05/21/2020 4:36 AM
Article By: John Garner Jr.
During its long and storied history, the Cape Cod Baseball League has boasted several positions of prominence, but none better than hard-hitting first basemen.
Here are some of the best:
Dave Staton (Brewster) – Named 1988 Cape League MVP, setting league wood bat record with 16 home runs over celebrated rivals, Frank Thomas, Mo Vaughn and Jeff Bagwell. Staton was drafted by San Diego Padres and enjoyed a six-year career in pro baseball including a short stint with the Padres in 1993-94. Dave was inducted into Cape League Hall of Fame in 2004.
Frank Thomas (Orleans) – The Auburn star hit three HR's in one 1988 playoff game vs. Wareham and six during the season including the longest ball ever hit out of Eldredge Park. He was drafted by White Sox and fashioned a brilliant 19-year MLB career, batting .301 with 521 HR and 1704 RBI. Frank was an inaugural inductee into the Cape League Hall of Fame in 2000.
Maurice “Mo” Vaughn (Wareham 1988) – The hard-hitting Seton Hall product led the Gatemen to 1988 title, producing four game-winning hits in playoffs and named to CCBL All-Star Team. He was drafted by Boston and enjoyed 13-year MLB career, batting .293 with 328 homers and 1064 RBI. He won AL MVP in 1995 hitting .300 with 39 HR and league-leading 126 RBI and followed in 1996 batting .326 with 44 homers and 143 RBI. Mo was inducted into inaugural Cape League Hall of Fame in 2000.
Ed Drucker (Harwich 1966) – The big first baseman from Southern Conn was Cape League MVP in 1966 after hitting .382 for the Mariners in 1966. He also led the league with eight triples and 18 extra base hits. A two-sports athlete at SCSU, he was offered a contract by Baltimore Orioles, but signed as a free agent with San Francisco 49ers. Ed was inducted into Cape League Hall of Fame in 2013
Brad Linden (Orleans 1972) - The UConn product was Cape League MVP in 1972, batting .371 and leading the league with 10 homers, 35 RBI and 28 runs scored. Linden hit a robust .444 in CCBL Playoffs and led the Huskies to a 20-7 record and a berth in the College World Series. Brad was inducted into the Cape League Hall of Fame in 2019.
Steve "Bye Bye" Balboni (Falmouth ’76, Y-D ‘77) – The burly first sacker from Eckerd played two seasons in Cape League. Balboni hit .261 with six HR and 22 RBI for Falmouth in ’76 and .271 with league-leading 13 HR and 38 RBI in for Y-D in 1977 when he was named MVP. Steve clouted two HR over Green Monster in CCBL All-Star Game at Fenway. He enjoyed 10-year major league career with Yankees, Royals, Seattle and Texas, batting .229 with 181 homers and 495 RBI. Best season was 1985 when he blasted 35 HR and 88 RBI while hitting .243 for KC.
Terry Steinbach (Cotuit 1982) – The U. Minnesota product enjoyed one of the best seasons in Cape League history for Kettleers in 1982, batting a league-best .430 and winning league MVP, while setting records for most hits (75), RBI (54) and doubles (18). Drafted by the Oakland A’s, Steinbach enjoyed a 13-years MLB careers as an All-Star catcher with the A’s and Twins, hitting .271 with 162 homers and 745 RBI. His best season was 1996 when he hit ,272 with 35 HR and 100 RBI. Terry was inducted into CCBL Hall of Fame in 2001.
Kurt Olson (YD 1989) – The Indiana State standout was named CCBL MVP with Yarmouth-Dennis in 1989. Olson led Red Sox to a 28-15-1 record and Cape League title. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies, playing one year of Class A ball with Yakima, hitting .259 with three homers and 23 RBI.
Brent Killen (YD 1991) – The U. Florida product won league MVP in 1991 for the Red Sox. He was drafted by Detroit Tigers and played three seasons in minor leagues, hitting .250 with 10 HR and 125 RBI.
Carlos Pena (Harwich 1996, Wareham 1997) – The Northeastern standout was named Cape League MVP for the Gatemen in 1997, hitting .318 with a league-leading eight homers and 33 RBI while scoring 25 runs and a .545 slugging pct. He was drafted by Texas and played 14 years in major leagues, hitting .232 with 286 homers and 818 RBI. He was inducted into the CCBL Hall of Fame in 2003.
Justin Smoak (Cotuit 2006) – South Carolina star was 2006 CCBL MVP for the Kettleers, hitting .286 and 27 RBI with a league leading 11 homers and .565 slugging avg. He was drafted by Texas and has hit .231 with 191 homers and 555 RBI in nine seasons. Best year was 2017 when he hit .270 with 38 HR and 90 RBI with Toronto who he currently plays for.
Kyle Roller (Bourne 2009) – East Carolina product was named League and Playoff MVP in 2009 after leading Bourne to the CCBL title. He was drafted by the Yankees and played seven years in minor league, hitting .264 with 101 HR and 387 RBI. Kyle was inducted into CCBL Hall of Fame in 2016.
Jim McCollom (Falmouth 1984) – The Clemson standout won the Cape League batting title for the Commodores in 1984, hitting .413 with 15 homers. He was drafted by California and played five years in minor leagues, hitting .310 with 41 HR and 174 RBI. Jim was inducted into Cape League Hall of Fame in 2016.
Brick Smith (Hyannis 1980) - The Wake Forest star won Cape League batting title with a .391 average and co-Sportsmanship award for the Mets in 1980. Brick was drafted by Seattle and played two years hitting .111 with 18 RBI.
Dave Bergman (Chatham 1973) – The Illinois State product won the Cape League batting title in 1973 with a .341 batting average Dave was drafted by the Yankees and enjoyed a 17-year MLB career, hitting .258 with 54 homers and 289 RBI.
Dick Licini (Bourne 1968) - The Notre Dame standout won 1968 CCBL batting title with a .382 batting average along with 11 homers and 23 RBI for Bourne. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox. Dick was inducted into Cape League Hall of Fame in 2007.League Hall of Fame in 2007.