Roy McKay

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For the American football player, see Roy McKay (American football). For the Australian rules footballer, see Roy McKay (footballer).

Roy Alexander McKay (August 1, 1933 – December 25, 1995) was an aggressive left-handed baseball pitcher born in London, Ontario, Canada, who signed with the Detroit Tigers organization in 1952 after spending much of his youth at Labatt Park, including a stint as batboy for the Ontario Baseball Association champions, the 1945 London Majors of the Intercounty Baseball League.

In 1953 and 1955, McKay pitched in Douglas, Georgia, United States, and Idaho Falls, Idaho, before returning to his hometown to play for the Intercounty League's London Majors where he was named the league's most valuable pitcher in 1957. In 1958, McKay's best Intercounty season as a hurler, he had a 2.79 ERA and topped the circuit in hitting batters with pitches at 16.

Off the field, McKay was a specifications writer at General Motors Ltd., Diesel Division.

All-star manager[edit]

McKay managed London's senior Intercounty team from 1969–1972, 1974–1976 and 1981–1982, winning the Intercounty title in 1969 and 1975. The Majors also won the pennant race (atop the regular season standings) in 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1975. During McKay's years as manager, he was named an Intercounty League all-star four times—1970, 1975, 1976 and 1982.

From 1982 until six months before his death due to a neck injury after falling on the front porch of his Waterloo Street home in June 1995, McKay was a coach with the London Majors, owned by McKay's longtime friend and protégé, Arden Eddie.

Roy McKay Clubhouse[edit]

On August 1, 1996, the circa 1937 clubhouse of the London Majors (a City of London-owned designated heritage property under the Ontario Heritage Act as of 1996) was officially renamed the Roy McKay Clubhouse (prior to a London Majors' game), with a commemorative boulder and plaque placed in front of the historic structure with the help of the London Majors, the Intercounty Baseball League and the Friends of Labatt Park. A large portion of the game's proceeds were donated to the Canadian Spinal Research Organization.

See a photo of the Roy McKay Clubhouse at Labatt Park here at the Wayback Machine (archived July 22, 2004).

"I would like to be remembered for being a devoted son and brother, a loving husband, a great father and a damn good friend."—Roy McKay, 1933-1995

Roy McKay's son, Alex, played for the London Majors at second base for many years in the 1980s and 1990s and also managed the team in 1996.

There is a Crimson King Maple Tree planted by the McKay family just inside the front gates of Labatt Park that is a memorial tree to Roy McKay (with a plaque at its base) and McKay's uniform (jersey #16) has been retired by the London Majors.

References[edit]

  • Heritage Baseball: City of London a souvenir program from July 23, 2005, celebrating the history of Labatt Park and London, Ontario's 150th anniversary as an incorporated city.
  • Who's Who in Canadian Sport by Bob Ferguson (Sporting Facts Publications, Ottawa, 3rd edition, 1999), ISBN 1-894282-00-0.
  • Intercounty Major Baseball League's 1998 Record Book by Editor Herb Morell and Dominico Promotions Inc.
  • EBBA: 40 Years of Baseball by Jeffrey Reed (Eager Beaver Baseball Association, Inc., London, Ontario, 1994), ISBN 0-9698289-0-X.

External links[edit]