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Mariners scout Norton elected to Canadian HOF

Baseball vet is one of six inductees in class of 2016
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Longtime Mariners scout Wayne Norton has been elected to join the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in a ceremony that will take place June 18 in Ontario.

"This is a well-deserved honor for Wayne," Mariners director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara said. "He has spent a lifetime developing, nurturing and recognizing baseball talent in Canada."

SEATTLE -- Longtime Mariners scout Wayne Norton has been elected to join the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in a ceremony that will take place June 18 in Ontario.

"This is a well-deserved honor for Wayne," Mariners director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara said. "He has spent a lifetime developing, nurturing and recognizing baseball talent in Canada."

Norton, who has scouted Canada since 2000 for the Mariners, will be joined in the 2016 class by Blue Jays pitcher Pat Hentgen, former Expos pitcher Dennis Martinez, longtime Blue Jays executive Howard Starkman, former Blue Jays TV analyst Tony Kubek and baseball pioneer William Shuttleworth, who is deceased.

"We're proud to honor such a diverse class. Each of the new inductees has made a significant contribution to baseball in Canada in their own unique way," said Scott Crawford, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame's director of operations.

Norton, a native of Port Moody, British Columbia, has scouted and signed numerous Mariners, including current outfield prospect Tyler O'Neill and former Mariners Michael Saunders, Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies.

Norton, 73, was named the Mariners International Scout of the Year in 2007 and Canadian Scout of the Year by the Canadian Baseball Network in 1998 and 2013.

"The phone call informing me of my induction made me very happy," Norton said. "It will certainly be an honor to be included in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. It is gratifying to have my contributions to baseball in Canada recognized and valued by my peers and acknowledged by the selection committee."

Norton played more than 1,200 games in the Minor Leagues as an outfielder for the Yankees, Royals and A's from 1961-70 before becoming a baseball executive and scout in Canada. In the mid-1970s, he founded and established Baseball Canada's Junior National Team and became a coach and manager for the organization, while doubling as a part-time scout for the Expos.

He also managed Canada's Pan Am Games team in 1975, prior to helping launch Baseball B.C. two years later. In 1986, Norton established the National Baseball Institute (NBI) in Vancouver. Among the NBI graduates to play in the big leagues are 2015 Canadian Baseball Hall of Famers Matt Stairs (Fredericton, N.B.) and Corey Koskie (Anola, Man.), as well as Denis Boucher (Montreal, Que.), Steve Sinclair (Victoria, B.C.), Paul Spoljaric (Kelowna, B.C.), Rob Butler (East York, Ont.), Jason Dickson (Miramichi, N.B.), Aaron Guiel (Vancouver, B.C.) and Derek Aucoin (Lachine, Que.).

After leaving the NBI in 1994, Norton evolved into one of Canada's most respected scouts. He worked for the Orioles from 1996 to 1999 prior to joining the Mariners in 2000.

"It is fitting that Wayne's tremendous work with the Mariners amateur and international scouting departments and all his other accolades throughout his baseball career are being recognized by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame," said Tim Kissner, the Mariners' director of international scouting. "This award couldn't go to a more deserving individual, as Wayne has truly had an impact on all aspects of baseball in Canada. It is an honor to be able to work with him."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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