Toronto Blue Jays pitching ace Pat Hentgen and Dennis Martinez — "El Presidente, El Perfecto!" — lead the way for the 2016 class of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
Pat Hentgen was a homegrown Toronto Blue Jays prospect. His best season was in 1996 — a 20-10 record with a 3.22 ERA and 10 complete games to win the Cy Young Award. Hentgen was a 3-time All-Star and finished 6th in Cy Young voting in 1993. In his time as a Blue Jays pitcher, Hentgen went 107-85 with a 4.28 ERA.
Hentgen won Game 3 of the 1993 World Series going 6 innings against Philadelphia surrendering a single run. He lost Game 3 in the AL Championship Series to Chicago giving up all 6 runs in 3 innings.
Hentgen left Toronto in a November 1999 trade with Paul Spoljaric to St. Louis for Alberto Castillo, Matt DeWitt, and Lance Painter. He returned to Toronto in 2004 to finish his career as a Blue Jay. After his on-field retirement, Hentgen served as bullpen coach for two seasons, and is assistant to the president, roving minor-league instructor, and ambassador-at-large.
Dennis Martinez was a 3-time All-Star in his 8 seasons in Montréal with a 100-72 record and a 3.06 ERA. His best season was 1991 with a 14-11 record and a 2.39 ERA. That year, Martinez finished 5th in Cy Young voting and 20th in MVP voting.
In the 1991 season, Martinez threw the only perfect game for any Canadian MLB team against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 28.
He was acquired from Baltimore in a mid-1986 trade that also saw the Expos acquire catcher John Stefero for infielder Rene Gonzales.
The other 2016 honorees:
- Tony Kubek was an amazing national broadcaster and a heck of a shortstop with the New York Yankees. But Kubek also called Toronto Blue Jays from their inception in 1977 until 1989 on CTV and TSN.
- Howard Starkman is an original employee of the Blue Jays from 1976. Even with his official 2014 retirement, Starkman has remained in charge of special projects such as the Blue Jays' trip to Montréal.
- William Shuttlesworth, from Brantford, Ontario, helped establish the the Young Canadians of Hamilton, the first formal baseball team in the country in 1854.
- Wayne Norton, from Port Moody, BC, was a minor-league outfielder for 10 seasons. Norton also had a successful scouting career, including time with the Expos. His B.C. Select program produced, among others, Expos' outfielder and BC native Larry Walker.
The ceremony will be in June at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Mary's, Ontario.
We really thought Tim Raines was going to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016, That needs to happen in 2017, his last year of eligibility. The long-time Montréal Expos outfielder received 69.8%, a significant jump from 55% in 2015. Unfortunately, 75% is the benchmark to get into the Hall of Fame.
Raines is the only MLB player with at least 100 triples, 150 home runs, and 600 stolen bases. He has the best stolen-base percentage (84.7%) among players with more than 400 attempts.
Raines did not reach 3,000 hits but had a .385 career on-base percentage. Canadian Joey Votto has a .423 career OBP in a much different era but that is a rare feat to play so long with those numbers.
Speaking of Raines and the Montréal Expos, hopefully you got a chance to see the MLB Network documentary "The Colorful Montreal Expos."
The documentary tried to take in the spirit of the Expos crowd, singing "Vallerie, Valleria" and an oomph band. The chicken on the screen. Youppi! How the fans weren't concerned if the players did colorful things off the field. After all, Montréal screams "C'est la vie."
We hear a lot from outfielders Warren Cromartie, Andre Dawson, and Cliff Floyd. Dave Van Horne, the long-time broadcaster weighs in as well. Michael Farber from the Montréal Gazette from 1979-1993 has very poignant remembrances.
We saw exuberant fans at Jarry Park and Olympic Stadium. We hear from many fans, young and old, about their memories of Nos Amours, Les Expos.
William Shatner, a Montréal native, is as subtle as he can get, delivering a warmth of having lived through those memories. When the Expos were really good, we find out that Donald Sutherland and the prime minister were regulars at Expos games.
Chances are you will learn something new about the Expos in Montréal in this documentary.