Lowell, Wedge, Bush, Kamieniecki, Smith Give 12th Induction Class MLB Flavor
CHATHAM, Mass. – Eight former standout players, including a World Series MVP for the Boston Red Sox and a current major league manager, will comprise the 12th Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame class, scheduled for induction on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Chatham Bars Inn here.
The Cape League’s Hall of Fame Weekend activities will get under way Friday, Nov. 18, when the inductees, their families, presenters and Cape League officials attend a private reception in Hyannis which will include a group visit to the Hall of Fame & Museum. They will tour the facility which occupies the lower level of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum on Main Street and see their permanent plaques unveiled.
The annual Hall of Fame brunch begins the following day at 10 a.m. in the main dining room of the Chatham Bars Inn, followed by the induction festivities starting at noon in the nearby Monomoy Theater.
Boston media personality and Cape League broadcaster Scott Wahle returns as master of ceremonies and longtime Cape League executive Dick Sullivan will lead the procession of inductees into the hall.
A limited number of tickets remain, priced at $85 each. They may be ordered by sending a check to CCBL Hall of Fame Tickets, P.O. Box 266, Harwich Port, MA 02646.
This year’s class of eight brings total membership in the Cape League Hall of Fame to 116 and five of them used their time in the Cape League as a springboard to the major leagues.
Inductees include former Boston Red Sox third baseman and 2007 World Series MVP Mike Lowell (Chatham, 1994), former Red Sox catcher and current Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge (Yarmouth-Dennis, 1988), former major league hurler Scott Kamieniecki (Harwich, 1984), former MLB outfielder Mark Smith (Wareham, 1990) and pitcher David Bush (Chatham, 2000-01), now under contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Also slated for induction are league batting champion Paul O’Neill (Cotuit, 1974-75), power-hitting first baseman Doug Fisher (Falmouth, 1984-85) and two-time outstanding pitcher Bill Wissler (Bourne, 1990-91).
In alphabetical order, here is the Class of 2011:
David Bush (Chatham, 2000 & 2001)
The hard-throwing Wake Forest right-hander posted impressive-back-to-back seasons in the A’s bullpen, posting a 0-1 record with a league-leading 11 saves and 0.84 ERA in 2000 and returning with a 1-1 mark, a microscopic 0.34 ERA and one save in ’01. A native of Berwyn, Pa., Bush was drafted by Toronto in the second round in 2002 and played two seasons with the Blue Jays, compiling a 10-14 record with a 4.15 ERA, before being traded to Milwaukee, where he pitched from 2006-2010. He joined the Texas Rangers during the offseason, moved from Texas to the Chicago Cubs organization and finally joined the Phillies. Bush’s former Chatham A’s catcher, John Schenider will be his presenter.
Doug Fisher (Falmouth, 1984 & 1985)
“It’s about time,” said one longtime CCBL observer when told that this Commodore first baseman had been elected to the league’s Hall of Fame. Fisher, out of Central Michigan, put together one of the most spectacular seasons in modern-era league history in 1984 as he tied the RBI record (54), led the league in total bases (119) and extra-base hits (31), finished second in slugging percentage (.692) and home runs (14), and tied for second in hits (60) and doubles (17) while batting .349 and earning All-League honors. In 1984, Fisher used an aluminum bat, but when the league switched to wood in 1985 he saw his offensive production dip a bit. He was voted to the CCBL’s 1980s All-Decade Team and drafted in the 17th round by Pittsburgh in 1986. The Bridgeport HS product was named to Central Michigan’s Hall of Fame in 1999. Brian Reinbold, Fisher’s friend and Little League teammate, will be his presenter.
Scott Kamieniecki (Harwich, 1984)
This University of Michigan pitcher produced a 4-1 record and a 2.14 ERA with the Mariners in 1984, the last year the CCBL permitted the use of aluminum bats, which produced better offensive numbers for most players. Appearing in nine games, the Mount Clemens, Mich., native pitched three complete games, recording one shutout. He struck out 54 batters in 67.1 innings pitched and was named to the CCBL All-Star Team. Scott was drafted in the 14th round by the Yankees in 1986 and pitched 10 seasons in the major leagues with New York, Baltimore, Cleveland and Atlanta. Presenting Kamieniecki be former Harwich GM and current VP Jim McGonigle.
Mike Lowell (Chatham, 1994)
A .307 hitter with a fifth-in-the-league total of 51 hits, this Florida International product was a standout performer in 1994 on an also-ran Chatham team that finished nine games under .500 and 10-1/2 games out of first place. A fine defensive second baseman, Mike was chosen for the CCBL All-Star Team, showing the potential that prompted the Yankees to make him their 20th-round draft choice the following spring. After three impressive minor league seasons, Mike was called up by New York in September 1998, launching a 13-year MLB career, the last five as the Red Sox’s regular third baseman. Mike made four All-Star teams and was the 2007 World Series MVP for Boston. He also was the Sox’s MVP and Good Guy Award winner that year. Mike is a native of San Juan, PR. Veteran Chatham field manager John Schiffner will present Lowell into the Hall of Fame.
Paul O’Neill (Cotuit, 1974 & 1975)
The hard-hitting from third baseman from Boston College led the Kettleers to back-to-back CCBL titles in 1974 and ’75. After struggling at the plate during his initial season on the Cape, O’Neill won the Pat Sorenti MVP Award the following summer as he captured the batting title with a .358 average, added five home runs and 22 RBIs and was named to the All-Star Game and final All-League Team. O’Neill also produced a .511 slugging percentage and stole nine bases in ’75. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres. Presenting O’Neill will be Cotuit legend and CCBL Hall of Fame manager Jack McCarthy.
Mark E. Smith (Wareham, 1990)
The sweet-swinging, right-handed hitting outfielder from Southern Cal became the last player in the Cape League to hit over .400 when he captured the batting title with a .408 average. His six homers, 14 doubles and 33 RBI also earned him league MVP honors as he led the Gatemen to the CCBL championship game against Yarmouth-Dennis. Baltimore made the Pasadena, Calif., native its first-round pick in the 1991 amateur draft. Smith played from 1994 to 2003 in the major leagues, with a .243 career batting average for the Orioles, Pirates, Marlins, Expos and Brewers. In 2001, Smith received the Steve Palermo Award for heroism, after rescuing a man from a car crash. Smith’s presenter will be his Wareham teammate Doug Glanville, current baseball analyst for ESPN.
Eric Wedge (Yarmouth-Dennis, 1988)
Currently managing the Seattle Mariners, this former Wichita State catcher originally entered professional baseball as a Boston Red Sox draft choice. Wedge was chosen by the Red Sox in the third round in 1989 after an impressive 1988 campaign with Yarmouth-Dennis. He hit .279, was a defensive standout and was chosen for the final All-League Team. After the CCBL campaign concluded, the Fort Wayne, Ind., product helped an all-star team from the CCBL win the Summer Collegiate League Shootout, a tournament held at Boardwalk & Baseball complex near Orlando, Fla. In an 11-1 blowout of the Central Illinois Collegiate League, Wedge had four hits and three RBI to lead the Cape squad into the finals. Wedge was elected to the Wichita State Shockers Hall of Fame in 1999, 10 years after earning first-team All-America honors and being named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year for hitting .380 with 23 HR and 99 RBI and setting an NCAA record with 88 walks. Presenting Wedge for induction will be Bourne field manager Harvey Shapiro, who was an assistant at Y-D in 1988.
Bill Wissler (Bourne, 1990 & 1991)
The tall right-hander from the University of Pennsylvania became only the fourth pitcher in Cape League history to win the B.F.C. Whitehouse Outstanding Pitcher Award in successive seasons. He went 8-2 with a 1.56 ERA for the Braves in 1990, tying for the league lead in wins and games started (11), and followed with a 6-4 mark and a 1.96 ERA in ’91 as he led the league in innings pitched (92), complete games (7) and shutouts (3). He is the last CCBL pitcher to throw more than 90 innings in a season. The Harrisburg, Pa., native signed with Minnesota in 1992 and played four seasons in the Twins’ organization, posting a 25-30 record. Wissler’s house parent, Dr. Grover Baxley, will be his presenter.