Bill Humber, baseball historian in Bowmanville, appointed to the Order of Canada


By Glenn Hendry

Posted on December 29, 2021 at 2:16 p.m.

Canada’s best-known and most accomplished baseball historian has a new honor for his coat: the Order of Canada.

Bill Humber, who owns 12 books on baseball, sports, the environment, and his hometown of Bowmanville, was inducted into the Order today by Governor General Mary Simon “for his contributions as the first historian. baseball in Canada, which highlighted the main ways in which the history of the sport is linked to our nation.

The Order of Canada is the highest civilian honor in Canada,

Recognition for his accomplishments in his chosen field is nothing new for Humber, who was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 and currently serves as a coach for the same Hall. He is also a former coach of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Clarington Sports Hall of Fame, recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and in 1989 was a subject matter expert at the Royal Ontario Museum for an exhibition on baseball.

“It’s kind of like a lifetime achievement award,” Humber said from his Bowmanville home today, adding he was “humbled” by all the congratulatory calls he already had. received about this honor. “It was great.”

“To quote Garret Morris from the old Saturday Night Live track, ‘baseball has been a berry, a good berry to me.'”

Now 72, Humber has been writing about baseball since his first book, Supporting the Home Team: The History of Baseball in Canada (Boston Mills Press), was published in 1983. Its library also includes a few books on Bowmanville – The Story of Bowmanville Central Public School (with Doris Falls), 1989, and Bowmanville: A Small Town on the Outskirts, 1997 – but his passion is, and always has been, baseball.

He is currently working on a book on the history of baseball in Ontario before 1880, and is preparing for his 44th consecutive year of Baseball: Spring Training for Fans, a college course that has been held at Seneca College for many years and which is now in progress. ZOOM.

Humber has no idea who nominated him for the honor, but was told he was joining the Order – under an “order” of silence – about three months ago.

Established in 1967, the Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community, and service to the nation. More than 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested in the Order and can wear its iconic snowflake badge.

Governor General Simon appointed 135 Canadians to the Order today, including two “Companions” – the highest level:

Yann Martel (Saskatoon) For his contributions to literature and for his philanthropic commitment to improving his region and the Honorable Murray Sinclair (St. Andrews, MB) For his commitment to the representation of Indigenous legal issues and for his dedication to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians were promoted to Companions of the Order.

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