Tomorrow, Mayor John Tory will formally present the Key to the City to Paul Beeston on the green roof at Toronto City Hall at 2:30 p.m. Beeston served nearly two decades as the president and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays and is the first sports executive to be recognized with a key. Mayor Tory had previously announced he was awarding the Key to the City to Paul Beeston on October 26, 2015.
“We’ve knocked this one out of the park,” said Mayor Tory. “Few people have influenced the sports landscape of Toronto like Paul Beeston. His work has contributed to a powerful sense of civic pride and helped to inspire generations of young local athletes. It is an honour to present a true sportsman with a key to the City.”
Arguably the greatest sports executive in the history of Toronto, Beeston was the first employee the Toronto Blue Jays hired in 1977. Over parts of five decades he served in various senior capacities and retired following the 2015 season. Beeston was team president and CEO during the early 1990s when the Jays won back-to-back World Series championships. He returned to the club in 2008 and helped re-invigorate baseball and its fans, leading the Jays to their first post-season berth in more than 20 years.
A member of the Order of Canada (1998), Beeston was inducted to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 2005. His name was added to the Blue Jays’ Level of Excellence at Rogers Centre in 2008 where it is still celebrated beside some of the team’s greatest players. He even served as President of Major League Baseball for six years from 1997 to 2002.
Recipients of the Key to the City in 2016 include Aubrey Graham (Drake) and the members of Rush. Previous sports icons who have received a key are George Chuvalo, the family of former NHL player Anson Carter, Tiger Woods and Muhammad Ali. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/keycity.
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