Staub, Melvin, Cormier to enter Hall

Rusty Staub, pictured here talking with Jean Beliveau, will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball...

Rusty Staub, pictured here talking with Jean Beliveau, will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday. (QMI Agency file photo)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:01 AM ET

TORONTO - The last time the Blue Jays won a World Series, the three men from different backgrounds were at different stages of their careers.

Lefty Rheal Cormier was a member of the 1993 St. Louis Cardinals’ all-world rotation.

Doug Melvin was assistant scouting director with the Baltimore Orioles.

And Rusty Staub was named on 7.6% of the ballots in voting for the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

As vastly different as they were then — a lefty starter from the Maritimes, a rising executive from Chatham and a retired slugger from New Orleans — they will share the stage Saturday morning as all three are inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Joining them in St. Marys will be the gold medal-winning Team Canada from the 2011 Pan Am Games in Mexico. The roster that October ranged from the mature — Edmonton’s Mike Johnson, signed four months before Joe Carter homered off Mitch Williams in 1993 — to the young, outfielder Michael Crouse of Port Moody, B.C., who was 3 at the time.

A good sign for the Canucks, who celebrated that night in Mexico, is that only two will be attending the ceremonies: London’s Brock Kjeldgaard, a Milwaukee Brewers farmhand who is injured and Johnson, who has retired.

The rest of the players are busy in the minors, from North Vancouver’s Scott Richmond at triple-A Las Vegas, the Jays top affiliate, to Richmond, B.C.’s Jimmy Van Ostrand, with double-A Harrisburg in the Washington Nationals system.

Director of national teams Greg Hamilton, who put together three teams last fall to win gold, silver and bronze in different competitions and move Canada to sixth in world ratings, also will be on hand, along with World Cup and Pan Am manager Ernie Whitt.

-- Staub, the first Montreal Expos hitting hero (if you ignore Mack Jones) played 23 seasons, collecting 2,716 hits, 531 in three-plus seasons during two tours with the Expos.

He is one of seven players eligible for Cooperstown with 2,700 or more hits who have not been elected.

-- Cormier was a sixth-round pick from the Community College of Rhode Island, the second best pick of the round behind shortstop Gary Disarcina and better than Eric Karros, Pat Mahomes and Tim Laker when all was said and done.

The Cards rotation in 1993 consisted of Cormier, of Moncton, N.B., Bob Tewksbury, Cuban defector Rene Arocha, Cowboy Donovan Osborne, Joe Magrane and Allen Watson.

After being a starter with the Cards, the Boston Red Sox and the Expos — he made his final start April 5, 1997 with the Expos — Cormier turned in 514 relief appearances, including his personal high of 84 games with the 2004 Philadelphia Phillies. All told, he worked more than 1,200 innings.

-- Melvin wanted to be the general manager of the Blue Jays after Gord Ash was replaced.

The former minor-leaguer, who got his indoor bullpen sessions alongside Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins, was coming off post-season finishes in three of his last six years while running the Texas Rangers.

But the Jays brass gave Melvin the thumbs down in the fall of 2001, claiming he had not developed enough pitching with the Rangers, although Ryan Dempster, R.A. Dickey and Rick Helling all turned out okay.

Shunned by the Jays, Melvin headed to the small-market Brewers, whose team payroll was $27.5-million US when he arrived.

Since then, the Brewers have reached the post-season in 2008 and, a year ago, came within two wins of making the World Series.

Besides having success as a pitcher Melvin was a high school hoops player in his hometown. The story goes that he never did pass the ball enough to our Bill Lankhof.

At least Lankhof can now say it was a Hall of Famer who didn’t trust his deft shooting touch.


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