Ontario Sports Hall of Fame

Ontario Sports Hall of Fame

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

Monday, 10 April 2017 00:00

Bob Gainey

Bob GaineyRobert Michael "Bob" "Le Capitaine" Gainey is the former executive vice president and general manager of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League. He is also a former professional ice hockey player who played for the Canadiens from 1973 until 1989.

He was a cornerstone of the Montreal dynasty between 1976 and 1979, when the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup four consecutive times, and later their captain for eight years, including in 1985-86, when they recaptured the Cup. But Gainey was hardly a prolific scorer -- he finished with 239 goals and 501 points in 1,160 NHL games. What he did better than any forward of his generation was stop the opposition's prolific scorers.

At age 24 in 1977-78, his fourth full NHL season, Gainey was the first recipient of the Frank Selke Trophy, given to the League's top defensive forward. He won the next three as well, and is the only four-time Selke winner. Had the award been around earlier, he might have won six or seven straight. Then he was runner-up in 1981-82 and remained a top 10 vote-getter for the next four seasons.

After retiring from active play, he became a hockey coach and later an executive with the NHL Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars organization before returning to Montreal as general manager from 2003 to 2010. He is currently a team consultant for the St. Louis Blues. Gainey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1992.

Sarah Burke

Friday, 04 November 2016 00:00

2016 Banquet Photos

2016 Banquet Photos

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  • Monday, 18 April 2016 00:00

    2016 Syl Apps Award - Brad Sinopoli

    Brad Sinopoli, wide receiver for the Ottawa Redblacks in the Canadian Football League, was born on April 14th, 1988 in Peterborough, Ontario. Brad grew up playing football and hockey at the highest level, an early sign of his elite athleticism. Along with being touted as one of the best collegiate quarterbacks in Canada, he also played AAA hockey for the Peterborough Minor Petes.

    With the University of Ottawa Gee Gee’s, his junior and senior years were most memorable statistically. In his senior year, Brad threw for 2756 yards and 22 touchdowns for an overall passing rating of 97.5. With that incredible performance in 2010, he earned the Hec Crighton Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding Canadian football player in CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport).

    In 2011, Brad was drafted by the Calgary Stampeders in the fourth round (29th overall) in the CFL Canadian Draft where he would go on and play for 4 seasons as quarterback and later, wide receiver. The change in position was not in vain, as he would record 20 catches for 197 yards along with two receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown; the first being a 26 yard run TD on July 18th, 2014 against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He would go on to sign with the Ottawa Redblacks for the 2015 season; the best one to date. Brad rightfully earned the award of 2015 CFL’s outstanding Canadian with 86 receptions totaling 1,035 receiving yards and three touchdowns. 2015 was also his third appearance at the Grey Cup. Brad’s premier athleticism, hard work, and success have earned him the 2015 Syl Apps Ontario Athlete of the Year Award. He is the first CFL player to earn this prestigious award since Damon Allen of the Argonauts in 2005.

    Read more:

    The Selke family offered invaluable time and effort to the professional hockey world. Frank Selke Sr. (May 7th, 1893 – July 3rd, 1985) and Frank Selke Jr. (September 7th, 1929 – March 18th, 2013). Their contributions to the NHL and all professional hockey were crucial to the development of the league. There would be no NHL rivalry without the Selke family.

    Frank Selke Sr. began his managerial career at the age of 14 as the manager of the now Iroquois Bantams. He then met the legendary Conn Smythe at a tournament. When Smythe purchased the St. Pats and rebranded them as the Toronto Maple Leafs, he hired Selke Sr. as his Assistant General Manager. This was the start of the strongest partnership in NHL history for 20 years or so. With his performance with the Toronto Marlboros, he received enough financial investment to create the Maple Leaf Gardens; one of the most iconic buildings in the province’s capital.

    The two would bring three Stanley Cups to the city and would be one of the elite teams during their tenure until 1946. When Smythe went to war, Selke took charge of the organization. With some changes that did not fit Smythe’s plans, Selke eventually resigned in 1946 and later joined the Montreal Canadiens organization as General Manager. This sparked the true rivalry we have today, as the Leafs continued domination of the 1940s but then Montreal would dominate the 1950s with five consecutive Stanley Cups (1956-’60).

    Apart from his team-related work, Frank Selke Sr. helped build the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, was inducted in the Hall in 1960, and has an NHL Award named after himself for the best defensive forward in the league.

    Frank Selke Jr. began his hockey career with his father with Les Canadiens in Montreal. He spent 21 years with the Canadiens where he saw the arrival of six Stanley Cups, namely during the streak of five in a row. He also participated in the broadcasting side of hockey, where he joined “Hockey Night in Canada” as an intermission host for the Montreal Canadiens from 1958-’67.

    After a brief stint with the Oakland Seals, a product of the NHL expansion process, as the President and General Manager, he returned to Montreal to rejoin “Hockey Night in Canada”, this time as Executive Vice-President. He retired from the hockey world in 1992 to fully pursue a very influential role with the Special Olympics in Ontario; a role he had begun in 1981.

    Frank Selke Jr. truly donated his time and tremendous effort to the organization and was named an honourary coach of the National team in 2003 at the Dublin World Games. He earned the award of Canadian Volunteer of the Year in 1991 from his work with Special Olympics. His work will never be forgotten.

    Bob ElliottBob Elliott (born September 10, 1949 in Kingston, Ontario) is a Canadian sports columnist who has covered baseball in Canada since the 1978 Home Opener for the Montreal Expos, when he was employed by the Ottawa Citizen. He covered the Expos until 1987, when he moved to Toronto, Ontario and has covered the Toronto Blue Jays since then. As of 2016, he is a columnist for the Toronto Sun.

    He was written three books, including Hard Ball about George Bell, in 1990; The Ultimate Blue Jays Trivia Book, in 1993; and The Northern Game: Baseball The Canadian Way, in 2005. Elliott is also the mind behind the Canadian Baseball Network website, which tracks all active Canadian baseball players.

    Elliott was awarded the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's Jack Graney Award on December 17, 2010. His grandfather, Chaucer Elliott, is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. On December 6, 2011, he was named recipient of the 2012 J. G. Taylor Spink Award by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. On February 4, 2015, Elliott was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Monday, 21 March 2016 20:00

    2016 Heritage Award - First Grey Cup

    Ferguson Jenkins Heritage Award:
    University of Toronto Varsity Blues Football team winning the first Grey Cup in 1909

    The first Grey Cup to ever be played. That is a title no field can hold but the Rosedale field, in Toronto. It was a gloomy day on December 4th, 1909. The Varsity Blues from the University of Toronto were matched up against the Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club, a team no one thought would challenge for the championship. The field, which sat around 3,400 fans, took in 3,807 that day.

    The championship was born from the idea that Canada’s Governor General, Albert Henry George Grey at the time, wanted to offer a trophy to Canada’s best senior hockey team. While that was not possible, he then pursued the sport of rugby. Thus, the Grey Cup was born. Since then, the sport has evolved into Canadian football.

    The first touchdown, which they called a try in 1909, was in the second half of the game. Hugh Gall, the star of the Varsity Blues created the play, which will go down in history as the first ever in CFL history. The final score did indeed go the way of the Varsity Blues, with a final score of 26-6.

    This was monumental for the University of Toronto, as the legacy of the Grey Cup began with them. They would go on to win it for the next 2 years, winning the first actual Grey Cup trophy in 1910. From December 4th to this very day, Canada has had 103 football championships, more than any football league in North America.

    First Grey Cup-winning team

    Monday, 21 March 2016 00:00

    2016 Sandy Hawley Award - Peter Gilgan

    Peter Gilgan, born and raised in Ontario, is a self-made business owner. As the Founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes, Mr. Gilgan is one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs. Having built over 65,000 homes across the United States and Canada, Mattamy is truly a community-oriented company. You cannot miss the impact he has made when passing by the Mattamy Athletic Centre, the highly-touted athletic facility of Ryerson University, that has also been used by Canada Basketball, and most recently the Pan American/Para Pan American games.

    His contribution to the province is undeniable. Whether it is through the Tour de Bleu, a cycling event that that raised $2.7 million for the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, a $30 million donation to St. Michael’s Hospital for a new patient care tower in September 2014, his lead donation and fundraising for the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, or his recent initiative (on behalf of Mattamy Homes) to support Cycling Canada for 12 months in a variety of ways, Mr. Gilgan understands that contributing to community life is essential as it inspires to do the same.

    His dedication to our province’s and country’s athletes has truly shown in his work and in his own words, “For an athlete… that knowing someone has their backs will encourage them”. This is why we would like to honour his work by presenting Peter Gilgan with the 2016 Sandy Hawley Community Service Award.

    Monday, 01 February 2016 19:00

    Chris Schultz

    Chris SchultzChris Schultz, born on February 16th, 1960, grew up in Burlington, Ontario. From a young age, Chris played high level football. After his high-school career at Aldershot High School, his high level of talent led him to sign with the University of Arizona. With a successful career at Arizona, Chris was drafted in the 7th round of the 1983 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. In his rookie season, he played 5 games but was eventually moved to Left Tackle, where he played all 16 games, 8 of which he started. He then moved to the CFL to the Toronto Argonauts, where he eventually won the 1991 Grey Cup, and was a CFL All-Star in 1987 & 1988. Post-football career, he was named to the Argonauts All-time Team in 2007. He is now on CFL ON TSN, a role he’s had since 1998. Chris will always be known for his contribution to the community and his current work on Risky Business, where he predicts weekly NFL scores.

    Monday, 01 February 2016 19:00

    Leo Rautins

    Leo Rautins was born on March 20th, 1960, and spent his formative years in Toronto, Ontario. His basketball career began at St. Michael’s College School, where his talent developed enough to become, at 16 years old, the youngest player ever to earn a spot with the Canadian National Team. He later attended the University of Minnesota, earning recognition as a member of the Big-Ten Conference Rookie First-team. After transferring to Syracuse University, Rautins became the first Big East player ever to record a triple-double — which he did twice in a month. Leo was also the first Canadian basketball player to be drafted in the first-round of the NBA Entry Draft, chosen by the Philadelphia ‘76ers in 1983. While his NBA career was brief, Rautins played professionally until 1993.

    Rautins started preparations for a post-playing career in 1984, broadcasting Olympic coverage with CBC. He served as head coach of the Canadian National basketball team from 2005 to 2011. He is now a key member of the Toronto Raptors broadcasting team. His playing legacy left a path of hope for Canadians with NBA dreams.

    Leo Rautins

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