Monday, 10 April 2017 00:00

John Hiller

John HillerJohn Hiller grew up in Scarborough, Ontario and was a former left-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played his entire career with the Detroit Tigers.

After suffering a heart attack in 1971, he returned to the team and recorded 38 saves in 1973 – a major league record until 1983, and a team record until 2000. He also set an American League record by winning 17 games in relief, against 14 losses, in 1974 which was later equalled by Bill Campbell who went 17-5 in 1976. His 125 career saves ranked fourth in AL history and were the seventh most among all left-handers when he retired, standing as a team record until 1993. His 545 career games pitched ranked ninth among AL left-handers at the end of his career, and remain the Tigers franchise record.

He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985, and into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

Sarah Burke

Published in Inductees
Saturday, 19 April 2014 20:00

Pat Gillick

Lawrence Patrick David Gillick (born August 22, 1937) is an American professional baseball executive, currently serving as a senior advisor in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He was the general manager of four Major League Baseball (MLB) teams: the Toronto Blue Jays (1978–1994), Baltimore Orioles (1996–1998), Seattle Mariners (2000–2003), and Phillies (2006–2008). Pat guided the Blue Jays to World Series championships in 1992 and 1993, and later with the Phillies in 2008.

After graduating from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, Pat attended USC. He graduated in 1958 with a degree in business. He was also a gifted pitcher, playing on the 1958 National Title baseball team at USC and spending five years in the minor league systems of the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates,venturing as high as Triple-A. A left-hander, Gillick posted a win/loss record of 45–32 with an earned run average of 3.42 in 164 minor league games.

Gillick retired from playing and began a front-office career in 1963, when he became the assistant farm director with the Houston Astros. He would eventually work his way up to the position of Director of Scouting before moving to the New York Yankees system in 1974, as a Coordinator of Player Development. In 1976, he moved again, this time to the expansion Toronto Blue Jays, becoming their Vice President of Player Personnel, and in 1977, their Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. In 1984, he was named Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations.

As Toronto's general manager, Gillick won five division titles (1985, 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993) and led the club to their first World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. In 1995, Gillick was named the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles. He guided the Orioles to the playoffs in 1996 and 1997. He resigned at the conclusion of his three-year contract in 1998. Gillick then became the general manager of the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners made back-to-back playoff appearances for the only time in franchise history in 2000 and 2001, and the 2001 team, with a 116– 46 record, tied the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the all-time Major League Baseball record for most wins in a single season. Gillick was inducted into the Toronto Blue Jays "Level of Excellence" on August 8, 2002.

On November 2nd, 2005, Gillick was named the Philadelphia Phillies' general manager. Gillick retired as a GM after leading the Phillies to a World Series championship in 2008. Although he retired from all general manager duties, Gillick remains in the organization as a senior advisor to the Phillies. In December 2010, Gillick was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, he is the fourth general manager ever enshrined.

Published in 2013 Inductees
Sunday, 24 February 2019 16:44

Paul Beeston

Paul BeestonPaul Beeston was one of the first people through the door when the Toronto Blue Jays came into existence back in 1976. He is truly a pillar within the baseball team’s front office and brain trust.

Beeston was the first employee hired by the Blue Jays in 1976. He saw the team through its 1990s glory years. He was hired as Vice President of Administration. Beeston later took over as Vice President of Business Operations ahead of the club's first full season in 1977. Beeston served as the team's President from 1989 to 1997. During that time he led the club to back-to-back World Series championships.

Beeston’s first retirement from baseball came in 2002 after a five-year run in Major League Baseball’s commissioner’s office.

In 2008, Beeston returned for a second stint as Blue Jays president and CEO.

His second run with the team was capped in the fall of 2015. A gripping playoff run ended with a six-game loss to Kansas City in the American League Championship Series. He retired again in October of 2015.

His resume includes being named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1988. In 1998, Beeston was elected to the board of directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame and in 2002 he was inducted in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

He also worked as the President of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1994.

Beeston becomes the first Blue Jays employee to hold the title of President Emeritus.

Published in 2019 Inductees
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 20:00

Philip Marchildon

Philip Joseph Marchildon, aka Philip "Babe" Marchildon (October 25, 1913 – January 10, 1997) was a Canadian Major League Baseball pitcher. Born in Penetanguishene, Ontario, Marchildon pitched 1,214 innings with a record of 68 wins and 75 losses and a career ERA of 3.93 on the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Red Sox from 1940 to 1942 and from 1945 to 1950.

During World War II he served in the Canadian Air Force as a tail gunner. He was a prisoner of war for nine months.

Marchildon was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. He died in Toronto in 1997 at age 83.

Published in 1996 Inductees
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 20:00

Roberto Alomar

Roberto Alomar was born on February 5, 1968, in Ponce, Puerto Rico. In 1988, Alomar started his career in Major League Baseball with the San Diego Padres. In 1991, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, where he thrived as a hitter and second baseman. He earned 10 American League Gold Glove Awards throughout his career. He was also named Most Valuable Player at the 1989 All -Star Game. Alomar moved to the Baltimore Orioles in 1996. He also played for the Cleveland Indians, New York Mets and Tampa Bay Devils Rays before retiring in 2005.

Published in 2015 Inductees
Monday, 24 March 2014 20:00

Ron Taylor

Dr. Ron Taylor was born December 13, 1937 in Toronto, Ontario. At 18, he left high school to begin a 16-year career as a pitcher. He negotiated with the Cleveland Indians to miss spring training for five years to finish high school and earn a degree in electrical engineering.

He didn’t suffer from missed training; Taylor was a relief pitcher in two World Series, helping to garner wins for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964 and the New York Mets in 1969. He worked as an engineer in the off seasons.

He appeared in 491 games during his major-league career, pitching nearly 800 innings. He finished with a record of 45 wins, 43 losses, and 72 saves, while compiling an earned run average of 3.93. Taylor ranked among the top-ten in appearances and saves for National League pitchers four times.

Following his playing days he returned to school to complete a medical degree at the University of Toronto in 1977.

In 1979 he was appointed the Toronto Blue Jays team physician, a position he still held when inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. 

As well, in 1980, with a grant from the Syd Cooper Family Foundation, he helped to establish the S.C. Cooper Family Sports Medicine Clinic at Toronto's Mount Sinai hospital.

Dr. Taylor has his own practice in Toronto.

Published in 2010 Inductees
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 14:40

Tom Henke

Tom HenkeTom Henke, nicknamed “The Terminator” was one of the most dominant and feared closers in Major League Baseball, during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

During his career, Henke spent time pitching for the Texas Rangers (1982-84, 1993-94) Toronto Blue Jays (1985-92) and one season in the National League with the St. Louis Cardinals (1995.)

On the mound he was an imposing figure standing 6’ 5” and baffling hitters early in the count with his fastball, before using his forkball to strike out hitters.

During his 14 year career, Henke was named to the All Star Team twice, first in 1987 when he led the American League with 34 saves and 62 games finished and again in his last season in 1995. He compiled an impressive ratio of striking out 9.8 batters per nine innings pitched.

Henke is best known for his time with the Toronto Blue Jays, beginning when he was named the team’s closer in 1986 and compiling 217 saves during his tenure as a Blue Jay. He played an integral role in the Blue Jays first championship, a six game defeat of the Atlanta Braves in the 1992 World Series.

He was the seventh reliever to eclipse the 300 saves plateau and upon his retirement, Henke’s 311 career saves ranked 5th on the all-time list.

Henke was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Mary’s Ontario in June, 2011.

Published in 2018 Inductees
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