We have seen several individuals stand out in our League over the years, whether through their talent, dedication, passion, sportsmanship, longevity, or any combination thereof. As we await the start of the 2021 season we will feature one individual who has demonstrated all the passion for the game in its purest form. Many have played with him while many more may have played against him.
Several League players can recognize Joe Forget, perhaps in part for his 6 foot 3 frame. In 2020, despite a Covid-shortened season, Joe managed to be in the lineup for 81 games in 102 days with various teams. In addition to those played with the Braves in the Lakeshore Senior Baseball League Joe was in the lineup with a few other teams in other leagues, including the Giants in the B Conference of West Island Senior Baseball. Going back to 2019 Joe played 100 games, and another 96 in 2018. An astounding 277 games in three seasons and about 1000 at bats for the friendly giant are almost unimaginable numbers for any recreational player.
Joe began playing in the LSBL with the Cubs in 2016 during their inaugural season in the Robinson Division, but also called up with the Smokestacks that same summer. The following year Joe moved up a division with the newly promoted Smokestacks, helping the former Robinson team become a contender in the Gilmore Division in 2018. That same season he was also a call-up for the top division Orioles which he joined eventually in 2019 as a regular roster player and enjoyed a Playoff Championship.
In 2020 Joe competed with the Braves, a team that jumped to the Clemente Division during the Covid summer and finished a strong second in the regular season while making the finals in the playoffs. Joe plays mostly catcher but can be seen at the hot corner in some games.
In his youth Joe began playing for the LaSalle Peewee Cards, but stopped after his 13th birthday to return only 11 years later in senior baseball. Talking baseball with Joe is like discussing food with a chef. Here are a few questions he was asked about the game:
Q: Do you have any baseball idols, current or past ?
A: Gary Carter for what he represented in Montreal, his smile, his passion, and his talent. Tony Gwynn for his meticulous analysis of pitchers, his game preparation, and his .394 batting avg in 1994. Pudge Rodriguez for his durability and longevity in the majors as a catcher. Cal Ripken for his record of 2632 games played. Ricky Henderson and Tim Raines for their speed and the show they would put on stealing bases.
Q: What is it you like so much about catching ?
A: It forces me to be 100% focused, while allowing me to control the pace of the game. I enjoy having a game plan to face opposing batters and calling pitches as part of the strategy.
Joe’s passion and dedication for the game is not only limited to playing but also in practising his skills, particularly as a catcher. Joe got to work almost as early as major leaguers when he put on his gear on February 28 despite a white blanket of packed snow still prevailing everywhere.
For all these things Joe, you are our prime candidate for the title of Mr Baseball !