Today i'm going to write a small little something on Duane Ward! One of the greatest relief pitchers in Blue Jays history! Not only a great set-up man for Tom Henke, but one hell of a closer in his own right!
In the late eighties/early nineties the Toronto bullpen was among the best in the league, and if the Jays had a lead going into the 8th inning you might as well make your way to the exits early and beat the traffic cause the Jays were not loosing.
Duane Ward is still the single season saves leader, and is second all time in pitching appearances, but what I think makes Duane Ward such a great Blue Jay is what he has done for the country of Canada when it comes to teaching our youth about baseball.
A few years ago Mr. Ward started a number of Camps in the Toronto that allowed young kids the chance to interact with a number of former Blue Jays and learn the fundamentals of Baseball. Ok I don't know for sure that it was his idea to start the camps, but he did become the spokesperson and the driving force behind them. Over time these camps have became so popular that they started to grow in attendance and additional camps were added across the country. This year they have even added a Coach's camp where former big leaguers help develop coaching skills that can be brought back to our youth all over Ontario.
Over the time that these camps have been around Duane Ward has done countless interviews on TV, Radio and other appearances to help promote and create awareness for camps that will help grow the game of baseball! In an age when it feels like Athletes don't want to come to Toronto, it's very refreshing that someone who was a part of the wonder years in Toronto is willing to give back to the city and country like he has!
So thanks Duane Ward! I'm looking forward to signing my Son up for one of the Honda Super Camps one day!
Duane Ward for the "Level of Excellence"