Three Toronto Blue Jay greats were on the Semiahmoo Peninsula over the weekend, lending a hand at White Rock Baseball Day.
The event – held Sunday and organized by the White Rock-South Surrey Baseball Association and the Blue Jays’ Jays Care Foundation – drew more than 100 young ball players to South Surrey Athletic Park, where they worked with former Toronto Blue Jays Roberto Alomar, Duane Ward and Jess Barfield.
As well, members of the White Rock All-Stars – who represented Canada last month at the Little League World Series – were also in attendance.
The trio of former Jays was introduced to the crowd by WRSSBA president Michael Gorman and Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg, at which time Alomar – who was inducted into the baseball hall of fame in 2011 – remarked, tongue-in-cheek, that the rainy, overcast weather reminded him of his home country of Puerto Rico.
Alomar, who played second base, is one of the most popular Jays in team history, and was a key member of both Blue Jay World Series-winning teams, in 1992 and ’93.
Ward, a relief pitcher, was also on the two World Series squads, while Barfield was a key member of the talented Toronto teams of the 1980s.
In addition to on-field instruction, the event also included lunch, and an autograph session with the three former major-leaguers.
Funds raised from the event – almost $25,000, according to organizers – go toward creation of the first-ever fully accessible baseball diamond (perfect for Challenger Baseball) in the Lower Mainland.