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"AROUND THE HORN": Ivy League players in the Cape League

03/18/2012 8:26 AM

Article By: John Garner Jr.

While not as bountiful as the ACC, PAC-10 or SEC, the Ivy League has produced numerous top-flight performers who’ve starred on Cape Cod Baseball League diamonds.

     Topping the list are CCBL Hall of Famers Ron Darling (Cotuit ’80) of Yale, Mike Stenhouse (Chatham ‘77-’79) of Harvard and Art Quirk (Orleans ’58) of Dartmouth, all of whom graduated to the big leagues.

     The multi-talented Darling swept seasonal and All-Star Game MVP honors for the Kettleers during an election year when Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory over incumbent Jimmy Carter.

     Back in the late 1950s, CCBL Hall of Fame manager Manny Pena’s Sagamore Clouters featured Billy and Bobby Cleary, two brothers from Cambridge who were two-sport stars at Harvard and sparked the 1960 U.S. Olympic hockey team to its upset Gold Medal victory over the Soviet Union at Squaw Valley. 

     In the mid-'60s, Falmouth was led by Yale's Steve Greenberg, son of the great Detroit Tigers slugger Hank Greenberg.

      One of the most well-known CCBL/Ivy League standouts was future Bronx Bomber infielder Robert “Red” Rolfe (Orleans ’30) during the Hoover administration, and who later coached and became AD at Dartmouth.

      More recent Ivy performers include future Yankee right-hander Jim Beattie (Harwich ’73) of Dartmouth, Joe Gurascio (Chatham ’76) of Cornell, Gary Cicatiello (Falmouth ‘78) of Penn, Gary Kaczor (Harwich ’79) of Cornell, Greg Myers (Harwich ’81) of Cornell, Jim DiPalo (Chatham ’86) of Harvard, Ben Johnstone (Brewster’98) of Yale, Ben Crockett (Wareham ’00, ‘01) of Harvard, Matt Kutler (Wareham ’02) of Brown, Josh Faiola (Y-D ’04) of Dartmouth, Max Perlman (Wareham ’08) of Harvard and Jeff Reynolds (Wareham ’11) of Harvard.

One of the most shining examples is Harvard senior Brent Suter, who pitched for Wareham last summer and is a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, signifying excellence in the community, classroom, character and competition. It focuses on the “student” in student-athlete, encouraging a positive impact in the community.

     Suter has a 3.43 GPA in Environmental Science and Public Policy and is on the Ivy League Spring All-Academic team. He's a volunteer in the Cambridge After-School Program and was an intern at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where he served as counselor at Camp Joyful Hearts, an overnight camp for kids with heart defects.

     Pitching for the 2011 Gatemen, he tossed the only nine-inning complete game shutout in the league and finished the summer with 30 strikeouts in 28.1 innings, a 3.96 ERA and a 2-3 record in 10 appearances and five starts.

     In Harvard’s senior opener two weeks ago, the hard-throwing Suter took a no-hitter against No. 7 Arizona into the fourth inning, before yielding three runs in five innings of work.

     In 2010, Suter was named to the All-Ivy League first team after posting a league-best 4-0 league record with one save, a 3.55 ERA and a league-leading 33 strikeouts in 33 innings while walking seven batters. He was almost unhittable against left-handers, who batted just 2-for-24 (0.83) against him. Overall, Suter posted a 4-2 record with a 5.26 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 49.2 innings against 14 walks.

     Lowe's will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winner during the NCAA College World Series, which takes place June 15-26 in Omaha.

     With his outstanding achievements both on and off the field, it’s a safe bet that Suter will be one of the finalists for this prestigious award.

Memories of 100-year-old Fenway Park

     Hall of Fame centerfielder Tris Speaker drove in the winning run in the 11th inning in the first game played at Fenway Park in April 1912 … The Harvard and Yale baseball nines squared off at Fenway before more than 20,000 fans in 1920, with the Crimson winning, 6-3 … That same season, the great Walter Johnson of Washington hurled a one-hit shutout against the Babe Ruthless Red Sox … Truro native Danny “Deacon” MacFayden, who pitched for Osterville and Falmouth in the mid-1920s, led the AL with four shutouts for the Red Sox in 1929 … Hall of Famer Robert Moses “Lefty” Grove won his long-awaited 300th game on July 25, 1941 … Future CCBL Hall of Famer Steve “Bye Bye” Balboni (Falmouth ’76, Y-D ’77) slugged two HRs to lead the Cape League All-Stars to an 8-3 win over the ACBL All-Stars at Fenway on Aug. 1, 1977 ... Carl Yastrzemski singled off former Harwich Mariners’ hurler Jim Beattie of the Yankees for his 3,000th hit on Sept. 12, 1979.

Cape League Preseason Rosters Available

     Cape Cod Baseball League pre-season rosters are available on the league’s web site, Go to Teams, click onto that team’s web site and go to Roster.

CCBL Team Internships Available

     The Cape Cod Baseball League offers internships to college students who work in different capacities for the league and individual franchises. Interns perform duties such as Internet broadcasting, public address announcing, scorekeeping, writing press releases, public relations, field banner placement, 50-50 raffle, photography, etc.

     While the league maintains its own public relations staff, all 10 teams utilize many interns each season.

     The Cape Cod Baseball League encourages potential interns or players to contact management of these franchises directly. Addresses, e-mail, fax and phone numbers for management of each franchise are available online on the "Teams" link.

Cape Cod Day at Fenway

     The CCBL will hold the qualifying round of its home run contest around noon at Fenway Park on Cape Cod Day, Sunday, July 22, before a 1:30 Red Sox game against the Toronto Blue Jays, managed by former CCBL hurler John Farrell (Hyannis ’82). Each of the 10 teams will be represented and finalists will compete prior to the CCBL All-Star Game in Harwich six days later.

GMs Meeting on March 26

     Commissioner Paul Galop will hold a general managers' meeting March 26 to discuss any progress made with possible events to be held at Fenway Park on Cape Cod Day, July 22, and on Aug. 1 which is a “sacred" day off.

Plante named Publications Editor

     Retired Cape Cod Times assistant sports editor Rich Plante is the CCBL’s new editor of publications. He will edit and proof-read all three editions (Early Season, All-Star Game and Postseason) of Cape League Magazine.

Rose to be Inducted into Harwich HOF

     Peg Rose of the Harwich Mariners will be inducted into the Harwich High School Hall of Fame in a March 24 ceremony at Wequasett Inn.

Silver Anniversaries in 2012

     Founded in 1988, the Bourne Braves and Brewster Whitecaps celebrate their 25th season with the Cape Cod Baseball League this summer. They are the last two teams to join the CCBL.

Where Are They Now?

     Former Orleans standout Brett Pill joined San Francisco Giants’ history by homering during his first at-bat in a September call-up. The last Giant to accomplish that feat was CCBL Hall of Famer Will “The Thrill” Clark (Cotuit ‘83) in the 1986 season opener at the Astrodome off the Nolan Ryan Express. Pill, starting his first game at first base after his contract was purchased Aug. 31 from Triple-A Fresno, clobbered an 0-1 pitch from San Diego left-hander Wade LeBlanc over the left-field barrier with Mark DeRosa (Bourne ’95) on first to give the Giants a 2-0 lead. Pill batted .312 with 25 HRs and 107 RBIs in 133 games for Fresno last season … Hard-throwing Anthony Ranaudo, the 6-7, 230-pound right-hander who tossed 29 1/3 scoreless innings with 31 K’s for the Brewster Whitecaps in 2010, posted a 9-6 record with a 3.97 ERA between low-A and high-A for Boston, appears headed for the AA Portland Seadogs in 2012 … Former No. 1 draft choice Luke Hochevar (Cotuit ’03), coming off an 11-11 season for the KC Royals, is expected to be a top starter in the rotation … Top returning players for the White Sox are Y-D Red Sox alumni Gordon Beckham (.230, 10 HR) and LHP Chris Sale (2-2, 2.79 ERA). The ChiSox’s new manager is CCBL Hall of Famer Robin Ventura (Hyannis ‘87)  … A top hurler for the Cleveland Indians is former Boston Red Sox Justin Masterson (Wareham ’05), who posted a 12-10 record with a 3.21 ERA last summer … Coming off his first All-Star season is Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters (Orleans ’06), who batted .262 with 22 HRs and 68 RBIs.