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The evolution of one Hall of Fame hopefully duplicated for another


Bunch of little things to wrap up the week like we usually do on Friday, right?

Way back in the day – and I’m talking WAAAAAAAAY back in the day – I did a little work for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum when it was located at Ontario Place in what turned out to be an ill-fated plan to make it something big at the heart of Toronto’s tourist area at the time.

It was a lot of fun to be on the ground floor in even a tiny role because I thought it was an important endeavour. I was a point in my career where I wanted to try something different (not the greatest idea I’ve ever had, it didn’t last too long) so what the hell, right?

Anyway, the point is that I saw the induction list yesterday when Griff wrote about it and I marvelled at how far it’s come. It’s important history and it always deserved a home and a profile and it’s good that the Hall got it.

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And that leads me to hope the same thing can happen with basketball.

I don’t think the charms of Almonte are quite the charms of a weekend outdoor induction event annually in St. Mary’s and maybe one sport doesn’t lend itself to the same historical reverence but it should.

I imagine there was some really hard slogging getting the baseball Hall from where it was to where it is and I imagine it’ll be doubly hard for the people who are now running the basketball shrine. But it’s worth it and I hope it all works out in the end.

Two other things:

The thing I was most proud of was going to a meeting of the Oxford Country council – I had an idea of what they were like from a spell of working in Woodstock – and selling the civic leaders on sponsoring a Hall display on the origins of the game in Canada. I have no real recollection of how much money I got out of them, it certainly wasn’t a lot but it was fun to do.

And, as I mentioned, the Hall was at Ontario Place and to this day one of the craziest scenes I’ve ever seen was looking at tens of thousands of screaming fans fighting to find a spot to see a band one afternoon. It was a zoo.

The band?

The Monkeys.

Never seen anything like it before.

Ah, the good old days.

Today’s the day the music died.

RIP.

The only things I need to know about the big football game on Sunday – I’ll miss it flying back following the afternoon game in Brooklyn – is this:

I’m taking the over on the length of the anthem bet because people who sing it can’t help themselves.

And it’ll be heads. Always pick heads.

Quiet day for the Raptors to regroup after the tough, draining back-to-back of Tuesday-Wednesday  (The 25 C sunshine weather here made it a nice day to have off) and I’m sure they welcomed the time away.

And it was nice of them to turn shootaround this morning form the usual to a no-media walkthrough at the team hotel so I can hang around here and maybe work sitting outside for a little bit.

I have no idea what I’ll write for an early story without being able to speak to anyone today (it has to be filed long before the pre-game availability period) but not having to go anywhere makes the morning a bit better.

And, yeah, they do actually do a walkthrough in a hotel ballroom, even without baskets. They tape off a court, or at least key parts of a court, go through the scouting report on what the other team does and work off that. They get up their shots pre-game in the arena, they use a walkthrough to go over Orlando’s stuff.

We know that pro sports in North America is basically a 12-months-a-year thing these days, seasons go too long, the playoffs never end, games morph into free agency and drafts and, really, you might get one quiet month in a season.

The reaction I get when people ask me what I do in the off-season and I explain that there’s basically no off-season (August might be slow if there’s no Olympics or world championships) is funny; once I explain that the finals go to late June, the draft is about a week later, the free agency period starts a week or so after that and then players start coming back in September they get it but it takes some explaining.

And I can imagine my young colleague She Who Supports Arsenal is going through that now because, holy cow, MLS takes about two weeks off between the championship and the start of training camp.

The TFCs are back in camp already and those days when soccer teams played once a week and took a nice long break to recover are gone, aren’t they?

And I don’t think that’s a good thing, either. There should be a nice long break for every pro season so everyone can catch their breath.

Oh, wait.

If I’m just loafing around the hotel – there’s a Shake Shack for lunch about 10 minute walk away but that’ll be the furthest I head until game time – why don’t I get started on the mail?

And why don’t you all go to askdoug@thestar.ca and give me some questions to answer?

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