Bell and Raines to enter Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame

He’s still waiting for Cooperstown to call, but Tim Raines can finally say he’s a Hall of Famer. The former Montreal Expos outfielder was named for induction Thursday into the Canadian Baseball of Fame. Also included in the class of 2013 are former outfielders George Bell and Rob Ducey as well as former announcer Tom Cheek and longtime minor-league owner Nat Bailey.

He’s still waiting for Cooperstown to call, but Tim Raines can finally say he’s a Hall of Famer.

The former Montreal Expos outfielder was named for induction Thursday into the Canadian Baseball of Fame. Also included in the class of 2013 are former outfielders George Bell and Rob Ducey as well as former announcer Tom Cheek and longtime minor-league owner Nat Bailey.

No players were elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year. Raines was fifth in voting conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America with 297 votes (52.2 per cent), finishing short of the 75 per cent required for induction.

“Definitely different types of emotions,” Raines said during a conference call. “The emotions of not getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame is something I’ve been dealing with for five years.

“Getting into the Canadian (Baseball) Hall of Fame . . . is the highest honour I’ve gotten since I played professional baseball so this is a great moment for me and my family. I was ecstatic about it.”

Raines, 53, played left field for six major-league teams from 1979 to 2002 but is best known for his time in Montreal (1979-’90). Nicknamed ”Rock”, Raines was a seven-time all-star and two-time World Series champion as a player — he added a third in ’05 as a Chicago White Sox coach — and retired with a career .294 average with 2,605 hits, 170 homers and 808 stolen bases.

Last month, Raines joined the Toronto Blue Jays as a baserunning and outfield coach.

Raines, a native of Sanford, Fla., said while he’ll continue to hold out hope the call from Cooperstown will come one day, at least he can draw solace from already being in one baseball Hall of Fame.

“I’ll just keep hoping and keep praying that it will happen,” he said. “If not, I’m a Canadian Hall of Famer now and I feel pretty good about that.”

Bell, 53, spent 12 seasons in the majors with Toronto, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox but enjoyed his best success with the Blue Jays. The native of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, was a three-time all-star and won the American League MVP with the Jays in 1987.

Bell enjoyed his best season that year, hitting .308 with 47 homers and 134 runs-batted in. However, Toronto fell two games short of Detroit in a stirring division title race, which Bell said tarnished his individual accolade.

“I remember winning the MVP but was very, very disappointed,” Bell said. “We came so close, I think it was one of the best teams we put on the field in our time and we got beat so bad.

“To win the MVP was nice but coming so close and not coming through, I think, was very painful.”

Bell said a regret was leaving Toronto after the 1990 season to sign as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs. A year later, he was dealt to the White Sox for Sammy Sosa and Ken Patterson.

“I was disappointed to leave Toronto but my profession was a baseball player and I just liked to go as a free agent to Chicago,” he said. “But the experience I had with the Toronto Blue Jays was the best I ever had in my life.

“I grew up as a player in Toronto and to leave Toronto when I did for the 1990 season was kind of disappointing.”

Ducey, a Toronto native who grew up in Cambridge, Ont., had the chance to play for both Toronto and Montreal over his 13-year professional career. He fondly remembers playing his first game in a Blue Jays uniform at Exhibition Stadium in 1987.

“I remember getting three standing ovations from the crowd that night,” Ducey said.

“A young man growing up an hour west of the city can be very intimidating but emotionally I was on Cloud 9.

“It was like it was two weeks ago, that day. I will always remember that first game.”

Cheek, who died in 2005, broadcast 4,306 consecutive Jays games from the franchise’s first contest until June 2, 2004. The Hall of Fame induction is the third recent honour for Cheek, who was inducted into the Vermont Association of Broadcasters in December before being selected as the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award.

“It really was a trifecta to find out about the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame,” said Cheek’s widow, Shirley “I will accept the award and be proud for him and our family will be there to be proud.”

Bailey, who died in 1978, purchased the triple-A Vancouver Mounties in the mid-50’s and helped raise the sport’s interest in the city. Mark Bailey said his grandfather’s passion for baseball made for a very fun upbringing.

“I grew up with players like Brooks Robinson, Sal Bando, Tony La Russa, Dave McKay,” he said. “It was all before hockey came to town.”

Just Posted

An incredible closing ceremony capped off the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (File photo by SUSAN JUDGE/2019 Canada Winter Games)
2019 Canada Winter Games Legacy Fund Society hands out $655,000

35 not-for-profit groups across Alberta to get money

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Health Services, says COVID ICU patients have increased by more than 100 per cent in the past month. (Photo by The Government of Alberta)
Record number of people in ICU: says AHS president

The head of Alberta Health Services says hospital staff are treating more… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels have acquired goaltender Connor Ungar from the Brandon Wheat Kings, the team announced Monday. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer Rebels acquire goaltender Connor Ungar, forward Liam Keeler in separate trades

The Red Deer Rebels have acquired goaltender Connor Ungar from the Brandon… Continue reading

Alexander Michael Talbot, 29, was found guilty of operating a vehicle while prohibited, flight from police and vehicle theft in Red Deer provincial court recently. (Advocate file photo)
Man charged following police chases in central Alberta last summer is sentenced

Alexander Michael Talbot sentenced to 22 months in prison

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals silent on nature of Fortin probe or who will replace him on vaccine campaign

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is scrambling to reassure Canadians that the… Continue reading

A woman attends a vigil in front of the hospital where Joyce Echaquan died in Joliette, Que., on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Hospital staff testify today at Quebec coroner’s inquiry into death of Joyce Echaquan

TROIS-RIVIÈRES, Que. — Medical staff from a Quebec hospital where Joyce Echaquan… Continue reading

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on February 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Ottawa looking for 2,000 new energy auditors to get home retrofit program going

OTTAWA — The federal government is looking to train 2,000 more people… Continue reading

A person waits outside a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Sunday, May 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Ontario opens shots to 18+, Quebec opens drive-thru, as COVID vaccine efforts expand

Quebec is opening a drive-thru vaccine clinic at its busiest airport and… Continue reading

Calgary Flames players celebrate the team's overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, May 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Lindholm OT winner gives Flames 6-5 win over Canucks despite blowing four-goal lead

VANCOUVER — In a game with little to play for besides pride,… Continue reading

In this photo taken on May 13, 2021, Russia's performer, Manizha, smiles during an interview after rehearsing at the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands. For many, the stage and global television audience of millions is a chance to express messages of inclusion, strength and positivity. Manizha has a message of strength for women in her song whose lyrics include the lines: "Every Russian Woman. Needs to know. You're strong enough to bounce against the wall." (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Eurovision Song Contest returns despite coronavirus pandemic

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Pounding beats? Check. Uplifting lyrics? Check. Huge, backlit… Continue reading

Serena Williams of the United States returns the ball to Italy's Lisa Pigato during their match at the Emilia Romagna Open tennis tournament, in Parma, Monday, May 17, 2021. Serena Williams earned her first victory in more than three months by beating 17-year-old qualifier Lisa Pigato 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the Emilia-Romagna Open. Williams accepted a wild-card invitation for the Parma tournament after losing her opening match at the Italian Open last week. (AP Photo/Marco Vasini)
Serena Williams posts 1st victory in more than 3 months

PARMA, Italy (AP) — Serena Williams earned her first victory in more… Continue reading

In this Oct. 21, 2014 file photo, people pass an AT&T store in New York's Times Square. AT&T will combine its media operations that include CNN HBO, TNT and TBS in a $43 billion deal with Discovery, the owner of lifestyle networks including the Food Network and HGTV. The deal announced Monday, May 17, 2021, would create a separate media company as households increasingly abandon cable and satellite TV, looking instead at Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
AT&T, Discovery join media brands as cord-cutting encroaches

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T will combine its massive media operations that… Continue reading

Most Read