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Eight to join Cape League Hall of Fame

11/22/2008 8:49 AM

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Eight to join Cape League Hall of Fame

22 November, 2008


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The Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame’s Class of 2008 will be honored this morning in induction ceremonies at the Chatham Bars Inn.

The Cape Cod Baseball League’s Hall of Game Class of 2008 inductees - or in some cases, family members representing the Hall of Famers - pose with new plaques of the honorees Friday night. The new class was given a private tour of the Cape League Hall of Fame, located at the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.
Cape Cod Times/Ron Schloerb

The eight-member class includes current major leaguers Ben Sheets and Matt Murton.

The other Hall of Famers are Chatham A’s bullpen ace Derrick DePriest; Cotuit all-star slugger Bob Hansen; Cotuit flame-throwing reliever Jeff Innis; Chatham southpaw slugger Mike Stenhouse; versatile Falmouth performer Roche Pires; and former Cape League president and deputy commissioner Robert A. McNeece of Chatham. 

Pires and McNeece will be inducted posthumously.

The new class was given a private tour last night of the league’s Hall of Fame, located in the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. 

This morning’s festivities will also include presentation of the league’s Executive of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards. The Hall of Fame brunch begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by the induction ceremony.

Sheets, a hard-throwing righty from Northeast Louisiana, was an all-star pitcher for Wareham in 1998 and was in Orleans part of ’99 before signing with Milwaukee. He led the Brewers to the playoffs this season. 

He also won the gold-medal game in the 2000 Sydney Olympics with a three-hit shutout victory over Cuba. 

Murton, an outfielder from Georgia Tech, began his pro career in the Boston Red Sox organization before being dealt to the Cubs in the Nomar Garciaparra trade in 2004. Murton started this season with Chicago and was traded to Oakland in July. He was Cape League MVP in 2001 and led Wareham to titles in ’01 and ’02.

Stenhouse, a two-time All-Ivy Leaguer at Harvard who hit .475 as a freshman, led Chatham to the playoffs in his three years with the A’s (1977-79). He played in the majors with Twins, Red Sox as well as the former Montreal Expos.

Hansen, out of UMass, played for Cotuit for three summers (1966-68) and Orleans for one (’69). He was voted to the league’s all-decade team and played two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Innis was one of the first true closers in the Cape League. He led the league in saves and games in 1981 and ’82, the only pitcher to accomplish that feat. Cotuit won the championship in ’81 as Innis went 1-1 with a save in four appearances in the playoffs. He also played seven seasons with the New York Mets.

DePriest, a reliever out of North Carolina, set a league record with 15 saves in 1999 while posting a perfect 0.00 ERA in 22½ innings.

McNeece was a major factor in the merger of the Upper and Lower Cape leagues into one Cape League. He also held a variety of positions with the Chatham Athletic Association and spurred improvements to Veterans Field in Chatham.

Pires was one of the finest athletes Falmouth ever produced, playing on town baseball, basketball and football teams and excelling in all three. He began playing with the Waquoit Braves as a pitcher/first baseman/catcher in the early 1930s, and from there starred for Falmouth and Mashpee. 

After serving with the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theater, he returned to Falmouth and pitched two playoff victories over Harwich to lead his team to the Cape title in 1946. He also won a championship in 1950.