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Wallach among four Canadian Hall inductees

Special to

St. Mary's, Ontario -- One of the best defensive players of the 1980's was honored in the country in which he starred.

Tim Wallach, a longtime third baseman with the Montreal Expos, was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday. Wallach was joined by former Expos broadcaster and current voice of the Miami Marlins Dave Van Horne, former Yankees, Expos and Reds general manager and native Canadian Murray Cook, and the late Jim Ridley, a former scout and coach and a native Canadian.

Nicknamed "Eli" by his teammates, Wallach was a five-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove Award winner and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He's the Expos' all-time franchise leader in games played, hits, doubles and RBIs.

Wallach was drafted 10th overall by the Expos in 1979, made his debut the following season and starred for Montreal through the 1992 campaign. A native of California, Wallach went on to play four more seasons in the big leagues with the Angels and Dodgers.

Currently, Wallach is the bench coach with the Dodgers.

"It's an exciting day," said Wallach. "I was surprised and honored to receive the call. I enjoyed my time in Montreal and the Expos fans. While we did contend during my time there, it was disappointing that we never got to a World Series. As good as you might be, nothing is guaranteed in baseball."

For his part, Van Horne was the English voice of the Expos from their inception in 1969 until 2000. He is known for his signature "Up, up and away" home run call, and for his "El Presidente, El Perfecto" quip following the 1991 perfect game by Expos pitcher Dennis Martinez. After moving to the Marlins in 2001, Van Horne called the team's 2003 World Series championship season. He was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award in 2011.

"I really anticipated spending my entire career in Montreal broadcasting Expos baseball. For a variety of reasons, it didn't happen. I'm saddened by the loss of the team in Montreal, but I thought the attendance at the exhibition games there this past March was wonderful."

Cook worked in MLB front offices beginning in 1967, starting first with the Pirates. Born in New Brunswick, Canada, Cook has held such MLB roles as general manager, scouting director and vice president. Currently, Cook is the Tigers' East Coast regional cross checker.

"I was really shocked and humbled to get the induction call," he said. "Being from Canada, it's a special honor to receive this recognition."

Born in Toronto, Ridley was a scout and coach in Canada for 29 years, starting in 1973 with the Tigers, and then moving to the Blue Jays in 1976. Ridley was instrumental in helping to shape the Blue Jays' scouting presence in Canada, and he coached Team Canada at the Olympics, Pan Am Games and World Junior Baseball Championship. He passed away from cancer in 2008. Ridley's three children were on hand for the inductions.

Former Major League Baseball players of note who also took part in the weekend's festivities included National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins and all-time Expos wins leader Steve Rogers.

Matthew Ross is a contributor to

Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays, Tim Wallach