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Hall of Fame welcomes next class

11/01/2002 1:35 PM

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Hall of Fame welcomes next class

CHATHAM - The third and most star-studded Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame class will be inducted tomorrow at Chatham Bars Inn.


The Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame Class of 2002, to be inducted tomorrow in Chatham:

Curly Clement, umpire; Ron Darling, pitcher, Cotuit Kettleers; Russ Ford, Cape League president, Orleans Cardinals president and general manager; Nomar Garciaparra, shortstop, Orleans Cardinals; George Greer, OF/1B, Chatham A's, manager, Cotuit Kettleers; George Karras, player/manager, West Barnstable and Sagamore, Cape League administrator; Bernie Kilroy, pitcher/OF/1B, Cotuit Kettleers, Cape League commissioner; William Livesey, player/manager, Falmouth Commodores and Wareham Gatemen; Paul Mitchell, pitcher, Falmouth Commodores; Richard Sullivan, Cape League president and commissioner; Nat "Buck" Showalter, Outfielder, Hyannis Mets; Jason Varitek, catcher, Hyannis Mets.

INSIDE: Thumbnail biographies of the Class of 2002/ B-6

While the biggest name in the group, Boston Red Sox all-star Nomar Garciaparra, will be in California, the rest of the inductees on hand promise to enliven the festivities with a riveting afternoon of walking, talking baseball history.

Garciaparra's Red Sox teammate, catcher Jason Varitek, and newly hired Texas Rangers manager Buck Showalter, both former Cape League MVPs, are the headliners scheduled to attend. Varitek will be presented by his former house mother, Kelly King of Marstons Mills. Showalter will be presented by baseball guru and ESPN commentator Peter Gammons.

Showalter has chartered a plane and will fly up from Florida with his wife and 10 friends for the weekend.

The induction ceremony begins at 10 a.m. After a break for lunch, a question-and-answer session will be held at 2 p.m. The event is sold out.

Joining Varitek and Showalter in this elite class are former major league hurlers Ron Darling and Paul Mitchell, colorful veteran umpire Curly Clement, former player/managers George Greer, Bill Livesey and George Karras, former player and commissioner Bernie Kilroy, former league president and commissioner Dick Sullivan, and former league president Russ Ford.

Channel 7's Gene Lavanchy will serve as master of ceremonies. Kara Henderson of CNN Sports will be moderator of the question-and-answer session.

The scope of this year's class thrills Paul Galop, co-chair of the Cape League Hall of Fame Committee. "There is representation of players, managers, umpires and league officials covering 50 years," he said.

Indeed, Karras started playing on Cape diamonds before the Stock Market Crash of 1929, and is expected to attend tomorrow and be presented by his son, John.

The loquacious Clement began his umpiring career in the 1950s and was still at it when the new millennium rolled around. Keeping Clement's acceptance speech to the prescribes time limit will be a tough chore for organizers. The veteran arbiter will be presented by Walter Mortimer of the New England Baseball Umpires Association.

The enshrinement ceremony could prove to be emotional when long-time Falmouth Commodore bat boy Arnie Allen is presented a lifetime achievement award. Allen, a familiar fixture with the Commodores since he was 7 years old - that was 45 years ago - was diagnosed with cancer this past season.

Allen has always a favorite of players, coaches and fans. When World Series champions Darin Erstad and Adam Kennedy of the Anaheim Angles, both former Commodores, heard about Allen's illness, they immediately forwarded a batch of Angels' memorabilia to their favorite fan. Erstad was in the second class of Cape League Hall of Fame inductees.

In an unusual twist, Darling will be presented by fellow Hall of Famer Greer, who managed him at Cotuit, and Mitchell by Livesey, who was his manager at Falmouth; Greer will be presented by current Chatham A's manager John Schiffner; Livesey will be introduced by Cape League commissioner Bob Stead; Ford will be presented by former Orleans public address announcer Ed Mooney; Kilroy will be presented by former Cotuit manager Jim Hubbard; and Sullivan by league president Judy Walden Scarafile and former administrator John Whelan.

(Published: November 1, 2002)