for immediate release: 9 June, 2002
Twelve Legends to be inducted into CCBL Hall of Fame
Ceremony Scheduled for 2 Nov 2002, at Chatham Bars Inn
CAPE COD, Mass. - Twelve former players, coaches and officials will be inducted into the Cape Cod Baseball League's Hall of Fame, announced today at the CCBL's First Pitch Brunch, presented by DineGift, at the Courtyard by Marriott in Hyannis, Mass.
The 3rd Annual Cape League Hall of Fame Class will be inducted Saturday, November 2, 2002, with a ceremony at the Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Mass.
Included in this year's class are the Boston Red Sox dynamic duo of Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek, former major league hurlers Ron Darling and Paul Mitchell, former major league manager and current ESPN analyst Nat "Buck" Showalter, veteran umpire Curly Clement, CCBL Vice President Dick Sullivan, former administrators Russ Ford and Bernie Kilroy and former player/managers George Greer, George Karras and Bill Livesey.
" The diversity and talent of this group is exceptional, " said Paul Galop, co-chair of the CCBL Hall of Fame Committee. "The Hall of Fame Committee and Advisory Board worked tirelessly and researching nominees and worthy candidates. There is representation of players, managers, umpires and league officials with the range of this class covering over 50 years."
Curly Clement, Umpire
Curly Clement has been umpiring games for 46 years, starting with Little League in 1957 and working at just about every level of organized baseball. He began working Cape League games in the 1960's and was still active at the turn of the 21st century, serving as both an umpire and evaluator. Affectionately know as "The Candy Man" for arbitrating arguments with handfuls of sugar-coated licorice, the 83-year-old Clement has worked 12 ECAC Tournaments, 16 NCAA Regionals and two College World Series. His proudest moment was working home plate in the 1978 American League Boston Red Sox opener at Fenway Park. The Wareham Gatemen dedicated their 1996 Media Guide to Clement, an almost unheard of honor for an umpire. He was inducted into the Amateur Baseball Umpire Hall of Fame in 2000. Clement spends his off-seasons in Atlanta, GA and returns every spring to his home in West Wareham.
Ron Darling, Pitcher, Cotuit Kettleers
Ron Darling was one of the best all-around players in Cape League history. During 1980, he was voted league MVP, selected to the All-Star Team and won the Outstanding Pro Prospect Award. Darling also batted .336 with six home runs and 26 RBI, while going 4-3 as a pitcher. In the CCBL All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium against the Atlantic Collegiate League, he singled, doubled and homered, and drove in two runs. Darling capped off his performance by coming in from leftfield, with the score 10-9 and two runners on, and retiring the final two batters. Ron pitched in one of the greatest pitching match-ups in college history when his Yale squad faced St. John's in the 1981 NCAA Regional. The Redmen, behind pitcher Frank Viola, won 1-0 in 12 innings. Darling finished with a one-hitter, including a no-hitter through 11 innings. He spent 13 years in the major leagues with the New York Mets, Oakland Athletics and Montreal Expos, compiling a 136-116 record with a 3.87 ERA. He was a member of the 1986 World Champion Mets.
Russ Ford, President, Cape League; President/GM, Orleans Cardinals
Russ Ford served as Cape League President from 1978-83 and during that span helped foster the growth and popularity of the league, especially during the Major League Baseball Strike in 1981. He advocated for Fred Ebbett to become Commissioner and participated in meetings with MLB executives in support of the switch to wooden bats. In 1988, Ford was instrumental in sending the CCBL All-Stars to the Boardwalk & Baseball Tournament, where they won the tournament despite being the only team to use wooden bats. He assisted Arnold Mycock developing the league schedule and promoting a program to have recent umpire school grads serve as third umpire. He is past president and GM of the Orleans Cardinals. The outstanding relief pitcher in the CCBL is called the Russ Ford Award in his honor.
Nomar Garciaparra, Shortstop, Orleans Cardinals
After being selected to the 1992, U.S. Olympic Team, Nomar Garciaparra was shortstop and Team MVP on the 1993 Orleans Cardinals team that captured the CCBL Playoff Championship. He was the seventh leading hitter in the league (.321), collecting 50 hits and 10 doubles to go along with one home run, 18 RBI and 17 stolen bases and was named recipient of the 10th Player Manny Robello Award. He was an All-Academic and All-American at Georgia Tech, where he was a teammate of fellow Cape League Hall of Fame inductee and Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. The hard-hitting shortstop led the Yellow Jackets to the '94 College World Series finals. After being a first round draft pick in 1994, Normar burst onto the major league scene with the Boston Red Sox as the 1997 American League Rookie of the Year and won back-to-back AL batting titles in 1999 and 2000.
George Greer, OF/1B, Chatham, Coach, Cotuit
George Greer was a double-threat in the Cape League, performing as a standout Chatham A's player from 1965-67 and returning 12 years later as field manager for the Cotuit Kettleers. The UConn. product compiled a .349 batting average and led the league in doubles (10) and triples (4) in 1965 and returned in '66 with a .368 batting avg. and was second in the league with 43 hits. Greer was batting .284 in 20 games during the summer of 1967 before leaving to captain the Pan American team. He delivered the game-winning hit for Team USA in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Cuba for the championship. He returned to the Cape that summer to help Chatham capture the league title. He was named 1st Team All-America for the Huskies in 1967 and '68. George managed Cotuit from 1979-87, compiling a 213-143-2 (.598) record with three playoff championships and two manager-of-the-year awards.
George Karras, Player/Manager, Barnstable/Sagamore Administrator/CCBL
George Karras began his Cape League career before the Stock Market Crash during the summer of 1929, highlighted in 1940 by pitching a 7-0, one-hitter for West Barnstable over Sagamore. After being named an Upper Cape All-Star in 1946, Karras served as player-manager for Sagamore from 1948 until a back injury forced his temporary retirement in 1954 after 25 years as an active player. George served as Upper Cape League President from 1955 through 1962 and made several comebacks as a player, winning CCBL Player of the Week in 1958 after hurling a shutout for Barnstable over Otis AFB. Karras was a member of the advisory board to the Babe Ruth league, a member of the National Baseball Congress and served as area scout for the Boston Red Sox. He conducted youth clinics from Wareham to Provincetown and helped run the Boston Red Sox School at Fenway Park.
Bernie Kilroy, Commissioner, CCBL; Pitcher/OF/1B Cotuit
Bernie Kilroy's career ran the gamut during the 1960's in the Cape League, from a seven-year player and league MVP from 1960-66 to CCBL Commissioner from 1968-70. The Boston College product was a six-time CCBL All-Star and compiled a 33-10 regular season record and a perfect 8-0 mark in the playoffs - highlighted by an 8-1 record in 1963 and an 8-0 mark in '64 with a sparkling 1.44 ERA when he was named the league's outstanding pitcher. During 1964, the hard-throwing port-sider struck out 72 batters and walked just 16 in 62.1 innings. He finished his Cape League playing career with a flourish in 1966, compiling a 4-3 record with 60 K's in 49 innings - a Ryan-like 12.5 K's per game. Kilroy played in two College World Series with the BC Eagles.
William "Bill" Livesey, Player/Coach, Falmouth & Wareham
After graduating from Orleans High School and University of Maine, Bill Livesey played in the Lower Cape Cod League when it was primarily comprised of local players. He managed 10 years in the CCBL, including eight seasons for Falmouth (1965-72) and two for Wareham (1976-77). His teams won 239 games and produced six championships, the most ever by a Cape League manager. Livesey's teams recorded 25 or more wins for six straight seasons and overall produced a 240-157-4 record, including a 28-15 mark in the playoffs. He currently stands fourth all-time in wins and winning percentage (.603). He served as coach at Worcester Academy, Brown University and Florida Presbyterian (later Eckerd College). Bill was director of player development with the New York Yankees and then joined Tampa Bay Devil Rays as special assistant to the GM, a position he currently holds with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Paul Mitchell, Pitcher, Falmouth Commodores
Paul Mitchell was the pitching ace of the Falmouth Commodores from 1969-71. The hard-throwing right-hander compiled a superlative 25-5 record for Coach Bill Livesey and a perfect 6-0 mark in the playoffs, while leading the Commodores to three championships. The Old Dominion product was a three-time All-Star and was the winning pitcher in both the 1970 and '71 CCBL All-Star games vs. the ACBL. Mitchell is the Cape League's (modern era) and Commodores' career leader in wins (25), strikeouts (317), game started (31), coplte games (28) and ERA (1.53). He holds the record for most consecutive games of 10 or more strikeouts with seven in 1970. Paul completed 19 consecutive games during 1969 and '70 and won 12 straight games during that span. Named the league's Outstanding Pitcher in both 1969 and '70, Mitchell enjoyed a six-year career with the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers.
Richard "Dick" Sullivan, Past President/Commissioner, Current VP, CCBL
Dick Sullivan has been affiliated with the Cape League for 29 years, serving in a myriad of capacities including Commissioner, President, Chair of the Advisory Council, League Director, Radio Broadcaster and his present position, Vice President. The personable Sullivan was executive director of the World Junior Baseball Championship on Cape Cod and Fenway Park. He was responsible for bringing Team USA to play the Cape League All-Stars during the summer of 2000 before the largest crowd to ever see a CCBL game, with an estimated 10,000 fans and 83 major league scouts. Sullivan has overseen the expansion of three franchises since 1976 -- Hyannis, Bourne and Brewster. Along with Fred Ebbett, Dick was instrumental in the Cape League's switch back to wooden bats in the 1980's. A graduate of Springfield College and former Dean of Students at Hofstra University and Cape Cod Community College, Dick still plays competitive softball and is one of the major fund-raisers on Cape Cod, particularly the March of Dimes and the United Way Foundations.
Nat "Buck" Showalter, Outfielder, Hyannis Mets
Buck Showalter enjoyed his summer of 1976 on Cape Cod, capturing the league batting title with a .434 average - the third highest in CCBL history - during the inaugural campaign for the Hyannis Mets. The hard-hitting outfielder collected 62 hits, including 13 doubles, two triples and four home runs while scoring 35 runs and driving in 20. The Mississippi State standout was named to the CCBL All-Star team, captured the League MVP Award and didn't commit a single error. He was drafted by the New York Yankees and after a minor-league stint, Showalter managed the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks to playoff spots. He is currently a baseball analyst for ESPN.
Jason Varitek, Catcher, Hyannis Mets
Jason Varitek sandwiched two seasons (1991, '93) in the Cape League around a stint with Team USA in 1992. After hitting a respectable .263 in '91, the switch-hitting backstop returned to win the CCBL's Pat Sorenti Award as the League MVP and Thurman Munson Award with the highest batting avg. (.371) in 1993, while also compiling a .514 on-base pct and a .552 slugging avg. A teammate of fellow Hall of Fame inductee Nomar Garciaparra at Georgia Tech, Varitek was a three-time consensus All-America in 1992, '93 and '94. Jason was drafted in the first round by Minnesota in 1993 and then Seattle in 1994 and eventually played for the Mariners before being traded along with pitcher Derek Lowe to the Boston Red Sox, where he has become one of the top catchers in the game.
Entering its 117th season, the Cape Cod Baseball League is the premier collegiate summer league and currently lists 184 former players competing in the major leagues. The 2002 Cape Cod Baseball season begins Friday, June 14. The CCBL All-Star game is scheduled for Saturday, July 27 at Whitehouse Field in Harwich, Mass. For more information on the Cape Cod Baseball League, visit www.capecodbaseball.org.