His favourite sunflower seed flavour is “original.”
His favourite ballpark, “all of them.”
Former Blue Jays set-up man and closer, Duane Ward, is being inducted today into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys, Ontario.
“It means the world to me,” he told Barrie 360. “I’ve accomplished so much in my career, you know, two World Series championships. This right here is validation that other people saw that I could play the game as long as I did … this right here is the pinnacle, the apex of my career.”
Like many athletes, Ward has a superstitious side. He wore the same blue shirt under his uniform for ten years, and wouldn’t let anyone else touch it. “I had a tendency to pull my sleeves up with my finger on my gloved hand and I would tear underneath the arm. I would personally sew it back together. Nobody else could do that.”
B.C. native Justin Morneau (Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies, and Chicago White Sox) is also being inducted today. He said it’s beyond a dream to be among the people who have impacted the game of baseball in Canada … Larry Walker, the Blue Jays teams and Fergie Jenkins.
“It’s a very humbling honour.”
Pedro Martinez, who played for five teams – including the Montreal Expos – told reporters the fans in Montreal had a huge impact on him. “The fans were the ones that really embraced the way I went about my business, the way I played baseball, and they made me feel comfortable right away.”
Martinez also thinks the fans in Montreal were treated unfairly by the city and Major League Baseball. He says they had a team they [the players and fans] thought had a legitimate chance to win the World Series before the team was moved to Washington.
Asked about his favourite stadium to play in, Martinez said Yankee Stadium, believe it or not, “Because they really wanted to bring it to me, and I was so happy to bring it to them, too.”
Vancouver-born, left-hander, Jeff Francis (Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, and Toronto Blue Jays) is also among today’s inductees.
images – Rob Daniels, Barrie 360/107.5 Kool FM