Baseball Canada statement following the passing of former National Team Coach and Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Wayne Norton who was 75 years old.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Wayne Norton after a courageous battle with ALS. Wayne was as good a baseball man as they come, having a huge impact on Canadian Baseball as both a coach and scout. Our deepest condolences to his wife Trudy, daughter Beth and son Steven along with Wayne’s three grandchildren.”
After a professional playing career that consisted of over 1200 minor league games, Wayne Norton began a stint with Baseball Canada that saw him coach teams that participated in the Senior World Cup and Intercontinental Championships in 1973 and 1974 before managing the club that represented Canada at the 1975 Pan Am Games in Mexico City. He was also largely responsible for creating Baseball Canada’s Level 2 coaching manual in the late 1970’s. In 1986, he shifted his focus to the National Baseball Institute as he created a place for some of Canada’s top up-and-coming players to hone their skills including future big leaguers Denis Boucher, Paul Spoljaric, Rob Butler, Jason Dickson, Aaron Guiel, Corey Koskie and Matt Stairs. From there, Wayne began his career as a scout working for his old foe from his playing days and dear friend, Pat Gillick, then General Manager of the Baltimore Orioles. When Gillick became GM of the Mariners in 2000, he brought Norton with him as a scout covering Europe and Canada in a position he held until recently. Wayne was responsible for signing big leaguers Greg Halman (deceased), Alex Liddi and Canadians Phillippe Aumont and Michael Saunders. He also was the signing scout for up-and-coming St. Louis Cardinals prospect Tyler O’Neill. Wayne was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.
Photo courtesy Seattle Mariners Baseball Club.