Bob Elliott goes to Cooperstown

Bob Elliott never cashed a signing bonus cheque or had an agent negotiate a contract for him with a major league baseball organization. Nonetheless he’s one of the most significant baseball people Canada has produced.

Oh, he played the game – but as he was quoted in a piece written by colleague Bill Lankhoff in the 2008 Sports Media Canada Journal when Bob received the Sports Media Canada Lifetime Achievement Award: “I was just a second baseman who couldn’t hit a curve.”


Bob tossed the first pitch at a Blue Jays game as the team honoured him and recognized his latest Award.

But in more than a quarter century of covering baseball for newspapers in Ottawa and since 1987 for the Toronto Sun, he has hit pretty much every curve life has thrown at him, becoming one of Canada’s top sport writers. He’d break more stories in a year than some would in a lifetime. He has chronicled the great and the small achievements in baseball in this country.


He was there when the Blue Jays won their World Series, he was there when the Expos were young and when they died, he was there with his Mississauga minor baseball teams in victory, he was there when his son, Bobby, hit a home run and he was there when Joe Carter hit his.


It doesn’t matter much to Bob where the baseball is being played, or who is playing it. It just matters that it is being played.


This week Bob goes to Cooperstown, NY, to pick up his award for ‘meritorious contributions to baseball writing. He’d been nominated by the Baseball Writers of America previously but last December it was announced that this was his year to become the first Canadian to receive the J. G. Taylor Spink Award.


Bob is in good company at Cooperstown this week. Former major league catcher, now a veteran TV commentator, Tim McCarver receives the baseball broadcasting Award.

Read more about Bob in Bill Lankhoff’s story in the Career Achievement Awards section of the Sports Media Canada website.