The Cape Cod Baseball League announced its 2020 Hall of Fame class, its 20th class to be enshrined, and Falmouth and Bourne are greatly represented. Former players Kevin Newman and Cliff Pennington, stars that went on to have great Major League careers after leading the Commodores to the championship series, are among the headliners, as is Cape Cod legend Bob Corradi, the former manager and athletic director at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, as well as American Legion Post 188. Former Commodores and current Bourne Braves skipper Harvey Shapiro is also among the selected group.
The CCBL Hall of Fame Committee chairman Chuck Sturtevant made the announcement via live Facebook video at Lowell Park in Cotuit over the past weekend. The inductees are scheduled to be enshrined on Saturday, November 21, at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Harwich. The following is a list of those selected and their backgrounds.
Charles “Buzz” Bowers
Hailing from Wayland, Charles “Buzz” Bowers pitched for two seasons at Michigan State with teammate Robin Roberts before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He played for seven years while simultaneously fulfilling his military obligation with the U.S. Army. Bowers posted a 54-44 minor league record with a 3.38 ERA in 239 games with the Phillies organization. His experience in baseball led him to scouting.
Bowers scouted 60 years for the Phillies, Dodgers, and Red Sox and was a constant presence at CCBL ballparks from 1960 through 2014, signing Lou Merloni, Carl Pavano, Brian Rose and Steve Lomasney. He was instrumental in creating the annual Fenway Park Workout. Bowers was named the George Digby Scout of the Year in 1994 and was presented with the Turk Karam Memorial Award in 2002. He was inducted into both the Wayland High School and the Pro Baseball Scouts Halls of Fame. Bowers joins scouting pals Len Merullo and Bill Enos in the Cape League Hall of Fame. His memory is commemorated at Eldridge Park with two Fenway Park seats installed behind the backstop.
The retired energetic athletic director and baseball coach at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy has performed myriad invaluable services to the Cape League for many years. In 1988, when Bourne and Brewster came into the Cape League, Corradi and CCBL Hall of Famer Jack Aylmer founded the Bourne Braves franchise, which played home games at Massachusetts Maritime. The CCBL created a preseason tryout to be held annually for players from New England, and Corradi arranged for those day-long tryouts to be held at MMA’s facility.
When the Cape League organized the Hall of Fame in 2000, Bob was one of seven original voting members, and is still an active member. Corradi won three state titles as an American Legion Post 188 coach and four New England crowns coaching Cape Cod Senior Babe Ruth. He received the CCBL Fred Ebbett Lifetime Achievement Award (2012), New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association Jack Butterfield Award (2005), and Andy Baylock Award (2012). He was the NACDA Division III Athletic Director of the Year (2012) and was inducted into the MMA Athletics Hall of Fame (2016). Bob played baseball at Moravian and graduated from UMass-Amherst. His son Steven Corradi (UMass-Amherst) was a Cape League All-Star infielder for the Bourne Braves in 1990.
The Virginia Tech product starred in the Wareham outfield in 2012, leading the Gatemen to the Cape League championship. The 6-foot-2-inch, 230-pound Horan belted 16 homers, tying Dave Staton’s modern-day league wood bat record set in 1988, and totaled 52 hits and 40 RBI. The Middleboro native was named the Cape League’s top New England prospect. In the CCBL playoffs, Horan batted .292 with two homers and seven RBI as Wareham defeated Y-D, 2-1, in the championship series. He was named to the CCBL All-League Team. He finished runner-up to Brewster’s Aaron Judge in the 2012 College Baseball Home Run Derby and batted .341 with 11 homers and 50 RBI for Virginia Tech in 2013. Tyler was drafted by San Francisco and played five years in the minor leagues, batting .260 with 55 homers and 191 RBI. His best season was 2014 when he hit .284 with 25 homers and 81 RBI combined for Class A San Jose and Augusta.
Harold “Harry” Nelson
The Wagner standout won the 1964 CCBL batting title for Bourne with a .390 average, collecting 39 hits in 100 at-bats. Nelson packed power in his swing with seven doubles, seven home runs and 27 RBI. Nelson, a Long Island native, was invited to Bourne by player-manager and 2009 CCBL Hall of Famer Lou Lamoriello. He saw double-duty as a pitcher when not starting in the outfield and was selected for the Upper Cape All-Star squad.
The Red Sox invited Nelson to workout at Fenway Park, but he signed with the Yankees in 1965 as a pitcher. Nelson won 18 games in two seasons of Class A ball with Binghamton and Greensboro before injuring his rotator cuff. Nelson taught math in Massapequa, New York, and then returned to Wagner, where he worked in admissions. Harry operated the Lobster Inn and Indian Cove restaurants in Southampton before becoming owner of Southampton South Fork Realty. Nelson’s brother Rob played minor league baseball and is the inventor of Big League Chew, a bubble gum substitute for chewing tobacco.
The University of Arizona slugger and two-time Cape League batting champion led the Falmouth Commodores to the playoffs in 2013 and 2014. He posted a .375 average in 2013 with 60 hits and 36 runs in 40 games, and a .380 average in 2014 with 46 hits and 20 runs in 31 games. He was awarded the Pat Sorenti League MVP award in 2014 and became the only player to win the Thurman Munson batting title in two consecutive seasons (2013-2014). At Arizona, Newman enjoyed three productive seasons, hitting .336, .304 and .370. Newman was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft and has enjoyed a successful professional career. In 2019 he batted .308/.353/.446, tied for the National League lead in infield hits (22) and led the NL in at-bats per strikeout(8.0). During his MLB career, Newman has batted .293 with 12 homers (all in 2019) and 70 RBI.
The Texas A&M talent led the 2004 Falmouth Commodores to first place in the West Division and a trip to the CCBL championship series. Pennington was a switch-hitting, strong-armed shortstop. He posted a .277 average with 41 hits in 39 games and stole 21 bases, five more than any other Cape League player that season. Pennington excelled with his glove, too, and was compared by one writer to a “walking highlight reel.” Pennington is remembered for playing the game with a high energy contagious to his teammates. Pennington was drafted in the first round of the 2005 MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics and enjoyed a successful 11-year big league career, hitting .242 with 36 home runs and 242 RBI for the Athletics, Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, Angels, and Reds before retiring after 2018. Cliff now coaches baseball for the Aggies.
The UConn graduate has managed 22 seasons in the CCBL, 17 with the Bourne Braves and five seasons with the Falmouth Commodores. He’s compiled 503 total career wins, third highest in league history, including 28 playoff wins. In 2009, Harvey led the Braves to their first Cape Cod Baseball League championship. While managing Falmouth and Bourne, his teams were league playoff runners-up four times, with seven West Division titles and 15 playoff appearances. Before managing Falmouth, he was an assistant coach at Yarmouth-Dennis, winning two championships and then assisted at Wareham. Harvey has coached more than 80 major leaguers, including 15 first-round draft picks.
He has more than 30 years of baseball coaching experience at the college level, including stints at Springfield, Bowdoin and the University of Hartford. Harvey also has international ties, having served as manager of the Netherlands National Baseball Team for three years, and he coached the Dutch in two World Championships in Cuba and Holland. In addition, he’s conducted clinics in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Holland, Germany, and the Netherlands Antilles. Harvey is a published author on baseball and has served on several collegiate and international committees. Harvey was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.