Come Saturday, November 23, the Cape Cod Baseball League will have eight new inductees enshrined to its hall of fame.
This year’s class includes major leaguers Kyle Schwarber and Conor Gillaspie, Cape League standouts Brad Linden, Chris Overman and Shaun Seibert, former CCBL commissioner Paul Galop, current Yarmouth-Dennis field manager Scott Pickler and umpire in chief Nick Zibelli.
The annual induction ceremony will begin at 11:30 AM at the Wequasset Inn in Harwich. The ceremony will also be streamed online and details will be made available at www.capecodbaseball.org.
Below are brief overviews of the eight inductees and their accomplishments within the league and baseball world.
Paul Galop, CCBL Commissioner/Chatham
An Indiana University graduate, Galop served as the Cape League commissioner for 15 years—the longest anyone held that position in the league’s history—from 2003 to 2019. His time with the CCBL, however, began in 1980 where he served as a Chatham volunteer holding various roles, like house parent, board director, PA announcer, treasurer and team president. Under his leadership, the Cape League saw unprecedented growth and success.
Scott Pickler, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox
Since 1998 the bench boss for the Y-D Red Sox has done nothing but win. His six CCBL titles, including back-to-back-to-back titles from 2014-2016, is the most of any manager in league history. He ranks second all-time in the CCBL for wins by a manager with 496 and has 15 more playoff wins (45) than the next closest manager. But perhaps his most impressive stat as a Cape League skipper is the 70 players he’s sent to the majors. In addition to leading the Red Sox on the Cape, Pickler has been the longtime head coach of Cypress College in California and has coached USA Baseball. He was recently inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Kyle Schwarber, Wareham Gatemen
For two seasons with the Gatemen, Schwarber, an Indiana Hoosier, bolstered the Wareham lineup before being a playoff hero for the Chicago Cubs. In 2012 Schwarber hit .343 (third in the league) with eight homers and 38 RBI for the eventual Mycock Trophy-winning Gatemen. In nine games with Wareham in 2013, Schwarber belted one homer and drove in three while hitting 16-for-37 (.432 average).
Conor Gillaspie, Falmouth Commodores
Arriving with little fanfare in 2007 from Wichita State, Gillaspie left the Cape with plenty of hardware. The hard-hitting third baseman led the Cape League in batting average (.345), slugging percentage (.573) and extra-base hits (21) while being second in on-base percentage (.448) en route to winning the 2007 MVP and Thurman Munson Batting Champion awards. Gillaspie led the Commodores to a Cape League finals appearance that season before being selected 37th overall in the 2008 MLB draft by the Giants. He’s played for San Francisco and the Chicago White Sox in his big league career.
Brad Linden, Orleans Cardinals/Firebirds
The 1972 Cape League MVP is being inducted posthumously after dying earlier this year from a long-standing illness. But the former UConn first baseman slugged his way to an all-star team appearance his second season on the Cape. He hit .372 with 28 runs scored, 55 hits, a league-leading 10 homers and 35 runs batted in. He proved to be even tougher out in the postseason, where he hit a robust .444 for Orleans. As a Husky, the sophomore Linden led UConn to a 20-7 record that was good for first place in the Yankee Conference in 1972 and a College World Series appearance.
Chris Overman, Harwich Mariners
In 2011, Overman was a pitcher hailing from NC State who could do a little bit of everything for the Mariners. Whether he was a starter, a set-up man or a closer, the right-hander was unhittable. He went 33 innings in 24 games without allowing an earned run that season for Harwich, allowing just 15 hits en route to selections to the all-star and all-league teams. He helped Harwich capture the CCBL title that season, recording three saves in four appearances—including getting the final three outs in the title-clincher with the bases loaded and a two-run lead.
Shaun Seibert, Brewster White Sox/Whitecaps
In the 2006 the right-handed Seibert was unbeatable, no matter the laundry he was wearing. For the Arkansas Razorbacks, the 6-foot, 230-pound righty went 4-0 in 61.1 innings pitched, with a 2.79 ERA before going 6-0 on the Cape with the third-lowest ERA in league history (0.39). Seibert earned co-Pitcher of the Year for his efforts. Additionally, he pitched six scoreless innings for Brewster as well as a scoreless inning in the all-star game.
Nick Zibelli, CCBL Umpire in Chief/Assigner
Fans may not know it, but Zibelli has been a Cape League staple since 1974. With 46 years of umpiring under his belt, Zibelli has handled umpire assignments for decades and acted as the crew chief in many CCBL playoff series. He is the director of Baseball Officiating for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, where he’s a nationally recognized educator/clinician to young, aspiring umpires. Zibelli has umpired in NCAA Regionals, Super Regionals and College World Series games at all divisions.