By RUSS CHARPENTIER
CHATHAM – This was one Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame induction that had it all.
Below are some older members of the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame. Saturday, the Hall inducted 10 new members, two posthumously.
STEVE HEASLIP/Cape Cod Times File
The country's most prestigious summer college baseball league inducted its 10th class yesterday at Chatham Bars Inn.
While absent for the most part were the tears that had headlined other years, the emotion was true and sincere. There was even some thinly veiled criticism from inductee Greg Vaughn about the current philosophy of small ball currently in vogue in some parts of the college game and on the Cape, a debate that rages even among Cape League managers.
Yesterday's inductees included a Major League Hall of Famer, Harold “Pie” Traynor, and the architect of three Stanley Cup champions, New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello, as well as former major leaguers Joe Magrane, Art Quirk, Bill Schroeder and Vaughn; former Cape League stars Mark Angelo, John Awdycki and Zane Carlson; and former Chatham manager Joe “Skip” Lewis.
Lamoriello was inducted into the National Hockey League Hall of Fame earlier in the week.
The ceremony began with video tributes from, among others, former Kettleers Ruben Amaro Jr., now GM of the Phillies; Phillies second baseman Chase Utley; Joe Girardi, manager of the World Series champion Yankees; and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson praising and sending good wishes to Cotuit's Arnold Mycock, who this summer completed his 60th season with the Kettleers. Mycock led the procession of the inductees into CBI's Monomoy Meeting House.
Big names sprinkled the crowd, adding a baseball warmth to a gray, windy day on the Cape's elbow.
Bobby Valentine, who recently ended his managerial career in Japan to come back to the States, spoke at the morning brunch. ESPN's Peter Gammons was the first speaker at the induction ceremony. Former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette was there to present Vaughn.
But it was Vaughn, the 1985 Cape League MVP while playing with Cotuit, who riveted the crowd's attention during the long ceremony with a heartfelt plea for managers to loosen their grip on the game.
Vaughn's son, Cory, played for Mike Roberts in Cotuit this summer and was reportedly less than enamored with Roberts penchant for the bunting game.
Cory Vaughn left the Kettleers before the season ended, and word around the league was he was unhappy with Roberts' style of play and control of the game. It's a debate that rages even among the league's field managers, those who favor small ball and those who let the players play.
“I came back in 2009 for my son Cory,” Greg Vaughn told the crowd. “I got teary when I came here. It was the first time my son had stepped on the same field I played on. For him to meet Arnold, who's done so much for me, was a tremendous thing.”
But Vaughn was just warming up.
“The Cape League helped me. It gave me the confidence and mind-set that I belonged. During that six-hour plane ride out here, I was fighting myself. Was I doing the right thing? It was so right (in 1984) that I had to come back in 1985, the first year they brought wood bats back. The Cape League prepared me for that.
“The thing about Cape League baseball when I was here was they let you play. They let me swing away, let me steal and be thrown out, let me swing at a slider in the dirt, make mistakes. This is something here in my heart. When I came back, I saw more bunts in three weeks than I ever saw.
"The bottom line is this is a great league. My advice is let the kids play, let them go out and have fun and let them display their talents. I was so fortunate to play for George Greer. He let me make mistakes.”
Gammons, while extolling the virtues of the league, didn't mince words when he began his speech.
“One of the greatest frustrations you have to deal with is Major League Baseball, which doesn't understand what this league means, not just in developing players but in developing fans.”
Those inducted yesterday who did make it to the majors credit the league with their development.
Quirk, out of Dartmouth College, went 9-0, 1.12 for Orleans in 1958 and also hit .475. He signed a year later with Baltimore and spent fives years in pro baseball, pitching for the Orioles and Senators. “I owe a debt to the Cape League,” he said. “I was heavily scouted here and signed with the Orioles. You volunteers helped me achieve my boyhood dream.”
Bill Schroeder, Hyannis '78, caught in the majors for eight seasons, six with the Brewers. He's currently a Brewers TV analyst.
“You've been telling us all weekend you appreciate us being here,” said Schroeder. “You've got to be kidding me. We appreciate you inviting us here.”
Magrane, who now works for MLB Network, started for the Cape League all-stars against the ACBL all-stars in Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium in 1984, started the final game of the '85 College World Series, was drafted by St. Louis in the first round in '85, and pitched Game 7 of the 1987 World Series against the Twins.
“All I wanted to do was be a big league baseball player,” Magrane said. “I realized there were tests you had to go through. The ultimate test came in 1984 (with Harwich), when it was revealed to me what good players we had around us. It was revealed to me that year that this was something I could do.”
Lamoriello, called a fierce competitor by his presenter, Bill Livesey, coached hockey at Providence College for 20 years before moving to the Devils. He spent six summers on the Cape as a player and manager and went through the list of jobs he held those summers – working on a garbage truck, carpenter, delivering wood, at a gas station and behind the counter at a restaurant.
“First of all, I feel like I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I got to spend 20 years at one college, and 20 years in New Jersey.”
Angelo played three years with Wareham and Yarmouth-Dennis from 1980-82, and remains the only Cape Leaguer with 10 or more homers in two seasons. “When (commissioner) Paul Galop first called, I thought he was looking for a donation,” Angelo joked. “I was so wrong. This is very humbling.”
Former Chatham A's reliever Zane Carlson, the all-time Cape saves leader (34 in three seasons), began by saying he was truly honored to be back, and drew laughs when he said, “I was hoping this would be at the Squire, but Chatham Bars Inn is fine.”
He also had kind words for his manager, John Schiffner, saying, “I learned from him that doubt and fear are just not an option. He reminded me that it's a game and fun to play, something I'd forgotten.”
Awdycki, who grew up in Gardner and went to UMass, hit .407 for Orleans in 1965.
“My life had two elements, prior to 1965 and after 1965,” he said. “The opportunity to come here changed my life.”
He also spoke a little on Lamoriello, who managed Awdycki for Thetford Mines in the semipro Quebec Provincial League.
“If I have intensity, I'm a piece of cake compared to Lou.”
Accepting the induction for the deceased Harold “Pie” Traynor, who played for Falmouth/Oak Bluffs in 1919, was his niece, Marilyn Traynor Lenick.
Accepting for the deceased Joe “Skip” Lewis, who managed Chatham to four Lower Cape titles in five seasons in the 1960s, as well as the 1967 Cape title, was his son, Tim Lewis.