John Carroll and Ed Lyons / photo courtesy Paul Galop
In alphabetical order, here is the Class of 2012:
John “Jack” Aylmer, Administrator
One of the most influential administrators in Cape League history, he played third base and caught for the Barnstable Barons in 1952-53 as a high school student and played for Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1955-56 in the Upper Cape League. He was a member of the Cotuit Kettleers’ board of directors for three years in the 1970s and led the drive to organize a new Hyannis franchise, which debuted in 1976 as the Mets. Jack led the construction effort for McKeon Field and helped secure labor and funds to install lights and bleachers there. While serving as president at Mass Maritime Academy, he helped start another franchise in Bourne which debuted in 1988 as the Braves, playing at MMA’s Hendy Field.
Billy Best, Falmouth
Although he was on the Cape for only one summer, the East Carolina product made his presence felt in 1979 by hitting .398 with a league record 32-game hitting streak for the Commodores. He hit safely in a CCBL record 39 of 41 games and belted four homers and 13 doubles with 25 RBIs and 40 runs scored while being named to the All-League Team. Best was voted to the 1970s CCBL All-Decade Team. He was a 27th-round pick of the Kansas City Royals in the 1980 MLB draft and played five seasons (1980-84) in the minors, reaching as high as Class AA with Jacksonville and Memphis. After his playing days were over, he became an assistant coach at ECU and an area scout for the Atlanta Braves. He managed the Harwich Mariners to a 23-21 record in 1998.
John Carroll, Chatham & Harwich
This legendary Natick High School coach managed at Chatham from 1961 to 1963 and at Harwich in 1968 and ’69, compiling a personal record of 100-78. He was the first CCBL manager to finish first with two different teams, capturing Lower Division pennants at Chatham in 1962 and ’63 and at Harwich in ‘68. He was also the first to record 25-plus victories with two different teams. Carroll captained the 1952 Duke University baseball team, which went to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., and was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War. He retired in 1991 after a 32-year career at Natick High, where he coached such future stars as Walt Hriniak, Doug Flutie and Cape League Hall of Famer Steve Saradnik. Carroll was the first Massachusetts high school baseball coach to win 500 or more games and is a member of the Massachusetts High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame and the Malden High Hall of Fame. Born and raised in Malden, where he was a star athlete, he achieved remarkable coaching success at Natick, and he retired to Chatham, where he spent the last 13 years of his life still working with young people.
Dan DeMichele, Sagamore & Yarmouth
The Cranston, R.I., native played four seasons in the Cape League – 1965-66 at Sagamore and 1967-68 at Yarmouth -- compiling a career batting average of .330. Remarkably, DeMichele achieved much of his CCBL success before starting his freshman year at Harvard, where he became a Varsity Club Hall of Famer in both baseball and hockey. He was a member of the 1965 Cape League championship Sagamore team and played in three CCBL All-Star games, two as a starter. He is the only player to be selected at three different positions in All-Star games and was voted to the 1960s All-Decade Team as a second baseman. DeMichele was the first – and one of only two – to lead the league in hits in consecutive seasons – 1967 (with 53) and 1968 (43). His best season was at Yarmouth in 1967 when he hit .349 to finish in the top 10 for the second of three straight seasons. His Yarmouth roommate was current Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. DeMichele now lives in Phoenix, Ariz., and is the father of three sons, including Arizona State infielder Joey DeMichele, selected by the Chicago White Sox in Tuesday’s MLB amateur entry draft.
Danny “Deacon” MacFayden, Osterville & Falmouth
Born in Truro, MacFayden starred for Somerville High School before pitching on the Cape, where he posted a 9-2 record while leading Osterville to its second straight CCBL title in 1924. Switching to Falmouth in ’25, he hurled a one-hitter against Hyannis. He signed with the Boston Red Sox and led the American League with four shutouts in ‘29 and enjoyed a 17-year MLB career, compiling 132 wins and a 3.96 ERA with the Red Sox, Yankees, Reds, Braves, Pirates and Senators. In 1935, Deacon struck out 15 New York Giants in a nine-inning game, equaling Dazzy Vance’s NL record. He coached at Hebron Academy and at Bowdoin College from 1946-70, where he mentored future CCBL Hall of Fame hurler Bob Butkus, who captained the 1966 Polar Bears to a 14-4 record.
Andrew Miller, Chatham
The 6-foot-7 North Carolina southpaw fashioned back-to-back superlative seasons in the Cape League, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.03 ERA in 2004 and a 6-0 mark with a 1.65 ERA in ’05 when he was named the league’s outstanding pro prospect, co-pitcher of the year and college summer baseball’s player of the year. Andrew set the University of North Carolina record with most strikeouts in a season (133) and career (325) and was named Baseball America’s National Player of the Year, while also winning the Roger Clemens Award as the nation’s top pitcher. He was a first-round draft choice of the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and later signed with the Boston Red Sox with whom he posted a 6-3 record in 2011 and is one of their top relievers in 2012.
Laurin “Pete” Peterson, Orleans
A true pioneer of Cape League baseball, Peterson was a strong-armed catcher for the Orleans AC’s baseball club and went on to manage the team for 14 years, winning seven Cape League championships (1947, ’49, ’50, ’52, ’53, ’55 and ’57). In the late ‘50s, he became one of the first Cape managers to start recruiting notable college players. Many of his charges, such as Cal Burlingame, Roy Bruninghaus, Buzzy Wilcox and Art Quirk, became CCBL Hall of Famers themselves. The Peterson-managed Orleans Sparklers of 1954 participated in the National Baseball Congress Tournament in Wichita, Kan., where they finished seventh among 32 entries. In 1962, Peterson was a key member of the committee which brought about the historic merger of the Lower Cape and Upper Cape leagues which began play as the Cape Cod League in 1963.
Jim Sherman, Chatham
This University of Delaware star batted .339 in 1980, .335 in ‘81 and earned all-star honors both seasons as a slugging outfielder for the Chatham A’s. He helped the 1980 club, managed by Ed Lyons, to a 29-13-1 record and a first-place finish before losing a best-of-five championship series to Falmouth. Sherman played every one of his team’s games and was a two-time all-star. In ’81, he was named the Daniel J. Silva Sportsmanship Award winner. Besides averaging .337 over two seasons with Chatham, Sherman also carved out an impressive four-year career at Delaware, hitting .347 while belting 46 home runs and collecting 277 RBIs from 1979-1982. He earned All-East Conference honors all four years. A sixth-round draft choice of the Houston Astros in 1982, Sherman’s hopes of making the big club were dashed by a knee injury in 1985 and he finished his pro career in Triple-A. He turned to coaching, starting in 1987 at Wilmington College, where he won numerous coach-of-the-year awards. In 1995, he moved to his alma mater as an assistant under Hall of Fame coach Bob Hannah and succeeded Hannah as head coach in 2001. Sherman’s Blue Hens have been consistent title contenders and have made two NCAA tournament appearances. Sherman was elected to the Wilmington College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001, the University of Delaware Baseball Hall of Fame in 200 and University of Delaware Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.