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McKean gets call from Canada Hall

Published February 27, 2004

Longtime major-league umpire Jim McKean was elected Thursday to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

McKean, a St. Petersburg resident the past 23 years, is a Montreal native who spent 28 seasons as a big-league umpire. He also played quarterback for the Saskatchewan team in the Canadian Football League (winning rookie of the year in 1963 and the Grey Cup in 1996), coached college basketball, refereed Canadian junior hockey and was a championship racquetball player.

"I did a lot of things in my life besides umpiring baseball," McKean said Thursday night. "They sort of consider me the Jim Thorpe of Canada."

McKean, 58, will be inducted on June 26 along with former Expos star Andre Dawson and former team executives Peter Hardy and J.J. Lannin.

"This is a pretty big honor," McKean said. "It's really exciting for me when you get into a Hall of Fame when you're still alive."

McKean came to St. Petersburg to attend umpiring school in 1970. He made his big-league debut in September 1973 at Fenway Park, worked five league championship series and three World Series and became an umpiring supervisor in 2002.

[Last modified February 27, 2004, 01:31:31]


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