* C Russell Martin may be 10th over-all in career games played by a Canadian in the majors, but he’s now the seventh player to be honored by having his name placed on the Baseball Canada Wall of Fame. Martin will receive his award for past Team Canada service internationally and his pro career at the 12th annual National Teams banquet at the Renaissance Toronto hotel on Jan.
Walker, Martin, Votto, Alomar to attend National Teams Awards Banquet
By Adam Morissette
OTTAWA – A tremendous list of current and former Major League Baseball stars is shaping up for the 12th annual Baseball Canada National Teams Awards Banquet set to take place Saturday, Jan. 10th in the Northern Lights Ballroom inside the Renaissance Toronto Downtown.
Two former MVPs, a three-time All-Star and a Hall of Famer in Larry Walker, Joey Votto, Russell Martin and Roberto Alomar, respectively will be on-hand to celebrate and support Baseball Canada’s National Teams program in an evening that has become a highlight for many on the baseball calendar.
The evening will include a special presentation that will seeRussell Martin, who recently inked a five-year deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, become the seventh member of Baseball Canada’s Wall of Excellence joining Walker, Votto, Justin Morneau, Ernie Whitt, Ryan Dempster and Jason Bay.
Martin had played 1,163 career games, 10th all-time amongst Canadians.
The decision to place Martin’s name on the Wall was based on his international (two years Junior National Team, one World Cup and 2009 World Baseball Classic) and his pro career which consists of three-star selections and seven post-season appearances in nine years.
Walker leads with 1,988 games, followed by Matt Stairs (1,895), Terry Puhl (1,531), Morneau (1,431), Jack Graney (1,402), Jeff Heath (1,383), George Wood (1,280), Jason Bay (1,278) and George Gibson (1,213).
“We have been fortunate in the past to receive great support from our alumni playing Major League Baseball as well as from personnel in both the professional baseball and corporate communities,” says Greg Hamilton, coach and director of National Teams with Baseball Canada. “We look forward to celebrating a season of Canadian baseball excellence in an environment that fosters future National Team success.”
The list of notable guests doesn’t stop with Walker, Votto, Martin and Alomar as current big leaguers John Axford, Michael Saunders, Jeff Francis and Jim Henderson are scheduled to attend along with former big-leaguers Ernie Whitt, Adam Stern and Jason Dickson.
A host of former Toronto Blue Jays players are also expected to attend the event that acts as an important fundraiser for Baseball Canada’s National Teams program.
In addition to the annual Baseball Canada National Teams Awards presentation, the evening will include a cocktail hour and auction featuring a pair of unique fantasy sports packages available only through Baseball Canada offered by 2013 World Series champion, RyanDempster and Junior National Team alumnus and 2014 Super Bowl champion, Luke Willson of the Seattle Seahawks. Tickets to the MLB Home Run Derby, NCAA college football games along with several autographed pieces of baseball memorabilia will also be available.
There will be a pre-banquet press conference beginning in the Aurora Room of the Renaissance Toronto Hotel at Rogers Centre.
Tickets to the event are $400 per person and tables of eight and 10 guests are also available for purchase. Baseball Canada has registered charitable status.
For more information, please contact Greg Hamilton, director of National Teams, at 613-748-5606 ext. 225 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org