Mulliniks, Barfield join CBC's Blue Jays booth

Former Toronto stars Rance Mulliniks and Jesse Barfield will serve as analysts for CBC's coverage of Blue Jays baseball this season, the network announced Thursday.

Some familiar faces will be in the booth as Toronto Blue Jays baseball returns to CBC Sports.

Former stars Rance Mulliniks and Jesse Barfieldwill serve as analystsfor CBC's coverage of Blue Jays baseball this season, the network announced Thursday.

Mulliniks and Barfield will be joinedwhen coverage beginsJune 23 by veteran play-by-play announcer Jim Hughson.

A five-time Gemini Award winner and play-by-play voicefor CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, Hughson called the Blue Jays' 1992 and 1993 American League Championship Series victories.

"We are thrilled to announce Jim Hughson, Rance Mulliniks and Jesse Barfield as CBC's Blue Jays baseball broadcast team," said CBC Sports executive director Scott Moore.

"Rance and Jesse are baseball legends in Canada, and are admired by Toronto Blue Jays fans from coast to coast. Their major-league playing experience allows them to see and understand the game on every level, which in turn will enable them to provide our viewers with superior insight and analysis.

"Jim is also one of the best and most established play-by-play announcers in the country, and together this three-man team will play a big role in delivering coverage of Blue Jays baseball that is second to none."

Following his 15-year playing career, Mulliniks became a radio analyst in 2000 with the Fresno Grizzlies, a San Francisco Giants' triple-A affiliate. In addition to his current work as a Blue Jays colour commentator, the California native worked as a broadcast analyst with the then Montreal Expos organization in 2005.

"I'm very much looking forward to working with CBC, Jesse Barfield and Jim Hughson," said Mullinicks, who spent the final 11 seasons of his playing career with the Blue Jays. "Jesse and I were teammates for a number of years in Toronto; he was an outstanding baseball player and I'm excited about working with him and enjoying his friendship again."

Inaugural broadcast features Jays-Rockies

Barfield, a favourite with Canadian baseball fans, had his debut with the Blue Jays in 1981. He helped the franchise reach the playoffs for the first time in 1985 beforebeing traded in1989 to the New York Yankees, with whom he ended his career in 1992.

The Illinois nativesaw action in 1,428 major-league games, hitting.256 with 241 home runs and 716 RBIs.

"It's a great pleasure to be working with Rance and Jim," said Barfield. "I've known them for quite awhile and they are a classy group of guys.I'm looking forward to helping make this a very successful experience on CBC."

CBC's coverage begins June 23 at 1 p.m. ET, when the Blue Jays host the Colorado Rockies in interleague play at Rogers Centre.

In addition to the following day's game, other highlights of the schedule include three games against the Texas Rangers on Civic Holiday Weekend in August, and an Aug. 6 date against the Yankees.

CBC Sports, which last carried Blue Jays games from 1993 to 2002, signed a two-year rights deal with the Blue Jays in May. The packagegives the networkeight regular-season games this season, and up to 30 games next year.