Dodgers bench coach Tim Wallach will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the organization announced on Saturday. Wallach heads a class of four and will be honored in a ceremony on June 21 in St. Mary's, Ontario, along with former Expos general manager Murray Cook, former Expos broadcaster Dave Van Horne and scout Jim Ridley.
"I never imagined being able to go into a baseball Hall of Fame with so many people I played with and who are great friends still," Wallach said on Monday. "It's a great honor."
Wallach, 56, played the first 13 years of his 17-year MLB playing career in Montreal with the Expos, who drafted him out of Cal State Fullerton with the 10th overall pick in 1979. He played first base all four years in college, but added third base and the outfield to he repertoire in the minors in 1979 and 1980.
"As much talent as we had in the minor leagues and in the big leagues, they were trying to find a place for me to play," Wallach said. "The first games I played at third base were in the playoffs in Double-A the year that I signed, and it wasn't very pretty to watch."
Wallach played right field and first base more often than third base with the Expos in 1981, and was competing with Terry Francona for the right field job in spring training 1982. Nine days before the season opener, Montreal traded third baseman Larry Parish to the Rangers in a deal for first baseman Al Oliver, which opened up a spot at third base for Wallach.
Over the next 10 seasons Wallach averaged 151 starts at third base, was named to eight All-Star teams, won three Silver Slugger Awards and four Gold Gloves. Wallach credits Hall of Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski, who came to the Expos as a coach when manager Bill Virdon was hired in 1983, as helping him defensively.
"He was a huge help to me. He showed me some things over at third base, even though he was a second baseman and obviously a great one,". Wallach said. "I had my ups and downs that year, but I continued to work on the things he showed me, along with the fact that a lot of people said I'd be lucky to be an average third baseman. That just wasn't in my nature or my personality to be average. I worked hard and became a good third baseman, and I loved it over there."
This isn't the first Hall of Fame for Wallach, who was named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011. Wallach won the Golden Spikes Award from USA Baseball and The Sporting News College Player of the Year award in 1979 after leading Cal State Fullerton to its first College World Series title.
Wallach, who interviewed this offseason for managerial openings with both the Tigers and Mariners, returns for a sixth season on the Dodgers' coaching staff. Wallach served as hitting coach with Los Angeles in 2004-2005, then managed in Triple-A Albuquerque in 2009-2010 and was the third base coach on Don Mattingly's staff from 2011-2013. This year will mark his first season as bench coach.