St. Marys – Longtime Montreal Expos broadcaster Rodger
Brulotte will be presented with the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s
Jack Graney Award during a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, March 29
before the Toronto Blue Jays take on the New York Mets in an exhibition
game at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec.
Brulotte was named the winner of the award in December. The
St. Marys, Ont.-based shrine presents this award annually to a member
of the media who has made significant contributions to baseball in
Canada through their life’s work.
“Mel Didier, Jim Fanning, John McHale and Charles Bronfman
gave me an unbelievable opportunity to join the Expos organization in
1969,” reflected Brulotte, after he was informed he would receive the
Hall’s broadcasting honour.
“Throughout the years I have been very fortunate to work with
Jacques Doucet and Denis Casavant. I am very touched to be honored and
it has been a privilege for me to share, with the numerous baseball
fans, my passion for the game.”
“Rodger Brulotte’s name has become synonymous with the
Montreal Expos and with baseball in Quebec,” said Scott Crawford, the
Hall’s director of operations. “Over the past three decades, he has
become one of the most respected baseball broadcasters and analysts in
our country. He’s also very passionate about baseball at the grassroots
level and is a tireless advocate for Quebec players.”
Brulotte began working in the Montreal Expos’ scouting
department in their inaugural 1969 season. The following year, he was
named administrative assistant to the team’s director of scouting, Mel
His knowledge, charisma and strong work ethic later landed him
prominent roles in the Expos’ public relations and marketing department
and as the team’s travelling secretary in 1977 and 1978. Brulotte also
contributed to the creation of Youppi, the Expos’ popular mascot who
was often a greater ballpark attraction than the players.
In 1983, Brulotte was hired to work broadcasts on the Expos’
French radio network alongside Jacques Doucet. For close to two
decades, he teamed with Doucet to call many of the franchise’s most
famous moments,including Pete Rose’s 4,000th hit on April 13, 1984 and
Dennis Martinez’s perfect game on July 28, 1991.
Along the way, his trademark catchphrases – such as “Bonsoir,
elle est partie.” (Good night, it’s gone), which he uttered when the
Expos belted a homer – became part of Expos fans’ vernacular.
Brulotte’s resume also boasts more than 20 years on TV in
which he has served as an analyst on Expos broadcasts, all-star games
and post-season contests. He and his RDS’ Expos TV partner, Denis
Casavant, were nominated for a Gemeaux Award – the French language
equivalent to a Gemini Award – for excellence in sports broadcasting in
1991 and 1993.
For the past two seasons, Brulotte has been reunited with
Doucet to broadcast Toronto Blue Jays games in French for TVA-Sports.
He also pens a weekly column for Le Journal de Montréal during the
Away from the mike, Brulotte has served as director of the
Baseball Academy of Canada and is currently president of the Quebec
Junior Elite Baseball League and a dedicated member of Encore Baseball
Montreal, an organization that promotes baseball to youth in the city.
Note: Jack Graney’s road to the big leagues began in St.
Thomas, Ontario, where he was born and recommended to the Chicago Cubs
by fellow Canadian Baseball Hall-of-Famer, Bob Emslie. After a season
in the Cubs organization, Graney was sold to the Cleveland, where he
would evolve into a steady, dependable outfielder. His big league
resume boasts a number of firsts. When Graney walked to the plate in a
game against the Red Sox on July 11, 1914, he became the first batter
to face Babe Ruth. Almost two years later, on June 26, 1916, he would
be the first major leaguer to bat wearing a number on his uniform. A
scrappy leadoff hitter, Graney would lead the American League in walks
twice (1917 and 1919) and in doubles once (1916). The speedy Canuck
also finished in the top 10 in triples in 1913 and 1916, with 12 and 14
three-baggers respectively. He was also a member of the World
Series-winning Indians squad in 1920.
Following his playing career, Graney became the first
ex-player to make the transition to the broadcast booth, performing
radio play-by-play for the Indians from 1932 to 1953.
MARYS – 26 March 2014