Sunday, March 20, 2022

Pete Ward

This is going to be a hybrid post.. It's another Canadians in the Majors, but at the same time, a memorial for the recently passed Pete Ward. 

Pete Ward was born July 26, 1937 in Montreal and lived there until the family moved to Portland Oregon in 1945.

Pete's father, Jimmy Ward, was a player in the NHL, playing for the Montreal Maroons. Interestingly enough, Jimmy was born in Fort William (now part of Thunder Bay)

Pete took to baseball when they moved to Portland. He was signed by Baltimore as an amateur free agent and was working his way up the system. He was a Third Baseman, but with Brooks Robinson firmly entrenched, he was going to play the outfield. 

The White Sox traded for Ward, Hoyt Wilhelm, Dave Nicholson, and Ron Hansen in exchange for Luis Aparicio and Al Smith. In 1965, Ward was involved in a car accident that seemed to sap his power and affected his hitting the rest of his career. According to Ward, they were rained out in Washington, so they went back to Chicago. A few of the players went to watch the Stanley Cup game between the Blackhawks and the Canadiens when they were rear ended leaving the arena. He ended up dealing with whiplash. 

He finished his career with the Yankees in 1970. After retiring, he started coaching and managing in the minors. He managed Rochester, Fort Lauderdale, West Haven, Syracuse, Portland, and the Iowa Oaks. 

After getting out of baseball completely, he started a travel agency. 
He was inducted to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. 
He passed away March 16

A lot of the information was taken from this transcript of an interview


Thursday, March 17, 2022

Canadians in the Majors: Claude Raymond

Today I'm going to revisit a series I haven't done in a long... Long time.. Canadians in the Major Leagues

I honestly can't remember (and can't be bothered to check) if I've done one on Raymond before. 

But here we go!

Claude Raymond was born in Saint Jean sur Richelieu Quebec on May 7, 1937.

Growing up he played hockey, like most Quebeckers, thinking about joining the Montreal Canadiens. Raymond knew he wouldn't be able to match feats like Maurice Richard in the NHL, but he had an ace up his sleeve... Baseball. 

He was close enough to the US Border that it spread rapidly since the 1870s and became part of the sports religion in the area. 

He started out by retrieving foul balls, then became a popcorn vendor. Eventually he offered to be a batting practice pitcher. In 1953, he tried out for the Drummondville Royals, but once it was discovered he was 15, and not 17 as claimed, they had to withdraw the offer. 

He was eventually signed by the Milwaukee Braves and Roland Gladu. 

He worked his way up the Braves system but had shoulder inflammation in 1958 that stalled his progress. The Braves left him unprotected in the intra-league draft. The White Sox chose him. He pitched four times for the White Sox before being released. He was sent back to the Braves.

The up and down with the Braves was getting discouraging for Claude, as he would get sent to the minors after a veteran pitcher joined the team. In 1963, he was drafted by the Houston Colt .45s
He did so well that, in 1966, he was chosen by Walter Alston to be part of the National League All Star  Team. He was the first player born in Quebec to be chosen. 
He returned to the Braves in 1967.  

In 1969, the Braves faced the Expos in Jarry Park. He was brought in to pitch and was given a standing ovation. Another one was given when he got the save in the 11th inning. 
In August 1969, he was sold to the Expos, becoming the first Quebec born player to play for the Expos. 

In 1971 he signed the biggest contract of his career, but the wheels fell off. He fell and had an ankle infection set in. When he returned to the field, he was ineffective. He was released and couldn't find another job in a MLB bullpen. 

In 1973, he joined the Expos as an analyst on radio then on TV. He was there from 1973-2001. In 2002 he was brought in by Omar Minaya as a coach for the Expos.
He also was the public address for the Atlanta Summer Olympics baseball. 

In 1984, he was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, currently in St Mary's Ontario. In 2019 he was awarded the Order of Canada. 

And here is an autographed card I have of him. 
I hope this wasn't too boring. 

A fair bit of information was sourced from 


Monday, March 14, 2022


 As you can tell, updates here are rather sporadic the last couple years. I apologize for that. I've been in a rather rough place health wise and am currently living in the hospital while waiting for housing to work out.. Problem is wait lists... And insanely expensive rent.. 

Now something card related. Heritage came out recently. Saw on Twitter someone complained about some of the names in the autographs. The card shown was this:

Of course the argument being nobody now knows who this is, kids wouldn't want this blah blah blah..
I would LOVE this card. To go along with my Canadians collection, I want to get autographs of as many as possible. 
I have a few already, but I'd love to add more. 
If anyone comes across this card and doesn't want it, think of me, please