The numbers, by Ken Fidlin’s personal calculated estimation, are staggering, a sports activities author and sports activities fan’s nirvana of a profession: 20 World Sequence coated, two Olympics, three soccer World Cups, two Stanley Cup and NBA finals, 40 golf majors and extra.
In chronicling these occasions for the Toronto Solar, the person these of us who revered him as a colleague and knew him merely as ‘Fids’ figures he’s typed some 20 million phrases and stood for greater than 5,000 nationwide anthems.
With full and due respect to all of his work by all of these main occasions, it could effectively have been on the baseball beat that Fidlin informed his finest tales, nonetheless. It was on the ball park that the esteemed columnist was capable of show his ardour and aptitude for the sport he beloved and enlightened generations of Canadian baseball followers within the course of.
And for these causes, the long-time and now retired Solar scribe has been honoured by the Canadian Baseball Corridor of Fame which on Wednesday named Fidlin the recipient of the Jack Graney Award, recognizing “significant contributions to Canadian baseball” by his life’s work.
Fidlin, who retired from the Solar in December 2016, was each thrilled and humbled on the honour, which acknowledges him as one of many nice chroniclers of the game on this nation.
“My first reaction was one of disbelief,” Fidlin stated on Wednesday. “I’m not saying that out of some sense of false modesty. I used to be all the time pleased with my physique of labor and the way in which I went about it, with out flash or bombast.
“However after I take a look at the names of the previous winners, a few of them bigger-than-life effectively, it was humbling.”
To Fids’ level, in a media panorama through which the recent take has taken on untoward significance at occasions, his written voice was invariably one in all motive. Sure, he could be crucial when the actions on the diamond referred to as for it, however by no means gratuitously or to attract consideration to himself.
When it got here to writing about baseball, Fidlin was keen on the rhythm of the game whereas on the identical time eager and pushed to unearth its nuances and produce them to life for his loyal readers.
“People describe baseball as boring. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Fidlin stated. “It goes on each day. If you need boring, strive masking soccer with one recreation per week and 6 days of rehashing the final recreation or hyping the following one.
“Every week within the lifetime of a baseball crew is a lifetime. Every thing modifications day by day. You ask your self what occurred final week in baseball and it looks as if historic historical past.”
A local of Norwich, Ont., Fidlin spent the majority of his 45-year sports activities writing profession as a revered and stylish voice on the Solar, the place he was the Blue Jays reporter from 1983 to 1991. Working alongside the legendary Bob Elliott and others equivalent to Mike Rutsey and Invoice Lankhof, Fidlin was an enormous a part of the Solar’s industry-leading protection of the crew by the years.
Later, he grew to become a common columnist, earlier than ending his profession as a number one affect again on the Jays beat.
A few private recollections concerning Fids, who I discovered myself with the unenviable process of changing within the press containers, clubhouses and managers places of work the Jays take us after sliding into the baseball beat previous to the 2017 season.
The primary from my early days on the Solar when, as an editor on the sports activities desk, it was not only a deal with however a studying expertise to deal with Fidlin’s copy. Moreover being clear and and not using a phrase misspelled or a comma misplaced, his intelligent type of story-telling punctuated by a terrific flip of phrase was an inspiration.
The second got here previous to the 2015 ALCS after I was conscripted to affix a Solar roster that included Fidlin, Rutsey, Elliott and the Steves — Simmons and Buffery. Already in Okay.C., Fidlin came upon my flight info and insisted on selecting me up on the airport, which isn’t precisely helpful to the downtown accommodations.
His MVP standing was revealed later within the journey when, after a late evening on the park and the resort bar closed, Fids had the instinct and hustle to get to the native fuel station/ comfort retailer a minute earlier than the midnight deadline to buy grownup libations.
He was an awesome teammate and a revered competitor, as evidenced by the social media response from his brethren within the press field to the Graney Award recognition.
“For almost four decades, Ken Fidlin wrote first-rate articles and columns abut the Toronto Blue Jays for the Toronto Sun,” Canadian Baseball Corridor of Fame director of operations Scott Crawford stated in saying the honour. “He continues to be widely respected by his colleagues and peers for the high standards he set, his professionalism and his commitment to his craft.”
In his four-plus many years of vividly recording a number of the nice moments in Canadian sport, Fidlin might actually craft a sensational private spotlight reel. With typical humility, he doesn’t view it that approach, nonetheless.
“I don’t know about career highlights,” Fidlin stated when requested to circle a couple of.
“I like to think my strength was consistency. I think one of my early sports editors, Eddie MacCabe (in Ottawa) paid me the best compliment when he said: “What I like about you is you don’t need to be handled. You’re not in my office every day looking for a pep talk.”