The Toronto Blue Jays learned today of the passing of longtime and well respected career baseball man Jim Fanning.
“It is with my deepest condolences to the Fanning family upon hearing of the passing of Jim today. He was a longtime friend and not enough can be said of his contributions to the game of baseball, particularly in Canada. Jim impacted many lives and he will be remembered fondly by many inside and outside the game of baseball.” Paul Beeston, President and CEO, Toronto Blue Jays.
Fanning, 87, touched the game in many ways. Beginning with a playing career from 1954-57 as a catcher with the Chicago Cubs, he also served as a minor league manager, executive with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and was the Major Leagues first Scouting Bureau Director in 1968. As a 25 year Expo and their first General Manager, he was a key component in building “the team of the eighties”. Jim served as manager of the Expos from 1981-84, leading the team to the postseason in 1981 a first for Canadian baseball fans. Most recently Fanning held the title of Ambassador of Amateur Baseball in Canada until his passing.