January 27, 2009 - International League (IL)
The International League announced today that 14 individuals will be inducted into the circuit\'s Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2009. The IL Hall, dormant since 1964, was formally revived last year during the League\'s 125th
anniversary season with a class of 27 former players, managers, and executives. The Class of 2008 was the first of a three-year transition period as the Hall of Fame heads towards an annual induction of no more than three individuals beginning in 2011.
The Class of 2009 encompasses nearly the entire history of the International League, from Joe Knight, hitting star of the 1880\'s and 1890\'s, to Roberto Petagine, the two-time IL MVP who\'s last game in the League came in 2005. Some of the very best hitters, pitchers, and field generals ever to set foot on an International League field are members of the Class of 2009.
Buzz Arlett, the current Pacific Coast League Hall of Famer who is often mentioned among the greatest players in Minor League history, will be inducted on the strength of two monstrous seasons in the IL with Baltimore. Arlett\'s 54 home runs in 1932 remain the 2nd -highest total in League history. Other great sluggers being recognized this year are Ed Stevens (188 home runs from 1944-58) Steve Demeter (159 home runs from 1955-69), and Dutch Mele (Syracuse all- time leader with 111 HR).
Two more inductees being recognized for their offensive talents are Rochester shortstop Red Schoendienst, the 1943 IL Most Valuable Player and 1989 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, and Walter Cazen, the outfielder who still holds both the single season and career stolen base records for Syracuse.
Mele and Cazen were both part of the Syracuse team that won the 1942 Governors\' Cup, as was a third member of the Class of 2009, Charles "Red" Barrett. Barrett was League MVP that season, winning 20 games with a 2.05 ERA. He is one of three pitchers earning induction into the IL Hall this year. Charles "Rube" Kisinger won 150 games between 1903 and 1911, establishing a League record for career shutouts (31) that still stands. Southpaw Bill Short posted an 83-50 record with a 3.08 ERA in the IL, earning a place on the Postseason All-Star Team in both his first season (1959 with Richmond) and his last (1967 with Columbus).
One man will enter the IL Hall based on his abilities both as a player and a manager. Harry "The Hat" Walker, brother of Fred "Dixie" Walker (IL Hall of Fame Class of 1947), hit .365 in 115 games as player/manager to lead Rochester to the 1952 Governors\' Cup. Walker later won pennants with Rochester (1953) and Jacksonville (1964). Other managers in the Class of 2009 include Clay Hopper, who remains the only skipper in League history to win three Governors\' Cups in a four-year span (Montreal 1946-49), and Stump Merrill, Columbus\' all-time leader in managerial victories.
Members of the Class of 2009 have been added to the International League Hall of Fame plaque display. Inductees or their families will be presented with "The Curtain Call" during a series of enshrinement ceremonies to be held throughout the League this season. The IL Hall of Fame plaque display does not have a permanent home, but rather serves as a traveling testament to the storied legacy of the International League.
Complete statistical data and biographical information on all 94 members of the IL Hall of Fame, along with a copy of the International League Hall of Fame policies, procedures, and guidelines are available at www.ILBaseball.com.
- 2009 International League Hall of Fame Class -
Russell "Buzz" Arlett - Clubbed 93 homers with 290 RBI in two amazing seasons with Baltimore. In 1932 Arlett hit .339 with 54 HR (second-most in International League history) and 144 RBI, following it up by hitting .343 with 39 HR and 146 RBI a year later. Adding to his legend, Arlett twice hit four homers in a single game, a feat accomplished only nine times total in IL history.
Charles "Red" Barrett - Led IL with a 2.34 ERA in 1938 for Syracuse, going 16-3. He returned four years later to lead the Chiefs to the Governors\' Cup with a 20-12 record and a 2.05 ERA. He missed another ERA title by just 0.06, but he did lead the circuit in wins (20), innings (268), complete games (25), and shutouts (7). Barrett was honored as the League\'s Most Valuable Player in 1942. He was inducted into the Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame in 1998.
Walter Cazen - Outfielder hit .295 over eight seasons in the International League. In his final campaign of 1945, months before contracting a fatal illness, Cazen hit .329 with 204 hits, 68 RBI, and a franchise record 74 stolen bases that still stands. Cazen, who played for two Governors\' Cup champion clubs in Syracuse, remains among the franchise\'s top players in steals (1st ), triples (2nd ), hits (5th ), doubles (6th ), and runs (6th ).
Steve Demeter - Three-time IL All-Star played nearly 1,400 games in the League with Buffalo, Toronto, Rochester, and Syracuse. He was part of three Governors\' Cup champion teams along the way. Demeter hit .284 in 11 seasons with 159 home runs and 778 RBI. Nine times he reached double digits in home runs, topping out with 26 long balls in 1962. He led the League once in hits and RBI, and three times in doubles.
Clay Hopper - Only manager in IL history to win three Governors\' Cups in a four-year span. His 1946 club, often considered to be among the best in Minor League history, won 100 games led by Jackie Robinson. Hopper turned his players loose on the base paths, launching one of the most exciting eras in IL history. In four seasons Hopper\'s Royals went 371-243 (.604), winning two pennants, three Governors\' Cups, and two Junior World Series.
Charles "Rube" Kisinger - Went 150-108 in nine seasons, including an IL record 31 career shutouts which still stands. Kisinger joined Buffalo in 1904, where in his first three campaigns he won 67 games and led the club to its first two pennants. He won at least 15 games in seven straight seasons with the Bisons, a stretch which included a 9-inning no-hitter in 1909. Kisinger was inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.
Joe Knight - Hit .345 in 13 seasons spanning 1,265 games and ten teams. Knight joined Hamilton in 1886 as a pitcher (going 11-3), but before long his bat necessitated a permanent move to the lineup. Ten times he hit higher than .335, twice leading the entire League. He paced the circuit twice in hits and doubles, and once in triples. After six games with Buffalo in 1899 (hitting .360), Knight retired with 1,865 career hits.
Albert "Dutch" Mele - Key member of the powerhouse Syracuse teams that won three Governors\' Cups in the 1940\'s. Mele remains the Chiefs all-time leader in hits (1,082), home runs (111), runs (572), doubles (193), games (1,044) and at-bats (3,795). He earned All-Star honors in 1947, hitting .315 with 20 homers and 100 RBI to lead the Chiefs to the Governors\' Cup. Mele capped his season by hitting .462 in the Junior World Series titles.
Carl "Stump" Merrill - Served four stints as manager of Columbus interspersed with various other roles in the Yankees organization. Merrill guided the Clippers to an 82-57 record and the pennant in his first year at the helm in 1984. Back in Columbus for a fourth time in 1996, Merrill took the Clippers all the way to a Governors\' Cup title after winning 85 games. In parts of eight seasons in Columbus, Merrill\'s teams posted a record of 564-461 (.550).
Roberto Petagine - Hit .323 with 87 HR and 343 RBI in 400 games. In 1997 with Norfolk (.317, 31 HR, 100 RBI) and 1998 with Indianapolis (.331, 24 HR, 109 RBI) Petagine became just the second player in League history to win multiple MVP awards (and the only man to win the honor in consecutive years). The well-rounded Petagine also led the IL in on-base percentage twice, and in 1998 Baseball America named him the League\'s best defensive first baseman.
Albert "Red" Schoendienst - IL Most Valuable Player in 1943 at the age of 20, leading the League in average (.337) and hits (187). The shortstop began the following year by hitting a blistering .372 in 25 games before he was called to serve his country in World War II. Schoendienst, known as "The Team", went on to a distinguished career as a player and manager in St. Louis and was inducted into Cooperstown in 1989.
Bill Short - IL Most Valuable Pitcher as rookie in 1959, going 17-6 with a 2.48 ERA for Richmond. He won 13 games for Rochester in 1963, posting a 3.38 ERA he nearly matched a year later to help lead the Red Wings to the Governors\' Cup. Short led the IL with a .745 winning percentage in 1965 (13-4 with a 2.92 ERA), and in 1967 he was again named to the League\'s Postseason All-Star team. He has a career record of 83-50 with a 3.08 ERA.
Ed Stevens - Drove in 102 runs for Montreal in 1944 at the age of 19, adding another 95 RBI a year later when he hit .309 for the first of four pennant winners he would play for in the IL. Stevens joined Toronto in 1952 and over the next three years he clubbed 72 home runs with 318 RBI, leading the League in RBI twice. Stevens was named to two IL Postseason All-Star teams, retiring with a .278 career average, 188 home runs, and 810 RBI.
Harry "The Hat" Walker - Rochester player/manager from 1952-55. He was an IL Postseason All-Star in 1952 after hitting .365 and leading the Red Wings
to the Governors\' Cup. Rochester won the pennant the following season with a 97-57 record (.630), a year which included a franchise record 19-game
winning streak. Walker won another pennant in 1964 with Jacksonville (89-62), bringing his managing record in the International League to 458-343 (.572).