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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Hit a homerun with a garden show and baseball in St. Marys, Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for May 28/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   St. Marys is the place to take home the sweet and succulent Bonnie Best or Cosmonaut Volkov while not striking out on a fun visit.
   Bonnie and the Cos are two of some 15 varieties of heirloom tomatoes available at the St. Marys Horticultural Society’s Garden Fair on June 4.
   Other varieties with “diverse and crazy names” are Trophy, Bloody Butcher and Indigo Blue Berries, said the society’s Ann Pedley.
   The town, at the junction of the Thames River and Trout Creek southwest of Stratford, is also home to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum.
   There will be a street festival on June 18 along with the 2016 Induction Ceremony at the hall.
Colourful displays of plants, flowers at the St. Marys Horticultural Society’s Garden Fair. (Ann Pedley photo)
   The 19th annual Garden Fair in the picturesque town is held at Milt Dunnell Field, commonly known as “The Flats,” and is where baseball was played as early as 1860.
   As a major society fund-raiser, the fair has more than 20 vendors “with everything from hanging baskets to birdhouses, lots of unique perennials and shrubs and all kinds of garden decor,” Pedley said.
   Master gardeners will be in attendance to answer questions and coconut coir that’s beneficial to replace peat moss in garden beds is available for sale.

   Four society members grow more than 500 heirloom tomatoes “that have become extremely popular, usually selling out early in the day,” Pedley said.
   Admission and parking are free and refreshments are available at the park.
   “The fair runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., leaving lots of time after to explore our lovely town and shops, including a great gardening store, Castle Garden, and perhaps have a bite to eat in one of our many restaurants,” Pedley added.
St. Marys Horticultural Society’s Garden Fair is a busy place. (Ann Pedley photo )
   St. Marys is known as the “Stone Town” in recognition of the abundance of limestone used in the construction of many of the buildings and structures.
   It’s also full of history as it is where the late Arthur Meighen, Canada’s ninth prime minister, went to school and where Timothy Eaton, one of the country’s greatest retailers, opened his first business.
   For more information, contact Ron Hunter, (519) 284-2382; rb39_hunter@hotmail.ca

   Swing and a home run
   The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum (386 Church St. S.) has been in St. Marys since 1998 after leaving its original home in Toronto.
   Fittingly, it’s just south of Beachville where the first recorded game of baseball was played in North America on June 4, 1838.
   It pays tribute to Canada’s rich history of the game, with thousands of artifacts in the museum.
   This includes Fergie Jenkins and Larry Walker memorabilia, artifacts from Canada’s two major league franchises – the Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Expos – and a Babe Ruth collection.
   Uniforms worn by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball league from 1943 to 1954 are at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum. (Jim Fox photo)
   There is also a large display on the current Major League Baseball (MLB) players from Canada along with a tribute to the Canadian women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
   Developed on the site since 1998 are four ballfields that host more than 900 events a year, including MLB tryout camps and the World Junior Championship exhibition games.
   The hall’s induction event is now a three-day festival, starting with the Celebrity Homerun Derby and ballgame on June 16, Celebrity Golf Classic and banquet, June 17, and the Baseball Family Street Festival and Induction Ceremony on June 18.
   The free festival starts at 9 a.m. and runs until noon in the downtown and activities include bouncy houses, slides and castles, a radar gun to check pitching speeds, face painters, balloon animal artists, music and Toronto Blue Jays alumni signing autographs.
   Inductees are Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Pat Hengten; Montreal Expos pitcher Dennis Martinez; Jays executive Howard Starkman; Jays announcer Tony Kubek; scout Wayne Norton and William Shuttleworth, born in 1834 and called the “Father of Canadian Baseball.”
   The event is outdoors under the ceremonial tent on the ballfield and the day includes an autograph session, museum tours, silent auction, barbecue and ballgames. baseballhalloffame.ca; (519) 284-1838


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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