Alomar to enter Canada's baseball Hall

Alomar to enter Canada's baseball Hall

TORONTO -- Blue Jays great Roberto Alomar fell eight votes shy of being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this month. The former second baseman did not run into any similar issues north of the border.

On Thursday, Alomar headlined the 2010 class of inductees for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and will be honored in a ceremony on June 19 in St. Marys, Ontario. Joining Alomar will be former pitcher Paul Quantrill, while longtime executive Calvin Griffith and statistician Allan Roth were elected posthumously.

Alomar will likely be enshrined to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., next year. For now, he is excited about being recognized in Canada.

"This is an honor, truly a privilege," Alomar said in a statement. "I cherished my years with the Blue Jays and have always loved the Canadian people. Those years were the very best of my career."

Earlier this month, Alomar received 397 votes (73.7 percent) in balloting for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, marking the most votes for a first-year candidate without being elected. A player needs to be named on 75 percent of ballots cast in order to gain election.

Over a 17-year career, Alomar was named to 12 All-Star teams and captured 10 Gold Glove Awards for his skills as a second baseman. Alomar spent the majority of his career with the Blue Jays and helped lead Toronto to back-to-back World Series crowns in 1992-93. He earned the Jays Player of the Year honor three times and was also honored with a place on the franchise's "Level of Excellence."

Alomar boasts the highest career batting average (.307) for a Blue Jays player and his 206 stolen bases rank second only to Lloyd Moseby in club history. Of Alomar's 2,724 career hits and 210 career home runs, he collected 832 and 55, respectively, during his time with Toronto. He also earned one of his four Silver Slugger Awards while with the Jays.

Quantrill -- born in London, Ontario, and a resident of Port Hope, Ontario -- appeared in 841 career games, which ranks 35th overall in Major League history and first among Canadians. The right-hander spent parts of the 1996-2001 seasons with the Blue Jays and also had stops with the Red Sox, Phillies, Angels, Yankees and Padres.

Quantrill appeared in 386 games for Toronto, finishing with 30 wins, 15 saves and a 3.67 ERA with the club. Over the course of a 14-year career in the big leagues, Quantrill won 68 games, saved 21, posted a 3.83 ERA and struck out 725 batters over 1,255 innings. He pitched for Team Canada in the '06 World Baseball Classic and has served as a coach for Canadian teams in the years since then.

"Baseball has been a huge and wonderful part of my family's life," Quantrill said in a statement. "So getting the call from St. Marys created a lot of excitement around our home. The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame represents a community that has a true love and respect for our game. I hope my genuine enthusiasm and passion for a kid's game reflects well on the Hall."

Griffith -- a native of Montreal -- spent 60 years in baseball, beginning as a bat boy for the Washington Senators. After a short Minor League playing career, he rejoined the Senators' front office and assumed ownership of the club in 1955. Griffith moved the franchise to Minnesota in 1961 and remained as owner of the Twins until 1984. Griffith passed away in 1999 at the age of 87 and will be represented by his son, Clark, at the June ceremony.

Roth has been referred to as the "Father of Sabermetrics" by renowned statistician Bill James. Roth, who passed away at the age of 74 in 1992, spent time charting stats for his hometown Montreal Canadiens and the National Hockey League before becoming the first full-time statistician to be hired by a Major League Baseball club (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947). Roth will be represented by his son, Michael, at the induction ceremony this summer.

"Quantrill, Griffith and Roth further demonstrate the often-underestimated impact that Canadians have had on so many facets of the baseball industry," Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame president and CEO Tom Valcke said in a statement. "And while we do not strive to be identified as the Expos/Blue Jays Hall of Fame, there is little doubt that the caliber of player that Robbie Alomar was during his time with the Jays penetrated every grass roots program from coast to coast and helped develop infielders.

"Being superb at his position made countless Canadian youth wish that they could play like Robbie Alomar, and that distinction is why we'll be honoring him here in St. Marys in June."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.