Local Pan Am gold medalist Chris Kissock and the rest of Team Canada’s baseball team will enter hallowed ground as Baseball Canada announced the Team’s induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame Wednesday.
Team Canada was named to the Hall, along with former Montreal Expo star Rusty Staub, Milwaukee Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin, and former pitcher Rheal Cormier.
After winning bronze at the IBFA World Cup in Panama, the Canadian baseball team shocked the baseball world at the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mex. by knocking off a vaunted U.S.A. Team in the final 2-1.
“It is pretty awesome,” said Kissock. “It’s not all the time you get named into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.”
The Fruitvale native first heard the news on Tuesday from an email he almost never received.
“Everyone that had a hotmail account, it went to the junk mail and I almost deleted it, I didn’t even know what was going on.”
After getting a message on FaceBook, Kissock went back and checked his email and read the news that they had been inducted into the Hall.
It is Canada’s first ever gold medal and along with a bronze at the World Cup in Panama, makes this team the most successful in Baseball Canada’s history.
Kissock also won bronze with Team Canada at the World Cup tournament two years ago but the gold medal is the a highlight of his baseball career.
Kissock was instrumental in Team Canada’s 5-3 semi-final win over Mexico. The Philadelphia Phillies prospect came in and closed out the last two innings to earn the save and send the Canadians to the final.
The former Trail Oriole was also in the bullpen in the gold-medal game warming up in the final innings, ready to go if called upon.
“As a player and a pitcher (the highlight) was closing out the semi-final game against Mexico and getting us to the final game – but the whole (team) highlight was winning against Team U.S.A.,” Kissock said. “That game was just an unbelievable game, so nerve wracking.”
This is Kissock’s second appearance in a Hall of Fame.
His Lewis Clark State College baseball team was inducted into Cooperstown (the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame) after they won the NAIA World Series in 2006. The Hall showcases the annual collegiate champions but Kissock wasn’t aware of it until he stumbled upon the team’s photo on a chance visit to Cooperstown after a rained out game in Oneonta, N.Y.
Kissock doesn’t know if he will make it to the ceremony as he’ll be in the middle of his baseball season, hopefully, in a Phillies uniform. Kissock is off to the Phillies spring training camp Mar.1.
The Hall of Fame ceremony goes in St. Mary’s, Ont. on June, 23.