Hawthorn: RIP Jean-Pierre Roy, 94; le bon Canadien crafted his own game

From SABR member Tom Hawthorn at The Globe and Mail on December 1, 2014:

Jean-Pierre Roy thrived in the spotlight whether pitching on the baseball diamond, or calling a game from the press box for a television audience, or singing onstage at a night club.

The Quebec-born pitcher, who has died in Florida at 94, spent 12 seasons in the minor leagues, including long stints with his hometown Montreal Royals. He also spent an undistinguished week with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946, a rare Canadian of his era to make the major leagues.

In his day, a job in professional baseball meant a long slog of low pay and overnight bus rides. Mr. Roy eagerly partook in the night life when pitching in such exotic locales as Havana and Hollywood, gaining a reputation as a bon vivant. He told Americans to call him Pete, was dubbed le bon Canadien by The Sporting News, and took as his own nickname the Baseball Adventurer.

A suave and dapper man, he served as an ambassador for his sport, helping to coin the phrases used to describe the game in French-language broadcasts after the expansion Montreal Expos joined the National League in 1969. Mr. Roy barnstormed his home province conducting clinics on behalf of the Expos, while also appearing in television commercials for O’Keefe beer, the club’s sponsor.

Read the full article here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/baseball/le-bon-canadien-crafted-his-own-major-league-game/article21840682/

Originally published: December 1, 2014. Last Updated: December 1, 2014.