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Baseball the Beeston way

Alomar, Carter, Gaston, Gillick ... the primary forces behind the 1992 and 1993 World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays.  But there's one important name rarely mentioned in the same breath: Paul Beeston.  The proud and enthusiastic, cigar-smoking accountant from Welland, Ont. worked his way up to the club's chief executive officer by 1991, and was one of the most respected men in the game during his team's unforgettable run.

"It wasn't work," Beeston declares.  "I had the greatest job in the world with the Blue Jays."  In this CBC-TV clip from 1997, he has moved on to New York City and toils as the chief operating officer of Major League Baseball.  Undeniably, his day-to-day routine has changed. "I won't say this isn't work.  This is a little different."  What's not different is his attachment to Canada: he gets the Globe and Mail delivered daily, a case of John Labatt Classic sits on his office floor and he still loves his Cuban cigars.

• Beeston was born June 20, 1945 in Welland, Ont. "Everyone has to be from somewhere and I'm from Welland, and I'm proud of it," he once said.
 
• The Blue Jays hired Beeston as an accountant upon the team's formation in 1976.  In his time with Toronto, he served in a number of different roles besides president and CEO, including vice president of business operations (1977), executive vice president (1984), and president and chief operating officer (1989).
 
• His numerous accolades include being named member of the Order of Canada (1998) and being elected to the board of directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame (2002).  In 1994, the Toronto and Montreal chapters of the Baseball Writers Association of America named him the Canadian Baseball Man of the Year.
 
• Beeston was also placed in the Blue Jays Level of Excellence at Rogers Centre on April 4, 2008, prior to the Jays' home opener versus the Boston Red Sox.

• Beeston graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1967 with a degree in economics and political science.  The school awarded him with an honourary doctor of laws degree in 1994.
 
• He also received an honourary doctor of social sciences degree from Niagara University in Niagara Falls, New York (2001).
 
• His professional career began in 1968 with the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand.  He obtained his Chartered Accountant designation in 1971.

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Evening News
Broadcast Date: Oct. 19, 1997
Guest(s): Paul Beeston
Narrator: Tom Harrington
Duration: 5:37

Last updated: February 2, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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