Ron Stead, an Ontario pitching legend, died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer. He was 75.
Stead was born in London, Ont., grew up near Maple Leaf Stadium in Toronto and became the triple-A Leafs mascot in 1946 at age 10. A decade later, having turned down an offer from the Cleveland Indians, Stead joined the Leafs organization, pitching for a farm team in Florida in 1956 and '57.
Eager to return to Canada, Stead signed with the Brantford Red Sox of the Intercounty League and took a job as a meter reader with Union Gas, remaining with the company until he retired in 1984.
Meanwhile, the left-hander pitched for the Red Sox from 1958 to 1966, leading them to six league championships. He later won a championship with the Guelph C-Joys and also pitched for Canada at the 1967 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg.
IN 2006, Stead became the first individual to be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame based on his amateur career.