Headed to Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame: Tom Henke, Allan Simpson and George Wood

image courtesy of the baseballhalloffame.ca

It’s not often that news from North of the border makes headway on major American networks, so I thought that it was worth mentioning that former Jays RP Tom “The Terminator” Henke, as well as Baseball America Founder Allan Simpson(who hails from Kelowna B.C.) and George “Dandy” Wood (who hailed from PEI and played, coached, and umpired in the majors) will all be enshrined into the Canadian Hall of Fame on June 18th, 2011 in St-Mary’s Ontario.

Tomas Anthony Henke

His career stats and accomplishments stand for themselves:

  • 14 MLB season, 789.2 IP
  • 2.67 ERA
  • 1.092 Whip
  • 311 Saves
  • 255 walks to 861 Ks for a 3.38 SO/BB ratio
  • .982 fielding %
  • Playoff stats: 19.2 IP / 2-0 / 1.83 ERA / 0.966 Whip / 5 saves
  • 2 all-star game appearances (’87 and ’95)
  • World Series champion in 1992 while with the Jays

His quote after finding out about the induction:

“I’ve always considered Toronto and Canada my favourite place to play and to help to bring home Canada’s first World Series win can never be duplicated.  I am truly humbled and honoured, and I can’t wait to share this great news with my family and friends in Canada and in the United States.”

He’s a great person, was a great pitcher, and was a big reason the Jays were able to pull off what they did in 1992. He saved 5 games during those playoffs, 3 versus Oakland (games 2,3 and 4) and 2 versus Atlanta (games 2 and 4). Without those saves, it’s possible the Jays would have been out of either series, and without Henke, it’s possible those saves would never have happened.

Congrats to The Terminator!

Allan Simpson

I am actually constructing a piece about Allan Simpson that will include videos of the Baseball America founder.

My favorite quote of his:

“I had to do everything I could to give readers the impression this was a USA-based publication.  Otherwise, it was akin to starting a hockey publication in the U.S. – it wouldn’t have worked if readers thought it was a Canadian product,”

You would never know that Baseball America was a Canadian invented publication in the same way that few Americans know that Basketball was invented by a Canadian professor.

Allan’s foresight in knowing that there was a lack of coverage which people sought was one part of the reason he was a success. The other was the fact that fantasy baseball took off like a rocket and created a thirst for information at deeper levels of the minors than ever before. That, and the increased use of the internet, made the quick success of Baseball America possible. The amount of knowledge and enthusiasm that Baseball America has brought in terms of young baseball players and their potential should be recognized because it is a service that goes a long way towards growing interest in the sport.

Baseball great Pat Gillick had this to say about Allan:

“This recognition is overdue,” said Gillick. “Allan has always had a love and passion for baseball, and when today’s scouts, general managers, players and fans want the close-to-the-scene information, they all turn to Baseball America.”

Congrats to Allan Simpson and thanks for BA!

George “Dandy” Wood

He played in the late 1800s and his love of baseball is evident in the more than 1300 games he played, as well as the fact he was willing to take on a ticket taking job once his distinguished career was over. He had some pretty interesting accomplishments:

  • National League’s 1882 HR champion
  • One of only 8 Canadians to manage in the majors (143 games for Philadelphia in ’91)
  • One of only 6 Canadians to Umpire in the majors (1886-1898)
  • 1,467 hits and 228 doubles , and 132 triples lifetime
  • The 1st Canadian to hit for the cycle
  • Played LF for the winning team in the 1st ever perfect game

You can read more about George and the others within the announcement post here.

- MG

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