07/21/2020 6:31 PM
Article By: John Garner Jr.
During its long history, the Cape Cod Baseball League has enjoyed several positions of prominence, including third basemen. Here are some of the best:
Harold “Pie” Traynor, Falmouth/Oak Bluffs – The Framingham, Mass., native played on the Cape in 1919, hitting .447 for Falmouth while also playing for Oak Bluffs. Traynor starred for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 17 years (1920-37), hitting .320 with 2,416 hits, 58 HR and 1,273 RBI. In 1927 he hit .342 with 106 RBI leading the Pirates to World Series and 1928-30 hit .337, .356 and .366. He was the Pirates manager from 1934-39 and then team radio announcer. Selected best third baseman in MLB during first half of the 20th Century, Pie was named to the NL All-Star Team, 1933-34 and inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1948 and Cape League Hall of Fame in 2009.
Ron Bugbee, Sagamore – The UConn. star earned MVP honors in 1965, leading manager Lou Lamoriello’s Clouters to a 25-9 record and a CCBL title over Joe Louis’ Chatham squad. Ron was inducted into the Waterford (Conn.) Hall of Fame in 2008.
Mike Eden, Orleans – The Brevard JC star won the Cape League batting title in 1970 with a .378 average. He led the Cardinals to a 23-16-3 record and berth in the CCBL finals against Falmouth. Mike was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and was a backup infielder in the major league in 1976 with the Braves and White Sox
Paul O’Neill, Cotuit – The Boston College standout won Cape League MVP and batting title at .358. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres. Paul was inducted into the Cape League Hall of Fame in 2011.
Ron Perry, Jr., Hyannis – The Holy Cross baseball and basketball star hit .358 in 1978 and was Cape League MVP in 1979 hitting .401, leading the Mets to a 33-7-1 record and second straight CCBL title. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox. Ron was inducted into the CCBL Hall of Fame in 2003.
Rick Ellstrom, Cotuit – The U. Miami Hurricane earned league MVP honors in 1992 as the Kettleers posted a 28-14-1 record and lost to Chatham in the championship series. He was named West All-Star MVP when he slammed a two-run homer. Rick was drafted by the San Diego Padres and played one season of minor league ball.
Lance Niekro, Orleans – The Florida Southern standout earned MVP honors in 1999. Lance was drafted by the Giants. He was the son of former MLB pitcher Joe Niekro and nephew of Baseball Hall of Fame hurler Phil Niekro. Niekro played four seasons in the major leagues for SF hitting .246 with 17 HR and 79 RBI and is now head coach at Florida Southern. Lance was inducted into Cape League Hall of Fame in 2006.
Conor Gillaspie, Falmouth – The Wichita State Shocker was League MVP and batting champion with a .345 title in 2007, leading the Commodores to the CCBL championship series against Y-D. Conor was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and played eight seasons in the major leagues, hitting .251 with 33 HR and 158 RBI.
Mike Mangini, Hyannis – The Oklahoma State Cowboy won the Cape League batting title at .310 in 2006 and was the starting third baseman for the West All-Stars. Mike was drafted by the Seattle Mariners and played one season 2010 in the major leagues.
Chris Coghlan, Chatham – The Ole Miss standout led the Cape League in hitting in 2005 with a .346 average. Chris was drafted by the Florida Marlins and was NL Rookie of the Year in 2009, hitting .321 with nine HR and 47 RBI. Chris played nine seasons in the major leagues, hitting .258 with 53 HR and 234 RBI.
Stephen Piscotty, Yarmouth-Dennis – The Stanford Cardinal paced the CCBL with a .349 average in 2011. Piscotty was drafted by St. Louis and has played in the major leagues since 2015 for the Cardinals and A’s, hitting .265 with 78 HR and 295 RBI.
Patrick Biondi, Cotuit – The Michigan Wolverine enjoyed a banner 2012 season, capturing the Cape League batting title with a .388 average. He was drafted by New York Mets and played six years in the minors, hitting .249 with seven homers and 127 RBI.