Joe Siddall played professional baseball for 13 years. A catcher, he enjoyed four spells in Major League Baseball with the Montreal Expos, Florida Marlins, and Detroit Tigers.
Siddall was born in Windsor on October 25, 1967.
During his high school years at Assumption College School, Siddall was a standout in football, basketball, and baseball.
In 1986, Siddall accepted a full baseball scholarship to Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. CMU made the decision to initially keep him out of NCAA competition, but Siddall trained with the team as a redshirt freshman during his first year at the school.
In the summer of 1987, Siddall returned home following the school year and attended a Montreal Expos camp at Lacasse Park in Tecumseh. His impressive play earned him a contract with the team, which he signed on August 5 of that year. Siddall joined the Expos as an amateur free agent catcher and moved to Florida to play for the West Palm Beach Expos in the Instructional League during September and October.
Siddall remained with the Expos organization until November 1995. During that time, he played 26 games at the Major League level: 19 in 1993 and 7 in 1995. On September 6, 1993, he caught for Dennis Boucher in a game against Colorado, in doing so forming the first Canadian battery (the collective noun for a pitcher in catcher) in Major League Baseball history.
Outside of his appearances in the Big Leagues, Siddall suited up for a number of Minor League clubs during his time an as Expos player. He played “A” baseball for Jamestown in the New York-Penn League, Rockford in the Midwest League, and West Palm Beach in the Florida State League. In Florida, where he played under Felipe Alou, Siddall led all catchers in fielding percentage (.991) and assists (105). Siddall moved up to the “AA” level in 1991 when he was optioned to Harrisburg in the Eastern League. In 1992, he stayed with the club and led all league catchers by throwing out 42 percent of runners attempting to steal. Between 1993 and 1995, outside of his two stints with Montreal, Siddall played for Ottawa in the “AAA” international league.
Siddall was granted free agency on October 16, 1995, and the Florida Marlins picked him up on November 30. He was optioned to “AAA” Charlotte in the International League, where he batted .280 in 65 games and earned an 18-game call-up to the Marlins. He began a free agent at the end of the season and was reacquired by Montreal in October 1996. Siddall played a further season for Ottawa, batting .274 in 57 games.
The Detroit Tigers signed Siddall to a Minor League contract on December 2, 1997. He was optioned to “AAA” Toledo, where he played for most of the ’98 and ’99 seasons. Siddall managed to appear in 29 games with the Tigers in 1998. He hit .185 in 65 at-bats.
Siddall closed out his playing career in 2000 with 23 games for the Pawtucket Red Sox, a Boston affiliate in the “AAA” International League. In the final contest of the season, Siddall’s last as a professional, he caught a perfect game.
At the time of his induction, Siddall was assisting with batting practice for the Detroit Tigers at their home games.
In 2007, Siddall graduated from the University of Windsor with a degree in Sport Management.
Siddall partnered Jerry Howarth in the booth for Toronto Blue Jays radio broadcasts in 2014. He also occasionally worked on the team’s television broadcasts.