Maybe this is what Cooperstown was waiting for.
Having missed out in gaining admittance to Baseballís Hall of Fame in recent voting for the prestigious J.G. Taylor Spink Award south of the border, Bob Elliott, the Toronto Sunís resident baseball guru, on Friday was named the Jack Graney Award winner by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
Canada first, eh.
How fitting is that for a person as dedicated to and supportive of Canadian players who participate in Americaís national pastime.
Baseball is and has been Elliottís life and now he has so deservedly received an honour that has been presented just 12 times in the 24 years since its inception, to a representative of the media who has made a significant contribution to the game of baseball to Canada through their lifeís work.
How neat would it have been to have had Roberto Alomar, Pat Gillick and Elliott be honoured on the same stage, in the same year. Of the three, Gillick was the only one to make it to the halls of Cooperstown so far, Alomar will find out next month.
Winning the Jack Graney Award, though, is no chopped liver. Past winners include the legendary Milt Dunnell plus announcers Tom Cheek and Ernie Harwell.
Toronto Star baseball columnist Richard Griffin, the president of the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers of America, nominated Elliott for the Spink Award. In his letter to Cooperstown, Griffin wrote: ďBob has been an ongoing positive influence on an entire country for the past 25 years and counting. Never has there been more Canadian college players, Canadian minor league players and as many contributing major leaguers from the Great White North than in the past decade and itís guaranteed every one of those players, their parents and coaches have reached out at one time or other for advice and counsel from Bob Elliott.Ē
Both honours, the Graney and the Spink, were long overdue.
Canada, though, got it right first.
Way to go, Bob.