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Veterans throw out the first pitch at Jays game

Jun 30, 2018


Three residents of the Sunnybrook Veterans Centre threw out the first pitch at the June 30 Toronto Blue Jays game, as part of the team's Canada Day weekend celebrations.

Sunnybrook is home to Canada's largest veterans care facility. Working in close partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada, we offer long term and complex hospital care to 475 veterans from the Second World War and Korean War.

Meet three of our veterans who were on centre field to throw out the first pitch:

Richard Ratcliffe

Richard Ratcliffe, Korean War Veteran

Originally from Haileybury, Ontario (140 km north of North Bay) he joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1945 at the age of 17. From 1945 to 1947, he studied at the Royal Canadian Naval College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

During the Korean War from 1950 to 1952, Richard served as a Bridge Watch Keeping Officer on the HMCS Nootka and completed two tours of duty.

During his twenty-five years with the Navy he served on twelve ships and then dedicated another five years to the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve. His last naval duty was as Commander of HMCS Quappelle.

Stan Dinney

Stan Dinney, World War II Veteran

Born in New Brunswick in 1922, he enjoyed his teen years and excelled at baseball. With the coming of the war, his athletic hopes were put on hold when he decided to join the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Initially, posted with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, he trained to be an armourer and member of the RCAF groundcrew. In 1941, he was shipped overseas and was attached to numerous squadrons in Great Britain, where he serviced Beaufighters and Mosquitoes.

At the midpoint of the war, he was deployed on Ceylon. There he serviced the Catalina Flying Boats, that played a crucial role in the Pacific War.

Tony Mastromatteo

Tony Mastromatteo, World War II Veteran

Originally from Toronto, he enlisted in 1940 with the Canadian Army and was a Scout with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regiment.

During World War II, he served in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Normandy and in the Battle of the Falais Pocket – the decisive engagement of the Battle of Normandy.

At the end of the war and after five and a half years of service, he was discharged upon his return to the regiment in Hamilton.