Centennial resident Dave Black was formally inducted into the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour at the Pan Am Centre on September 8. Dave has long been a leader and advocate for Toronto Baseball.
By Kathy Rowe
Back in the spring of 2019 we interviewed volunteer Toronto Baseball president Dave Black about the successes of baseball in our community and across the city. In 2020, Dave became a member of the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour. He was one of three recipients who were awarded this distinction for their outstanding contributions as volunteers in the world of sport.
On September 8, Dave was formally inducted during an impressive ceremony held at the Toronto Pan Am Centre hosted by CBC sports broadcaster and Olympic host, Scott Russell.
Dave’s photograph is now permanently displayed alongside other inductees in the Toronto Pan Am Centre for all to see. Other 2020 inductees that grace that wall include Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse, longstanding president and builder of the GTHL John Gardner and sport legend Abby Hoffman.
The Toronto Sport Hall of Honour celebrates the exceptional accomplishments and contributions of those who have inspired or brought recognition to the City of Toronto through sport. Dave has been a leader and advocate for Toronto Baseball for several decades. He took on the volunteer role as president of the Toronto Baseball Association back in 2008. He is now the longest -serving president in the history of that organization.
Simultaneously, Dave has served as president of the Select Ontario Baseball Association (SOBA), which is also a volunteer position. In 2015, he played an important role in the merger of SOBA with Baseball Ontario. He continues to serve as Select Commissioner for Baseball Ontario today.
Describing his contribution to Toronto baseball Dave said, “it was the push to bring greater representation of grassroots activity at a Toronto-based level.” His philosophy is that the emphasis should be on participation rather than winning. Thanks to Dave, this philosophy has been adopted by the Select Ontario Baseball Association.
Throughout his leadership with baseball, Dave has accomplished many tasks at both the provincial and city level, such as lobbying for lower City of Toronto park permit fees, advocating on behalf of the many local baseball organizations like West Hill baseball, navigating COVID-19 protocols and the many administrative challenges that help to keep everyone up to speed with standards that allow for continued success within the sport.
Dave champions youth participation in the sport and through select ball he impresses upon the younger players participation at their individual level.
Congratulations Dave! Families who have had the privilege of participating in baseball through the years owe you many thanks for your hard work and dedication to the sport.