Cape Cod Baseball League to Induct Six into Hall of Fame

CHATHAM – The Cape Cod Baseball League is holding its 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday at Chatham Bars Inn.

This CCBL is inducting six former players this year, including national baseball writer and media personality Peter Gammons; former CCBL pitcher and MLB coach Arthur “Ace” Adams; former CCBL executive Barbara “Mrs. E” Ellsworth; former Harwich Mariner and Boston Red Sox pitcher Craig Hansen; former Assistant Coach for the Chatham Athletics and MLB scout John Schiffner; and former YD Red Sox and Chatham A’s power hitter Mark Sweeney.

“Year after year the best amateur players and collegiate players in the country come here and all want to come here, and the league has just gotten better and better over the years “It’s an extraordinary league,” said Hall of Fame Committee Member Tom Cahir.

“It’s led by a tremendous amount of wonderful volunteer people, and the Hall of Fame Induction is always a great event.”

The CCBL is no stranger to notable players in Major League Baseball, and has produced several World Series champions and MLB Hall of Famers.

The league is so well known as a preparatory league for future big league players, that an impressive 14 former CCBL players took the field in the 2018 World Series. The players will split evenly with seven on the Red Sox and seven on the Dodgers.

“We had some incredible performances. The World Series Most Valuable Player, Steve Pearce, played for Cotuit way back in 2004; Jackie Bradley Jr. played right here in Hyannis for a summer and he was the ALCS Most Valuable Player; and the top two pitchers that started games three and four – Rich Hill played for Chatham way back in 2000 and 2001 and also Walker Buler, who is our most recent Cape League alumnus for the YD Red Sox in 2014 and he was very impressive,” CCBBL Director of Broadcasting John Garner detailed.

Below is a listing of the six Hall of Fame inductees and a profile of their CCBL and post-CCBL baseball careers:

Arthur “Ace” Adams (Falmouth Commodores): The University of Michigan hurler played in the Cape League from 1972-74.  He was a League All-Star in ‘73, and pitched 11 complete games – tied for the most complete games in the modern era.  Ace enjoyed a 42-year coaching career at the collegiate and professional levels and also served as an assistant coach with the CCBL in Falmouth, Chatham, and Cotuit during that time.  In 1992-93 Ace was the field manager for Falmouth, where he coached future CCBL Hall of Famer Darin Erstad.  Ace was one of the most colorful characters to play and coach in the Cape League.  Ace’s father also played on the Cape and met Ace’s mom at Old Falmouth Heights Field.  Ace will be presented for induction by his long time friend, NY Yankees scout and Cape League “lifer” Matt Hyde.

Barbara “Mrs. E” Ellsworth (Y-D Red Sox & The Harwich Mariners): Barbara Ellsworth joined the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in 1978.  During her 34 years with the YD Sox, she was President, VP, Housing Coordinator, and GM.  She was a CCBL executive board member and coordinated several CCBL All-Star Game festivities, including scout liaison and two Cape League All-Star Teams which played against Team USA.  Throughout her years with the Cape League, she hosted 153 players including 12 current and former MLB players.  Mrs. E will be presented for induction by 2011 Y-D Red Sox player Robert Benincasa.  Accepting on Mrs. E’s behalf will be her son Kent Ellsworth, and two former players that lived with her, Mike Bordick and Jimmy Mulry.

Peter Gammons (CCBL Friend and Contributor): A renowned American baseball writer and media personality, Gammons has been a key friend of the Cape Cod Baseball League for five decades.  He began his career at The Boston Globe in 1969, and covered the Boston Red Sox for many years.  His lengthy resume also includes being the lead baseball columnist for Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News, an in-studio analyst and field-level reporter for ESPN, The MLB Network, and NESN, and the author of numerous baseball books.  Gammons was named the National Baseball Sportswriter of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1993, and was the recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.  Gammons will be dually honored this year, as the newly-created Peter Gammons Award for Excellence and Distinction will be presented for the first time.  Gammons will be presented for induction by long-time friend and current Executive Vice-President/General Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks Mike Hazen. 

Craig Hansen (Harwich Mariners): The hard-throwing closer from St. John’s played for the Harwich Mariners in 2004 where he posted a 1-1 record with 10 saves and 41 K’s in 22.1 IP, and a perfect 0.00 ERA.  He was an East Division All-Star reserve and was named to the 2004 All-League Team.  Craig was drafted out of high school in the first round (26th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in 2005, and become the first player in Red Sox history to play a major league game the same year he was drafted.  The 6’5” Hansen was known for unleashing a 97-98 mph fastball and a hard slider.   Craig will be presented for induction by his Harwich Field Manager, Steve Englert.

John Schiffner (Chatham A’s):  Schiffner’s Cape League coaching career began in 1978 as an assistant coach for Chatham and scout with Montreal until 1988.  He returned to Chatham in 1990 as an assistant under manager Rich Hill until being named manager in 1993.  Schiffner has coached and managed close to 1,000 players, including 39 first round draft picks and 125 Major Leaguers, including Evan Longoria, Todd Frazier, Andrew Miller, and Kris Bryant.  During his time as coach, Schiffner led Chatham to two CCBL, championships, six Eat titles, 15 playoff appearances, and 541 regular season wins – making him the winningest coach in league history.  Schiff will be inducted by his long-time head assistant in Chatham, Matt Fincher.

Mark Sweeney (Y-D Red Sox & Chatham A’s): The sweet-swinging Maine player enjoyed three summers on the Cape from 1988-90.  Winning playoff MVP honors in ’89, he batted .310 with four homers and 24 RBI in 1990, and led Don Reed’s Y-D Squad to back-to-back CCBL titles in 1989-90.  He was the recipient of the CCBLs Sportsmanship Award in 1991 and was later drafted by California.  From there Sweeney enjoyed an illustrious professional career, finishing second all-time in MLB pinch hits (175) and first in career pinch-hit RBIs (102). Sweeney is now a baseball correspondent for the San Diego Padres.  Mark will be inducted by veteran news personality Dan Rea, a long time friend and self-proclaimed biggest fan.

The CCBL also presented three special awards to those who have made significant contributions to the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Christina Taylor-Green will receive the Peter Gammons Award for Excellence & Distinction, Scott Wahle will be presented the Fred Ebbett Lifetime Achievement Award, and Chris Thoms will get the Richard “Dick” Sullivan Executive of the Year Award.

The induction ceremony will be held at Chatham Bars Inn, located at 297 Shore Road in Chathm.  The ceremony, sold-out to the public, begins at 11:30 a.m. at CBI’s Monomoy Meeting House. 

By TIM DUNN, News Center

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