2013 Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame Inductees Announced
Syracuse, NY - The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals are pleased to announce the inductees in the Class of 2013 for the Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame. This year's class includes four former Chiefs - Tommy de la Cruz, Bob Dustal, Don Gordon and Robert Perez - along with former Syracuse Stars great Chick Hafey and former local star Mal Mallette.
TomÃ¡ s "Tommy" de la Cruz pitched in parts of three seasons for the Chiefs from 1941-43. The left-hander from Havana, Cuba won 13 games for the 1942 Governor's Cup Champion Chiefs and followed that up with a 21-11 season in 1943. That same year, he sported a 1.99 ERA, tossed a no-hitter against Baltimore on April 18 and was named to the International League All Star Team. In 1944, de la Cruz was called up to the Cincinnati Reds, where he went 9-9 with a 3.25 ERA. He passed away on September 6, 1958, at the age of 46. In 1960, he was elected to the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame.
Robert Andrew "Bob" Dustal spent parts of four seasons with the Chiefs from 1963-66, when the Chiefs were affiliated with the Detroit Tigers. His best season took place in 1963, when he posted an 11-6 record, 17 saves and a 2.98 ERA. Dustal appeared in 153 games for the Chiefs over four seasons, recording an ERA below 3.00 in three of those four years. He pitched in seven games for the Tigers in 1963. The 77-year-old native of New Jersey currently resides in Sarasota, Florida.
Donald Thomas "Don" Gordon was a Chiefs hurler in parts of three seasons, from 1985-87. In 1985, he worked as the team's setup man for closer Tom Henke en route to an International League Pennant. That season, Gordon went 8-5 with a 2.07 ERA in 113 innings pitched, leading the league in ERA. He returned in 1986 and 1987, posting a 2.89 ERA in 1986 and a 1.75 ERA in 1987. Gordon ranks 10th all-time in the Chiefs' record book with 154 games pitched, with a 2.22 career ERA that serves as the franchise's second-best mark. He would go on to pitch for the Blue Jays and Indians before retiring in 1991. The 53-year-old right-hander resides in Colombia, South Carolina.
Robert Perez played for the Chiefs in parts of three seasons from 1993 to 1995. He batted .294, .304 and .343, respectively, in his three seasons with Syracuse. Perez' .312 career batting average ranks third all-time for the Chiefs and his 93 doubles rank 10th in franchise history. He was named to the I.L. All Star team in 1995, the same year he captured the league Batting title. Perez' 172 hits and 38 doubles that season still stand as modern-day Syracuse records. He also holds the team's longest hitting streak - 22 games in 1994. Perez played parts of seven years in the major Leagues with Toronto, Seattle, Montreal, the Yankees and Milwaukee. The 43-year-old currently resides in Bolivar, Venezuela.
Malcolm Francis "Mal" Mallette was a Syracuse native who played baseball at North Syracuse High School from 1937-40. He stayed close to home to play baseball at Syracuse University from 1941-43 and received the Devils Own Trophy as the Best All-Around sophomore at Syracuse University. Mallette served in the United States Army from 1943-46, and when he returned, he signed with the New York Yankees and spent three seasons at the AAA level. In 1950, Mallette was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers, where he appeared in two games. He finished his career in 1952 with the Montreal Royals, sporting a 23-4 record in two seasons. Mallette later became the sports editor of the Winston-Salem Journal and was inducted into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame in 2002. He passed away at the age of 83 in 2005.
Chick Hafey played in 21 games for the Syracuse Stars in 1925, batting .285. He soon went on to the major leagues, where he played 13 years with St. Louis and Cincinnati from 1925 to 1937. Hafey finished his career with a lifetime batting average of .317, winning the National League batting title in 1931 when he hit.349. He played in four World Series and the 1933 All-Star Game. Hafey was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. He passed away in 1970 at the age of 71.
The announcement of this year's Wall of Fame class will take place tonight, Friday, February 1, at the team's annual Hot Stove Dinner and Silent Auction. Tickets for the Hot Stove dinner are still available, at $55 for adults, $25 for children 12 and younger and $500 for a table of 10. Fans may purchase tickets in person at the Chiefs ticket office at Alliance Bank Stadium or by calling the box office at 315-474-7833.
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