The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 includes Victoria’s Rich Harden who played over nine seasons in the MLB.
Also inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this year are Denis Boucher and Joe Wiwchar, and Jesse Barfield.
They will be inducted on June 17th in a ceremony at the Hall of Fame grounds in St. Marys, Ontario.
Harden, who graduated from Claremont Secondary School in Saanich, honed his pitching skills with the Victoria Mariners of the BC Premier Baseball League.
“When I received the news that I was being inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, I was at a loss for words,” said Harden.
“I am proud and honoured to have my name added to a list that includes so many great people who have had such a positive impact on baseball in Canada.”
Harden posted a 59-38 career record and 3.76 earned-run average over nine big-league seasons with Oakland, Texas and the Chicago Cubs.
Harden was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 1999 MLB Draft in the 38th round but he declined to sign with the team. He re-entered the draft the following year and was selected in the 17th round by the Oakland A’s and later signed with the club in May 2001.
“I’m so grateful to all the people who helped and supported me along the way, and I’m looking forward to the induction weekend in St Marys this summer.”
Harden made his major league debut on July 21st, 2003 and allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings against the Kansas City Royals in a 6-1 A’s victory.
From there, Harden became a mainstay in the A’s rotation for the next two seasons. After setting career-highs with 31 starts and 189 2/3 innings in 2004, he went 10-5 with a 2.53 ERA and struck out 121 batters in 128 innings in 2005.
Following two injury shortened campaigns, a rejuvenated Harden put up ace-like numbers with the A’s in 2008, going 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA in 13 starts before he was dealt to the Chicago Cubs on July 8th.
He continued his dominance with the Cubs, going 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA in 12 starts down the stretch. He completed the season with a combined 10-2 record and a 2.07 ERA with 181 strikeouts in 148 innings in 25 starts.
Harden returned to the Cubs in 2009 prior to finishing his major league career with single seasons with the Texas Rangers (2010) and the A’s (2011).
See Harden’s full bio here.