Stop anyone on the streets of Corner Brook and ask them to name a player in the local senior baseball league.
Chances are, the name Frank Humber would be the response.
Likely the most accomplished baseball player the city has ever produced, Humber was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1989 following a successful stint playing high school and varsity baseball in the United States.
He played for Team Canada at the Pan-Am Games, the World Championships, and even the Olympics, where he pitched every game, without allowing a single run, and earned the team’s only win of the tournament, against the U.S., the team that would go on to win the gold medal.
Though he never appeared in a Major League game, Humber spent a couple of years within the organization and saw some time with the big stars of the day during training camp.
For all those accomplishments, not to mention his countless contributions at the provincial level, Humber was named to the Baseball Newfoundland and Labrador Hall of Fame on Saturday at the association’s annual general meeting.
“I think it just means I’m old,” Humber said with a laugh.
“But I guess it’s a great thing, right? Obviously.”
He had gotten wind that he was being nominated about a month ago, with a local representative of the Hall of Fame Committee calling him and asking him a few questions about his career. He received the official phone call notifying him that he’d made it on Saturday evening.
He indicated (during that initial interview that he was still playing, so he didn’t know what the interpretation of that would be. But given the fact he hadn’t played provincially in “four or five years,” he figures they decided he was eligible.
This most recent season was a rare disappointment for Humber and his Veitch’s Ultramar Hawks, as the team didn’t make the league final for the first time in 28 years.
Humber said he and a few of the other older members of the team have said they’ll go again next season for “one more year.”
“I’ve said ‘one more year’ to my wife the last three years, so we’ll see what happens,” he quipped.
“I think the time is certainly nearing, for sure.”
Details on the induction ceremony have yet to be announced.
Minor player of the year
With one Corner Brooker honoured for a career’s worth of achievements, another was recognized for a great beginning and a bright future, as 17-year-old Andrew Flood was honoured as minor player of the year by Baseball NL.
He said Corner Brook Baseball Association president Jason Mosher called him with the good news, which left him a little shocked.
“I couldn’t believe I won it, actually,” he said. “I didn’t think I would get nominated at all, so I was really surprised when he called me and told me about it.
“I feel good about it.”
Among Flood’s accomplishments this past season were an MVP-performance at the provincial midget championship, and a top batter award at the Atlantic Canadian Championship that took place in Corner Brook.