Alomar elected to Canadian baseball hall

Former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Roberto Alomar, who earlier this month fell just short in Cooperstown voting, will be enshrined at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame after being named for induction Thursday.

Snubbed by Cooperstown, embraced by St. Mary's: That's Roberto Alomar's story after the former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman was announced Thursday as one of this year's inductees for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Alomar, who earlier this month fell a scant eight votes short of election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in upstate New York, will be enshrined this summer at Canada's answer to the museum, located in southwestern Ontario.

He'll be joined by Paul Quantrill, a longtime big-league reliever from Port Hope, Ont., who played six seasons for the Blue Jays, along with former Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith and statistician Allan Roth.

Alomar joined the Blue Jays in the famous December 1990 blockbuster that also brought Joe Carter to Toronto and sent Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the San Diego Padres.

Renowned for his ability to hit for average and power, run the bases and supply dazzling defence, Alomar made the American League all-star team and won a Gold Glove in each of his five seasons with the Jays. His 10 career Gold Gloves are a record for second basemen.

The Puerto Rican was the centrepiece of Toronto's back-to-back World Series championship teams in 1992 and '93. His ninth-inning game-tying two-run homer off Oakland closer Dennis Eckersley in Game 4 of the 1992 AL championship series helped propel the Jays into their first World Series, where they beat the Atlanta Braves.

Alomar had perhaps his finest season as a Jay in '93, hitting .326 with 17 homers, 93 RBIs and a career-high 55 stolen bases.

After leaving Toronto via free agency after the '94 season, Alomar enjoyed several fine years with Baltimore and Cleveland. His first season with the Indians, in 1999, was a historic one as Alomar joined the great Rogers Hornsby as the only second basemen to both score and drive in 120 runs in the same season.

Hit .300 lifetime

Alomar's career ended in 1994 after stints with the New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Arizona. He finished as a career .300 hitter with 210 homers.

Alomar has also experienced his share of controversy. During a September 1996 game in Toronto, while a member of the Orioles, he spat in the face of home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck during a heated argument over a called third strike.

Alomar later apologized, and now describes the two as "great friends," a feeling Hirschbeck echoed.

"I would be very happy for him if he gets in [to the hall]," Hirschbeck said prior to the announcement. "I will call him and congratulate him. I talked to him over the holidays after he sent me [a text wishing Hirschbeck a happy new year] and thanked him for the message."

Alomar found himself back in the news a year ago when an ex-girlfriend filed a $15-million US lawsuit alleging Alomar demanded unprotected sex with her even though he had the HIV virus.

The lawsuit was voluntarily withdrawn after a settlement was reach, with Alomar saying he was "in very good health."