for immediate release: 13 June, 2004
Ten Legends to be Inducted into
Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame
Ceremony Set for Nov 13 at Chatham Bars Inn
CAPE COD, Mass. – Committee Chair Jim Higgins announced that 10 former players and coaches will be inducted into the 5th Annual Cape Cod Baseball League’s Hall of Fame Class, Saturday, November 13, with a ceremony at the Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Mass.
The announcement was made on June 13 at the Cape League’s First Pitch Brunch, held at the Ramada Inn in Hyannis, Mass.
The 2004 CCBL Hall of Fame class includes major leaguers Will Clark, Jim Norris and Eric Milton, standout pitchers Pat Hope, Roy Bruninghaus, John Caneira, and Bob Butkus, field manager Don Reed , hard-hitting shortstop Tello Tontini and record-breaking slugger Dave Staton.
Roy Bruninghaus, Orleans Cardinals player
Roy Bruninghaus was a perennial Cape League All-Star for three decades for Orleans during the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s, with several years off for pro baseball and World War II. He began his CCBL career in 1933 and ended it in 1955. He led the Cardinals to an impressive six championships in 1947, ’49, ‘50, ’52, ’53 and ’55. When not pitching, he played first base and outfield with impressive batting statistics. A graduate of Millbury High School, Roy attended Holy Cross, where he compiled an 18-2 record before signing with the Boston Red Sox in late 1930’s. Overall, he was captain and team spokesman for the Cardinals during their glory years.
Bob Butkus, Cotuit Kettleers player
Left-handed pitcher Bob Butkus enjoyed an impressive five-year All-Star career for the Cotuit Kettleers in the 1960’s. The hard-throwing southpaw compiled a superlative 32-8 overall record in the Cape League, including a 10-3 mark in the playoffs. A graduate of Boston Latin High School and Bowdoin College, Butkus began his Cape League career in 1961 with a 4-1 record and a 1.75 ERA and followed that with a 9-1 mark in ’62 with a 1.96 ERA. He was named the league’s outstanding pitcher in 1963, after he posted a 6-1 record with a microscopic 1.04 ERA. Butkus attained perfection in ’64 by recording a 9-0 won-lost mark with a 3.70 ERA. Bob polished off his CCBL career in ’65 with a 4-5 record and a 3.01 ERA. He was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
John Caneira, Bourne Canalmen and Chatham A’s pitcher
A product of Eastern Connecticut State College in Willimantic, Conn., John Caneira pitched two seasons in the Cape League for two different teams, compiling a record of 17-5. He began with the Bourne Canalmen in 1972, posting an 8-4 record and two saves with a 1.86 ERA and 119 strikeouts and just 29 walks in 111 innings. Caneira hurled for the Chatham A’s in ’73, posting a 9-1 record, with a league-leading 1.37 ERA. He had 118 K’s and only 23 walks in 92 IP. The hard-throwing right-hander was named the league outstanding pitcher both seasons and was also named to the All-Star Team in ’72 and ’73. His strikeout totals in 1972 and ’73 are fourth and fifth best all-time in the modern era (since 1963). After his stint with the Cape League, John was drafted and signed by the California Angels. Caneira was named to the Eastern Connecticut Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986 where he was a three time NAIA All-American.
Will Clark, Cotuit Kettleers player
Sweet-swinging Will Clark enjoyed a terrific summer for the Cotuit Kettleers in 1983, compiling a .367 batting average (third in the league) with 10 home runs and 37 RBI. The Mississippi State first baseman had a .454 on-base pct. and was second with a .653 slugging pct. He started at first base for the Cape League All-Star team and was a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team. Will’s summer job with Cotuit was working for fellow Hall-of-Famer Jim Perkins at his filling station in Osterville. Clark was a two-time All-American and was named the SEC Athlete of the Year in 1985. He also won the Golden Spikes Award in 1985. After being drafted in the first round and signed by the San Francisco Giants, Clark performed in the major leagues for 16 years, compiling an impressive .303 lifetime batting average, mostly with the Giants and Texas Rangers.
Pat Hope, Hyannis Mets pitcher
A product of Oklahoma State, Pat Hope attained the most wins in the modern era of the Cape League when he posted an 11-1 record with the Hyannis Mets during the summer of 1987. He started 13 games and completed a league record 13 contests with 96 K’s and 27 BB in 115 innings. Hope hurled the only known perfect game in the modern era on 10 July with a 10-0 win over Wareham. He was named to the CCBL All-Star Team and All-league team. For his spectacular season, Pat was named the league’s outstanding pitcher. Overall, Hope owns six Hyannis Mets’ teams records, including most wins (11), best winning percentage (.916), most complete games (13), most innings pitched (115), most strikeouts (96) and tied for most no-hitters (1). He also holds the Oklahoma State record for complete games with 12 in 1987.
Eric Milton, Falmouth Commodores pitcher
Enjoying one of the finest seasons on the mound in Cape League history was Eric Milton during the summer of 1996 for the Falmouth Commodores. The stylish left-hander compiled a league record 0.21 ERA and a 5-1 record and 61 strikeouts in 43.1 innings pitched. Eric held opponents to a .105 batting average, also a league record. He was selected to the West All-Star Team in ’96 and named to the All-league team. He was the first round selection of the New York Yankees during that’s year’s amateur draft. Milton threw a no-hitter against Orleans that summer, coming within one walk of a perfect game. He also pitched a no-hitter for the Minnesota Twins against the Anaheim Angels and is the only known pitcher to hurl a no-hitter in both the Cape Cod League and the majors. Ironically, his no-hitter for the Twins was caught by another CCBL Hall of Famer Terry Steinbach. He is currently pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Jim Norris, Orleans Cardinals player
Slick-fielding center fielder Jim Norris enjoyed two stellar seasons for the Orleans Cardinals in 1969 and ’70. The University of Maryland player was selected recipient of the Pat Sorenti Award as Most Valuable Player of the league in ’69 when he batted a league-leading .415 with four homers and 20 RBI. That season, he was second in the league with 37 runs and 17 stolen bases, and set a league record with 59 hits. Norris came back with another All-Star campaign in 1970 when he batted .333 with one homer, 22 RBI, 31 runs scored and was second in the league with 19 stolen bases. During his Cape League career, he batted .375 with five homers and 42 RBI. He led Orleans to the playoffs both seasons, batting .321 during the ’69 postseason and a lusty .421 in 1970. Jim played four years in the major leagues, including 1977-79 with the Cleveland Indians and 1980 with the Texas Rangers. He is the only Maryland baseball player to be named All-ACC three times and in 2002 was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary Baseball Team.
Don Reed, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox and Wareham Gatemen field manager
Don Reed served as field manager in the Cape Cod Baseball League for 13 years, including four years for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox and nine years with the Wareham Gatemen. During his stint with Y-D from 1987-1990, Reed captured league championships in 1980 and ’90 and was named manager of the year in ’89. After moving over to coach the Gatemen from 1991-99, Reed was named manager of the year in ’91 and ’93 while managing Wareham to league titles in 1994 and ’97. Don is first in managerial wins with 334. His record of 334-214-19 is good for a sparkling .606 winning percentage, third best all-time. He is first in playoff wins with 29 and is the only manager to take his team to the playoffs 13 consecutive season.
Dave Staton, Brewster Whitecaps player
One of the premiere sluggers in Cape League history, Dave Staton belted 16 homers and drove in 46 runs while playing first base for the Brewster Whitecaps in 1988. Dave began his summer with a bang when in Brewster’s inaugural game he hit two home runs and had six RBI. Staton won the home run crown while playing against more celebrated long-ball hitters and fellow Hall of Famers Frank Thomas and Mo Vaughn. His 16 homers are second all-time behind Cory Snyder’s league record 22 hit in 1983. Named the league’s MVP following the ’88 season, Dave hit .359 and scored 35 runs while totaling 112 bases. His .772 slugging percentage is third best all time. His home runs, RBI and total bases are the most for a wooden-bat season. A product of Orange Coast Community College, Staton signed with the San Diego Padres.
Tello Tontini, Sagamore player
One of the top players in the Cape League in the years directly following World War II was hard-hitting shortstop Tello Tontini. He played for Sagamore in the Upper Cape League from 1946 to 1952 and was named to the All-Star team for each of his seven years in the league. Tello was twice named the league’s most valuable player in 1949 and ’51 and was a two-time batting champion in 1950 and ’52. The Bourne native’s four highest batting averages were .413 in 1952, .403 in ’51, .397 in ’51 and .348 in ’52. Probably the highlight of his Cape League career was when he belted three homers to league Upper Cape to victory over Lower Cape in the 1951 All-Although primarily an infielder, Tontini played every position during his Cape League career and was referred to as the ultimate team player.
The Cape Cod Baseball League is the premier collegiate summer league and currently lists 190 former players competing in the major leagues. A total of 146 Cape League players were selected in the 2003 Major League Draft, including 11 in the first round. The Cape League Hall of Fame is housed at the Heritage Museum & Gardens in Sandwich, Mass. For more information on the Cape Cod Baseball League, visit www.capecodbaseball.org.
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 [email protected]