Mariners News: Scout Wayne Norton Inducted to Canadian Baseball HOF


Congrats to Mariners scout Wayne Norton, who is part of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2016!

Ken Griffey Jr. may be the most prominent member of the Seattle Mariners’ family to be inducted into a Hall of Fame this year, but he is not the only person in the organization who will be honored this summer. Longtime M’s scout Wayne Norton will be enshrined on June 18 in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame located in St. Mary’s, Ont.

The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame honors players, coaches, scouts and executives who have impacted baseball in Canada. This year’s class includes former big league pitchers Pat Hentgen and Dennis Martinez. Howard Starkman worked as an executive with the Toronto Blue Jays for four decades, and this summer he will take his rightful spot in the Hall. Former broadcaster and player, Tony Kubek will be honored as well. The “Father of Canadian Baseball,” William Shuttleworth will also be inducted on June 18.

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Norton has been in charge of discovering talent for the Mariners in Canada since 2000. He is responsible for numerous young Canadians getting drafted by Seattle in recent years. Some of the more well-known players he has scouted are Michael Saunders, Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies. Tyler O’Neill is perhaps the next gem Norton mined north of the border for the M’s.

The 73-year-old is one of the most respected scouts in the game. Norton was named the Mariners International Scout of the Year in 2007, and he was awarded with the Canadian Scout of the Year in 1998 and 2013 by the Canadian Baseball Network.

Wayne Norton has devoted his life to the game of baseball. He played 10 seasons (1961-1970) in the minor leagues before trading in his spikes for a radar gun and a notepad. Always focused on nurturing young talent, Norton established Baseball Canada’s Junior National Team in the mid-1970’s. He pulled double duty by coaching the Junior National Team and working part-time as a scout for the Montreal Expos.

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The Port Moody, BC native managed the Canadian club at the 1975 Pan Am Games in Mexico City, and was key figure in launching Baseball BC in 1977. He also helped create Baseball Canada’s first coaching manuals in the 1970’s. My Dad (Rudy) actually took a number of the coaching clinics Norton offered in Vancouver, BC during the 70’s. We do indeed live in a small world.

Norton founded the National Baseball Institute in 1986. The Vancouver, BC baseball school has helped develop players like Matt Stairs, Corey Koskie, Paul Spoljaric and Aaron Guiel. Pat Gillick hired Norton to scout Canada for the Baltimore Orioles in 1996, and Gillick brought him along to the Emerald City when he was hired as the M’s General Manager in 2000.

Wayne had this to say regarding his induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame:

"“The phone call informing me of my induction made me very happy. It will certainly be an honour to be included in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. I am extremely grateful to my friends who nominated me, and to my baseball colleagues and family who supported my nomination. Their regard means a great deal to me. It is gratifying to have my contributions to baseball in Canada recognized and valued by my peers and acknowledged by the selection committee. I look forward to what promises to be a fantastic couple of days in St. Marys!”"

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I would like to congratulate my fellow Canuck on his very special honor. Wayne Norton not only developed players, but he also helped cultivate a love of baseball in Canadian children that has stayed with them for the rest of their lives.

On behalf of Canadian baseball fans everywhere, thank you Wayne!