedard) in the rotation and Eric Gagne, set up by Ryan Dempster and Jesse Crain, closing ... Unless I missed someone, Kirk McCaskill, Reggie Cleveland and of course Fergie Jenkins are the only three native Canadians to have cracked triple digits in victories, though Francis and Harden (barring injury, knock wood) could well get there in a few years ...

And what a bullpen! Jeff (and Jordan) Zimmerman, Paul Quantrill and Claude Raymond don't even make the team, for goodness sakes, as Gagne and Hiller have both held single-season save records -- Gagne's is NL-only, of course ... Throw in Dempster, and you have a new t-shirt slogan, "Canada is for Closers."

Terry Puhl's 217 and Larry Walker's 230 lead all Canadian natives in career SB ... Walker is the only Canadian to have surpassed 2,000 hits, with a presumably career-final total of 2,160 ... Mike Jones was a LHSP with the 1890 Louisville Colonels and retired from basebal undefeated (2-0 in three starts) and a career OPS of .889 (four singles in nine at-bats) at the tender age of 24 ... But Jones not only doesn't have the best batting average of Canadian-born major leaguers, it's not even the best career mark among "O'" players on his own team, as Dan O'Connor hit .462 (12-for-26 in his only big league time) playing 1B for those very same 1890 Louisville Colonels ...

Speaking of tender ages, Frank O'Rourke made his big league debut with the 1912 Braves at 17, but hit .122 and didn't return to The Show until 1917 with the Brooklyn Robins ... Jean-Pierre Roy has the most French-Canadian sounding name of those Canucks who made it to the majors, but his career stalled after a three-game, 6.1 IP showing with the 1946 Dodgers ...

Catching Up: Thanks to Bauxite editorial staffers Mike Moffatt and Leigh Sprague for thinking up -- in no time flat -- our starting and backup catchers; I was stuck on Pete LaForest, but as it turns out, we actually can do better! ... Dan "Magpie" McIlroy added on the subject of our starting backstop, "I think George Gibson is also of passing historical interest -- I believe he and [Roger] Bresnahan were the first catchers to adopt shin pads."

Many recent "well known for being Canadian" players, including Stubby Clapp, Rob Butler and Denis Boucher, will have to tune in to hear CBC games on the radio ... This IS the Hall of Names, so we can't go without mentioning a few eye-catching monikers, like Bunk Congalton, Shorty Dee, Roland Gladu, Joe Krakauskas, Brian Ostrosser, Ryan Radmanovich, Pop Smith, Paul Spoljaric (remember him?), Gene Vadeboncoeur, Ozzie Van Brabant, not to forget the aforementioned Mr. Roy ...

Now, here's the test ... Visit the page that breaks down major league player birth by U.S. state and/or nationality and build yourself your own Hall of Names team, one that's better'n this here Canadian one. Then send it to me at and we'll publish it here at Batter's Box

Rumour has it that Da Box's own Mike Moffatt will be taking it even a step further and trying to build an All-Southwestern Ontario team, meaning anything in the 519 area code. Can you do him one better, maybe with an All-Toronto team, or Puerto Rico or Cuba or Germany or New York or Maine or California ...

In All Thy Sons Command | 18 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Leigh - Friday, December 30 2005 @ 08:59 AM EST (#138202) #
Not only is our shortstop a good glove man, he is the original glove man, according to some.

Go to this page from Historica, then click on the link on the righthand side marked "baseball glove", for an audio "history minute".

Also interesting about Irwin, as pointed out by Craig B. in this thread, he had successfully pulled off the "two families in two cities" double life, a fact which only became known after he mysteriously disappeared on a steamer ship between New York and Boston.

Mike Green - Friday, December 30 2005 @ 09:52 AM EST (#138206) #
George Selkirk (aka Twinkletoes)from Huntsville was a fine centerfielder for the Yankees for a number of years. He was the kind of centerfielder I've always been crazy about- good speed and defence, medium range power and terrific plate discipline. Between Selkirk, Bay, Walker, O'Neill and Heath, the Canadians have a superb outfield. Nothing against Dave McKay, who'd look fine on the end of the Canadian bench.

Jesse Crain is a reliever. He could be switched with Reggie Cleveland who started most of his career.

Nicely done, Mick. My heart swells with Canadian pride.
Mick Doherty - Friday, December 30 2005 @ 10:19 AM EST (#138209) #
Good catch, Mike -- I'm embarrassed about misplacing Crain, but have fixed it, actually leaving Cleveland in pen and schlepping Kirk McCaskill into that #5 starter spot. Selkirk was one of the final cuts from the OF, not sure why I didn't list him on the "others" list. I guess when you follow Babe Ruth, that defines your career no matter what you do.
HoJu - Friday, December 30 2005 @ 11:00 AM EST (#138211) #
I wish we got to see more of Bay. What a great season for him. 32 HRs, 5th in the NL in OPS. 21 stolen bases, only CS once.
Jesse - Friday, December 30 2005 @ 02:45 PM EST (#138230) #
He never made the majors, but the most fun Canadian I remember was Reggie Laplante, a reliever for the 2001 Staten Island Yankees. One night, after a game against the Brooklyn Cyclones, he was one of a few players who came out and rode the famous rollercoaster that gave the home team its name. He was also easily the most timid of anyone on the ride.
TamRa - Friday, December 30 2005 @ 04:42 PM EST (#138240) #
I'd start Bay over Heath (and shift Walker to RF) and I'm going to have to include Quantrill in the pen - your choice on whether that mean's a 6 man pen or someone else get's pushed aside.

Magpie - Friday, December 30 2005 @ 06:57 PM EST (#138251) #
I'm just glad Rob hasn't said anything like "So what did you think the first time you saw Gibson wearing those shin pads?"
Craig B - Friday, December 30 2005 @ 07:14 PM EST (#138253) #
I sent Mick a team composed entirely of players from Mobile, Alabama which will kick this team's butts to the Gulf of Mexico and back. Hopefully it'll run soon.
lexomatic - Friday, December 30 2005 @ 08:36 PM EST (#138258) #
re: rotation
i think if you're taking a young player who's "projectable" you have to take bedard over francis. i haven't seen either of them pitch, but coors scares me. bedard has better numbers translated at bp, and better numbers career.

re: bullpen
my bullpen is a little different i guess. somewhat modern construction (2 lefties) but sabermetrically approved (?) because they can be used multiple innings. i looked at the average season on baseball reference. everyone except zimmerman averaged over 100 IP per year. you don't need any designated long relievers with that kind of flexibility.
my bullpen is....

closer: gagne
setup: hiller (l), zimmerman (r)
other: quantrill (r), r. cormier (l), c. raymond(r)

you have lights out end of game situation and solid mix of arms to keep you in the game in the middle innings who can be stretched out if needed.
jgadfly - Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 01:17 AM EST (#138273) #
RE; a George Selkirk story...early 60's the Dwight Red & White grocery store Lake of Bays,Ont....the butcher from behind the meatcounter to awkward thinks he knows it all 16 yr old..."So who is your favourite baseball team?"..."the Yankees" I reply..."I used to play for them" says the butcher..."yah right" says the KIA "did you know Babe Ruth?" ..."Not that well but I took over Right Field for him when he was traded"... "Yah right" said the disbelieving kid...thankfully he ignored my disbelief and we ended up talking about his baseball beginnings and playing in an Outlaw baseball league in northern Ontario with Pepper Martin back in the 20's or maybe 30's("it was pretty good baseball and we made more money than we did playing MLB") was years later that i came across his name in a Yankee history book (we only had baseball cards and Street & Smith's back in those pre internet days for info) and I was still surprised to see his's a long way from the Lake of Bays to Yankee Stadium and a lot more of knowing to answer opportunity's knock
jgadfly - Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 11:41 PM EST (#138350) #
Ron Taylor pitched like a HOFer during the WS for the 69? Mets and was the original NYMet "Doc"
jgadfly - Saturday, December 31 2005 @ 11:46 PM EST (#138351) #
RE: Ron Taylor ...I guess if he wasn't good enough to crack the lineup then he would make a pretty good trainor...who would be the Mgr & coaches ?
jgadfly - Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 12:25 AM EST (#138352) #
MGR: How about Bill Watkins who, at the age of 29, managed the 1887 World Series champion Detroit Wolverines to a 637 winning percentage and a 10 game to 5 (best of 18?) victory over the AL champion St Louis Browns ?
Brian W - Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 02:08 AM EST (#138355) #
Another possibility for manager would be to have Mooney Gibson act as a player-manager. He was 413-344 in his managerial career with Pittsburgh and Chicago.

Probably deserving of a mention but not a spot on the team is Dick Fowler, who I believe is still the only Canadian to throw a no-hitter. Even more impressive is that the no-hitter came in his first start after serving 30 months as a private in the Canadian Army during WW2.

Another deserving starter whose career would likely have been better if he hadn't missed his prime seasons in a German prison camp is Phil Marchildon, owner of a lifetime 68-75 record. He was a pilot in the RCAF, shot down during WW2.

Mentioned in another reply was Ron Taylor who had a 45-43 record with 70 saves (including 10 1/3 scoreless innings in the postseason).

Doom Service - Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 05:12 PM EST (#138374) #
I'd rather have Sherry Robertson (about 600 games from 1940 to 1952 with Washington) on my bench as a utility guy than Danny Klassen. If you were to actually play this team in a league (I did it about 15 years ago using a tabletop simulation game), the relentless left-handedness of the lineup will jump out at you. Walker, Heath, Ward, Selkirk, Puhl, Morneau, Graney, Rosen, Miller, Koskie just about everybody hits left. Bay, Gibson and O'Rourke are just about the only Canadians who hit right. McKay is listed as a switch hitter, but I think he gave up hitting both ways part way through his career IIRC.

Others have named most of the other obvious cases for consideration. I'll just toss out one other name: Oscar Judd, lhp. His career stats look unimpressive, but he didn't debut in the majors til age 34. Believe he was stuck for years in the deep Cardinals system. I know there were some quality Canadians restricted to playing in the Negro Leagues too.

Doom Service - Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 05:14 PM EST (#138376) #
Also meant to add that if Graney can't make the team, he'd do well in the booth. Longtime Indians broadcaster and multiple Ford Frick Award nominee.
Mike Green - Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 05:26 PM EST (#138378) #
Craig, I take it that Drungo LaRue Hazewood didn't make the No Longer Stuck Inside of Mobile Blues. The Blues seem to be short of pitchers, so did you keep Terry Adams? If you did, you might expect that he and Satch would be involved in an ugly clubhouse incident.
Mick Doherty - Sunday, January 01 2006 @ 07:47 PM EST (#138381) #
The "Mobile Homes" story (working title only -- maybe "Mobile Homeboys" or even "Mobile Infantry" would be better?) will run some time this coming week. And yes, you'll see Terry Adams' name featured prominently enough that it may even engender some debate and discussion.

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