Sunday, April 24, 2022

Lester B Pearson

 Today I want to talk about something a little different. Don't worry, it does involve cards and has a baseball component to it.. 

But as the title suggests, I want to talk about Lester B Pearson. 

He was the 14th Prime Minister of Canada who also had a lot of influence elsewhere. 


As mentioned above here, he was a part of a peacekeeping taskforce to diffuse the Suez Crisis, winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He was seen as turning his back on the British Commonwealth as a result, but there were larger factors that slowed the British. 

As Prime Minister, he brought in Universal Health Care with the help of Tommy Douglas, the Premier of Saskatchewan at the time, the Canada Pension Plan, and the Canada Student Loan Program. He also had a hand in creating the Maple Leaf flag we all know and love. 

When he was in school he played rugby, lacrosse, hockey including being on the team that won the Spengler Cup in 1923, and baseball. 
He played in the Intercounty Baseball League, a semi-pro league in Ontario, for the Guelph Maple Leafs (Now Royals)



Pearson has a fair number of buildings named after him. Pearson International Airport in Toronto being the most known. 

Now I hear you saying "What does this all have to do with sports cards, specifically baseball??"

Well, he did have a trophy named for him in the NHL, given to the best player voted by the NHLPA. It has since changed to the Ted Lindsay Award.. 


And he is a Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame member. He was an honourary president of the Montreal Expos for the first few years of their existence. He was such an avid baseball fan sometimes he would interrupt parliament to receive baseball scores. 
Then, when the Blue Jays came along, we got the Pearson Cup.


The Pearson Cup games ran from 1978 to 1986, and were used to raise money for minor league baseball in Canada. The games were exhibition contests, occurring when both teams had a day off. 
In 1997, it returned until 2004 with Interleague Play. 
Overall, the record between the teams ended up being 3 wins 3 losses and 4 ties. Two ties from the exhibition era, and two ties in Interleague Series. 

I hope this departure from the norm wasn't too offputting. The reason I did this post was due to the fact I recently added the 52 Topps and UD Masterpieces to my COMC order..



7 comments:

  1. A bit of history is fine with me.

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    1. Cool. I figured it does tie in with baseball so it does fit lol
      I've been at a loss recently on what to write about.

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  2. I was familiar with his name from the hockey connection but didn't realize all the other things he had a hand in. Pretty interesting!

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    1. Thank you. I knew hockey fans would know the connection. Jays/Expos fans from the 80s would remember the Pearson Cup.
      It was kind of nice to stretch a bit

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  3. Nice history lesson. I was familiar with his name because of the award, but knew nothing else until this post.

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    1. I think that will be a common thing. I did enjoy writing this out. I just hoped people would read it. Glad to see there are!

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  4. I knew of him from that Topps Look 'N See card, but that was it. My knowledge of Canadian history is woefully bad.

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