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Blue Jays

FROM THE Footprints COLLECTION

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On 14 April 1969, the first Major League Baseball game was played in Canada. At Montréal's Jarry Park, at the home opener of the newly minted Montreal Expos before a crowd of 29,184 fans, former prime minster and lifelong baseball fan Lester Pearson was invited to throw out the first pitch in what turned out to be an Expos victory (8-7) over the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

Larry Walker was playing baseball with the Canadian National Junior Team when scouts for the Montreal Expos discovered him in 1989. Walker was later signed to the Colorado Rockies in 1995 and went on to become the first Canadian-born player to win a batting title in the 20th century.

 

Known as a strike-throwing machine throughout his career, Ferguson Jenkins was the first Canadian baseball pitcher to win the Cy Young Award (1971). He was also honoured with the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's outstanding athlete (1974) and was Canadian male athlete of the year 4 times. In 1987 he was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and in 1991 he received baseball's ultimate honour when he became the first Canadian elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

 

In 1992, the Toronto Blue Jays made it to the finals to face the Atlanta Braves in baseball's first international World Series. On 24 October 1992, more than half a million people poured into the streets of Toronto in a world-class frenzy as the Jays won the Championship with a 4-3 victory. That scene would be repeated in 1993 when the Jays brought home their second World Series title.

 

They are Footprints on the diamond of Canadian sport.

 

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