Hall of Fame baseball writer Bob Elliott headlines an impressive lineup of speakers as the inaugural Field of Dreams fundraiser draws ever closer.
The evening of baseball chatter, which takes place at Cambrian College on Dec. 15 beginning at 7 p.m., still has a small handful of tickets available for sale.
A native of Kingston, Ont., and longtime writer with the Toronto Sun, Elliott was awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in Cooperstown this past summer, permanently recognized in an exhibit at the Hall's library.
“Baseball was always the sport for me,” said Elliott. “For a few years, I had to cover some of those secondary sports, like hockey.
“I think it's the one-on-one nature of the game, the fact that it is the most individualistic of all team sports,” that created his passion for the game.
His love of baseball is surpassed only by his love of all things Canadian within the game, a testament highlighted by the one encounter he holds most dear in a career that has spanned several decades.
“In 2006, at Chase Field in Phoenix, Canada beat the U.S. 8-6,” said Elliott. “The game really didn't end up meaning anything, but it's the proudest I've ever felt as a Canadian.”
An author of three baseball-related books, Elliott lists his dogged persistence as his finest attribute as a reporter, not necessarily his pure writing ability.
“I always think the week of the winter meetings is the best week of the year,” he said. “If you can make your contacts and work hard, you can uncover the stories.”
In baseball terms, the Toronto Blue Jays have been among “the” stories this off-season, finalizing a high-profile multi-player trade with the Florida Marlins that has vaulted the team into the same stratosphere of the New York Yankees — at least on paper.
“I don't know if this is the answer, but what is encouraging is that fact that Rogers (Blue Jays team owners) have spent money,” Elliott said. “But you don't win championships in November.”
Elliott will join Blue Jays' broadcaster Gregg Zaun and longtime provincial and national level coach Marc Picard in Sudbury for an evening that is sure to be both entertaining and enlightening.
For tickets, contact Jean-Gilles Larocque at (705) 561-9588).