By Jonathan Hodgson
The Okotoks Dawgs are very pleased to be welcoming legendary award-winning baseball writer Bob Elliott back to Okotoks as the guest speaker at the Dawgs 12thAnnual Awards Banquet and Fundraiser on February 2.
Born in Kingston, ON, Elliott has put together an illustrious career as a baseball journalist. Elliott began his journalism career in 1966 and in 1978, covered Montreal Expos opening day as his first major league assignment. In 1987, he took on the Toronto Blue Jays beat writer position, later shifting to a baseball columnist role
Elliott has earned the respect of the highest baseball circles in Canada and the entire baseball world, and his work has earned him two of baseball journalism’s greatest honours as a recipient of both the Jack Graney Award from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, and the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
Through it all, Elliott has kept it one of his missions to promote baseball in our country, and the Canadian’s playing it, to ensure that the game commonly referred to as America’s pastime keeps advancing forward in Canada. Elliott is the founder of the Canadian Baseball Network (CBN), the leading online source for content shining the light on Canadian baseball and its players. The CBN receiving contributions from a diverse team of contributors from coast to coast through both written stories and a podcast, providing blanket coverage of Canadian baseball from the grassroots up to the Toronto Blue Jays and every level in between including Team Canada.
It is widely considered a feather in the cap to be named in Elliott’s annual list of the most influential Canadians in baseball, which shines a spotlight on Canadians who have made great achievements in or contributions to baseball. Many Dawgs personnel have made repeated appearances on the list, led by managing director John Ircandia, who rose to #16 in 2017.
Also compiled on the CBN are the annual draft rankings, the all-Canadian college team, and Canadians in college list, as well as team Canada coverage, all aimed at heightening the awareness and recognition of upcoming Canadian players.
Elliott was named winner of the Jack Graney Award in 2010, and received it at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2011 induction ceremony in St. Mary’s, ON. The Jack Graney Award is presented to a member of the Canadian media who has made significant contribution to the game through their life’s work. At the time, the prestigious award had only been handed out 12 times in its first 24 years of existence.
Two years later, Elliott received perhaps the top honour a baseball journalist can receive, when the Baseball Writers Association of America voted him the 2012 winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, which is annually awarded to a baseball writer for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” Elliott was recognized during 2012 induction weekend at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, and is now part of the Hall’s “Scribes & Mikesmen” exhibit.
Elliott has been inducted into five different Halls of Fame since 2009, including the Dawgs Hall of Fame, where he was a member of the inaugural induction class alongside Don Seaman and Blair Kubicek in 2014.
Other major awards that Elliott has won include: Career and Lifetime Achievement Awards from Sports Media Canada and the Premiere Baseball League of Ontario respectively, and the Brian Williams Media Award from the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.
Elliott will speak at the Dawgs 12thAnnual Awards Banquet and Fundraiser on February 2 at the Foothills Centennial Centre in Okotoks. His words are sure to be thought provoking and entertaining as he shares pearls of wisdom and anecdotes from more than 50 years in baseball.
The event will take place at the Foothills Centennial Centre in Okotoks and will begin with happy hour at 6:00pm and dinner at 7:00pm, followed by recognition of 2018 team award winners, induction of the 2019 class of the Dawgs Hall of Fame (Terry McKaig & Michael Rose) as well as live and silent auctions. Tickets are $125 each or $800 for a table of eight and are on-sale now by calling the Dawgs office at 403-262-3294.