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CHRISTIAN LIFE IN LONDON | NOVEMBER 2022 EDITION
Greats on the Field and, In Retirement – Greats Off the Field
CURRENT COMMUNITY STORIES
NOVEMBER PRAYER PROMPT
Remember...
Christian Population in Canada Based on the Latest Census Canada Data
Basic Needs - A Resource For Those Needing Assistance
A Change At The Top at YFC London Thank You James Coolidge and Welcome Joel Timmerman
‘The Chosen’ - Debut For Season 3 Is Set Internationally In 2000+ Cinemas
Persian Protests
“Take Me For A Spin”
The Top 30 Christian Music Albums – November 2022
“Conflicts are Hard to Handle” Three Strategies for Handling Conflict
BookMark - Crossfire (Extreme Measures #2) (BOOK REVIEW)
Reel Review - Spirited (Adapted from: A Christmas Carol) (MOVIE REVIEW)
It’s Time for Christmas Carols...
‘The First Nowell’ Country and Gospel Singer Josh Turner (VIDEO)
The Christmas Pageant (HUMOUR)

Published July 2022



Each year, in June, The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame hosts a ceremony to welcome the newest inductees. There was no ceremony in 2020 or 2021 due to COVID so this year was a biggie!

The weather was perfect, the attendees were excited to be back and many big names from the professional baseball world came out in support of those being inducted.

Scott Crawford. Director of Operations at Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and Board Chair Jeremy Diamond, along with an army of volunteers and board members made this such a successful and most enjoyable event. It was a very special day for the past and present inductees, their families and friends and for the hundreds of baseball fans in attendance.

Also taking part and ready to talk baseball with anybody that approached them including US and Canada Baseball Hall of Fame legends; Fergie Jenkins, Paul Beeston and Pat Gillick and many, many other pro-baseball celebrities Everyone came out to take part in the Induction Ceremonies for 2020 inductees Justin Morneau, Duane Ward and Jacques Ducet and 2022 inductee Jeff Francis.

2018 inductee, Pedro Martinez who had been unable to make the celebration back in ’18 also joined the others this year for this June18th fantastic celebration of elite ball players being recognized.

Duane Ward is well known to Toronto Blue Jays’ fans as one of the best shut down- setup men and closers in the game. He was instrumental in both the 1992 and 1993 World Series wins and in 1993 alone, he recorded 45 of his career’s 121 saves!

It was a pleasure to speak with Duane prior to the ceremony, to hear him speak with such pride about his charity work with the Jays Care Foundation and the Toronto Blue Jays Academy.

Duane also spoke of the tremendous support from his family, while he pursued his dream to play professional baseball. That support was evident at the June event as he three brothers and his mother made the trip from, Los Ojos, New Mexico, United States to be on hand as he was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

BC born Justin Morneau played 10 years with the Minnesota Twins, but his dream was to play in the NHL.

You preferred hockey over baseball?

“That’s true, I loved baseball, but I really wanted to play in the NHL. I wanted to be a goalie and my idol was Montreal goalie Patrick Roy, number 33. In high school I played hockey and basketball. I tried out for Portland Winter Hawks of the WHL but played net in just one of their preseason games in 88. The Hawks won the Memorial Cup that year and funny thing is, I am listed as a member of that winning team!”
Justin earned numerous awards throughout his career. He was selected to the All-Star team 4 times, is a 2-time Silver Slugger Award winner
... and he is still the
  • only Canadian to win the American League MVP which he did in 2006
  • only Canadian to win the Home Run Derby
  • only one of two Canadians to win the National League batting title

Off the field, he is involved in many charitable endevours. He spearheads an annual coat drive in Minneapolis that has collected over 40,000 coats from generous donors. Justin hosts an annual casino night to raise money for the arthritis foundation to send kids to summer camp. The casino events have raised over $1 million to support the objective. He also hosts events to raise funds for the United Heroes League that provides sports equipment to the children of military families.

The Twins have recognized Justin off-field contributions with several awards given to current and former players for their charitable work.

2022 inductee Jeff Francis is another elite Canadian born professional ball players that was the pitcher that batters just did not want to face. In his 11-year career, he posted 72 wins, was the starter in 217 games and a total of 1,291 innings! While pitching for the Colorado Rockies, he helped propel the team to 2007 National League Championship and went on to be the first Canadian to start a Game 1 of the World Series.

Jeff now lives in London and still is involved in baseball. He coaches a little league team in the city and, much to his surprise (and joy), the team members were in attendance at the induction ceremony, cheering ever-so loudly when he was introduced and welcomed to the stage by the event’s MC, Sports Net’s Hazel May.

Pedro Martinez

In May, a press release was issued by The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, announcing that 2018 inductee. Superstar Pedro Martinez would finally come to St Marys to accept his place in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Petro was born in the Dominican Republic, in 1971, Pedro Martinez was signed as an amateur free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988. He was used primarily as a reliever for parts of two seasons with the Dodgers before he was dealt to the Montreal Expos for Delino DeShields on November 19, 1993.

Pedro did visit Canada just a few times while he was with the Dodgers, when the team came to Montreal to play the Expos.

What was his thoughts when he learned of his trade to the Expos in 1993?

“I was afraid at first. I was just starting to be comfortable in English and now I was going to place that spoke French. My brother Ramon, had been in the US for some time and he looked after me while in LA, teaching me what to do and what not to do. Roman did not come with me to Montreal, so I was very much alone.

“My very first day, the manager, Felipe Alou, called me into his office and I though, oh boy, I am in trouble all ready, what did I do, I thought.”


Felipe Alou was a fellow Dominican, also a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame – inducted in 2015.

“I wasn’t in trouble, but instead he told me ‘Pedro, get ready, you will be in our starting rotation.”


It was clear that you had great pitching abilities, you had a wicked fastball, but you did have some difficulty maintain control. Rumour has it that Felipe encouraged you to modify your grip from a two-seam to a four-seam grip. True?

“Yes, it was pretty amazing. It felt strange at first but by the time the game was to start, we decided I would try it and it was great right away. I never went back to the two-seam after that day.”


You say you were a bit scared when you first arrived in Montreal. What changed?

“ Felipe put me with Vladimir Guerrero (Sr.). Vladdy taught me everything, where to eat, where not to eat. He made sure that I was never late, he taught me to use the subway…everything. We became great friends and we still are.”


Pedro Martinez is Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s God Father.

“Soon, I felt very comfortable in Montreal. I was amazed that I could park my car outside and it would not get stolen. I could walk on St Catherine’s Street at midnight and not be scared to get mugged and I couldn’t believe it that the police didn’t carry guns! I loved it!


In the 1997 season, in the midst of the steroid era, when offensive numbers were exploding, Martinez posted a 17-8 record and led the league with a 1.90 ERA. He also topped NL pitchers in complete games (13and his 305 strikeouts set a single-season franchise record. As a result, he became the first and only Expos pitcher to win the National League Cy Young Award.

Petro added additional excitement while in St Marys. During the interview, he presented the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame the Cy Young Award that he won in that remarkable 1997 year with the Expos. The award is now on display at the Hall of Fame Museum .

Sadly, due to the organization’s financial constraints, the Expos dealt him to the Boston Red Sox following the season. He continued his dominance with the Red Sox, winning four American League ERA titles and two Cy Young Awards in seven seasons with the club. And during the celebration after the Red Sox captured their first World Series title in 86 years in 2004, Martinez acknowledged Expos fans in a TV interview.

"I would like to share this with the people in Montreal that are not going to have a team anymore," he said. "My heart and my ring is with them, too."

It was a gesture that Expos fans have not forgotten.

In 2015, in recognition of a remarkable career, Pedro was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015.

Pedro has and continues to be very active in charitable endeavors. In 1998, he held his first charity event began which led to the established the Pedro Martinez Foundation. Pedro’s wife, Carolina Cruz de Martínez is the Foundation’s President.

We asked Carolina to tell us about the Pedro Martinez Foundation’s work.

“Through our Foundation we provide holistic care for children and families around the world in 52 communities in Latin America and 5 cities in the United States. We offer food, education, medical, dental, job training and many other programs to break the cycle of poverty in children's lives”, explained Carolina

“We believe it takes a village to raise a child and we come alongside families living in poverty to help them break the cycle in their lives and help the children achieve their dreams”.


Where does the Foundation’s funding come from?

“To raise money and awareness, we run some charity events throughout the year A few weeks ago (June5th), we hosted our annual Feast with 45. So many sports personalities came out to support the event which we held at Fenway Park. It’s so much fun as thousands come to the park for the ultimate food experience, tasting signature dishes from 45 of Boston’s finest chiefs. “


We have heard that Big Pappy is a friend of yours and a supporter of the Foundation. Did he attend this year’s event?

“Yes, David (Ortiz) was there and so was Vlad Guerrero, Jason Varitek, Carlos Martinez, Fernando Abad, Luis Severino…...an so many others. It was great and we raised a lot of money for the Foundation’s work.”


The foundation is very popular. Ranging from $25 per month to $45 per month, a child will receive food, education as well as medical and dental treatments.

Click HERE for more details on the Pedro Martinez Foundation and the sponsorship program.

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The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a must see for those who love the game. It’s packed with hundreds of historic pieces of baseball memorabilia...including Pedro Martinez’ 1997 Cy Young Award Trophy.

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum located in St Marys Ontario is open Tuesday through Sunday 10:00AM – 5:00PM Click HERE for more information.

Advance notice: The 2023 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be June 17, 2023 and will be held at the Hall of Fame & Museum in St Marys.