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 History > LaSalle Club Hall of Fame

For the complete list of Hall of Members visit the main page.

2012_HOF_Plaque

(Logo design by Walt Fitzpatrick)

 

Left to right: Bob Puccinelli, Don Murphy, Ken Hottman, Mike Furtado, Rich Separovich, Leron Lee, Jim Barr and Pat Fall comprise the La Salle Club Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2012.

Below, Leron Lee displays the batting stance that made him the 7th overall pick in the 1966 MLB Draft--and the first-ever player from Sacramento selected in the first round. ValComNews reporter Lance Armstrong is taking his picture holding a baseball bat once used by Eddie Fitz Gerald (a former Solon) and is now part of Alan O'Connor's old-time collectibles. Lee also is displaying his World Series ring from 1989 when he was the batting coach for the Oakland A's.

Photos copyright Rick Cabral 2012

Lance-Leron

 Cuno+JimW

At left is Cuno Barragan and Jim Westlake, two old time friends.

Barragan grew up in Sacramento, played at Sacramento High and enjoyed a pro career that saw him play for the hometown Solons and eventually the Chicago Cubs.

Westlake played for Christian Brothers in the 1950s. He is the outgoing chairman of the La Salle Club Baseball Hall of Fame and a member of the hall himself.

 62 BA Team-Sperbeck
The 1962 Bishop Armstrong baseball team was honored at the 2012 La Salle Club Baseball Hall of Fame Banquet. Dick Sperbeck (with mic) the former coach, regaled the audience with memories about the team that went 22-2 and placed six players on the All-City squad. Some of those players are standing behind him. Those seated are the Hall of Fame inductees. At far right is Bernie Church, a member of the Falcons' team, a former head coach at McClatchy and the chairman of the La Salle Club.


2012 La Salle Club
Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees 


All Biographies by Rick Cabral except where noted

 

JIM BARR  
By Clay Sigg

Jim Barr was one of the greatest pitchers ever to wear the San Francisco Giants uniform. A Giants workhorse for ten years, he pitched a total of a dozen years in the major leagues. His 90 victories as a Giant rank him 4th behind Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry (both Hall of Famers) and Cy Young Award winner Mike McCormick. His 20 career shutouts place him 3rd only to Marichal and Perry, while his 59 complete games earn him 4th position all-time behind Marichal, Perry and McCormick.

The durable right-hander’s career big-league statistics speak for themselves- a 3.56 earned run average in 2,064.2 innings pitched. His pinpoint control is legendary as he allowed only 469 walks in his 12-year career.

Barr was drafted six separate times before ultimately signing with the Giants in 1970. He spent only five months in the minors (two months in AA and three months in AAA) before graduating to the major leagues. He posted at least 10 victories in six different seasons with 1976 being his best year. A 2.89 ERA in 251.1 innings, 37 starts and 8 complete games translated into a 15-12 record. San Francisco was a second division club that year and most of Barr’s tenure there. He was picked as the Giants’ “Best Starting Pitcher of the Decade of the 1970s.”

Barr set an incredible major league record by retiring 41 straight National League batsmen in a row in 1972. He pitched a two-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Candlestick Park on August 23, 1972, retiring the last 21 Bucs he faced, including a game-ending strikeout of the great Roberto Clemente. Six days later on August 29, Barr tossed a three-hitter versus the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium, winning 3-0 (This record was finally broken by Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox in 2009 with 45).

Jim earned a full ride scholarship to the University of Southern California Trojans out of Lynwood High School and helped USC win two NCAA College Baseball World Series titles in 1968 and 1970. He pitched the Trojans to the 1970 championship by hurling 16 innings in the last 48 hours of the College World Series. He pitched three-hit shutout ball versus the University of Texas (June 16, 1970) as USC won, 8-7, in 14 innings. He then shut out Florida State University for eight innings in relief (June 18, 1970), allowing only three hits. USC won that title game, 2-1, in 15 innings. Jim is a member of the USC Baseball Hall of Fame.

Barr has pitched the Sacramento Cardinals to the Stan Musial League National title and has been the ace of five Men’s Senior Baseball League World Series Championships all after the age of 40. He has pitched in the SMSBL for 20 years well into his 50s and been a part of 10 SMSBL title teams. His record was 124-19 with a 1.68 ERA and over 500 strikeouts. He is a member of the National and Sacramento Men’s Senior Baseball League Halls of Fame.

Since ending his playing days, Jim Barr was the pitching coach at Sacramento State from 1995 to 2010 under Coach John Smith. He now assists Granite Bay High. He’s also has been a regular at the annual Dusty Baker Sacramento Baseball Camp.


 

Pat Fall

 

Pat Fall was a dominant right handed pitcher/outfielder for McClatchy, compiling a 14-7 overall record from 1965-66. He earned All-City honors his senior year, going 5-3 with a 2.88 ERA and 90 strikeouts while hitting .395 for the Lions. During that same period, he also pitched for Post 61 American Legion team.

Fall and fellow 2012 inductee Leron Lee are linked in local lore when Lee hit the longest ground-rule double in high school memory off Fall at the Lions’ home field.

In 1966 the Kansas City A’s drafted Fall in the 9th round and assigned him to Lewiston in the Northwest League. One of his teammates was Reggie Jackson. The following season, Fall split time in the A’s Rookie League and Single-A Burlington team in the Midwest League.

In 1968, his career was interrupted by one year of Army service.  

Meantime, Fall played on several Winter League, Mexican-American and Night League teams. He earned the win in the 1971 National Division Winter League title game for the Carmichael Merchants, striking out 11 in the 3-2 come-from-behind victory. He also played for the Merchants’ Night League squad in 1970 where he struck out 15 in a win over La Fiesta, which featured Fred Arroyo on the mound. While pitching for the Sac County Smokeys, Fall once threw 17 innings in a 19-inning game, struck out 18 batters and took a no decision!

After the A’s granted him his release Fall pitched one more season professionally in 1971 in the California Angels organization 

Pat coached several youth league teams including Little League, Colt League and Winter League.

 


 

Mike Furtado

Mike Furtado was a three-year starter as a pitcher and infielder for the McClatchy Lions (1962-64). In his senior season, he earned All-Metro honors (All-City) by the Sacramento Bee and was named the Most Valuable Player of his team.

He also played the same positions three years for Post 61 (1963-65) when they were the Area 1 champions in 1964 and 1965 and played in the  State Championships. In 1965, Furtado was named team MVP. 

Mike went on to play four years for Sacramento State as a pitcher and infielder. Twice the team took the Far West Conference (1965 and 1968), and Furtado was named 2nd Team All-Conference for his pitching in 1968 (  5-2, 2.62 ERA). In his sophomore season he posted a then- school record 1.31 ERA, finishing in the Top 25 nationally while hitting .333. 

Furtado played in nearly every bush league available, including: National Division of Winter League (1964-1976) for championship teams Julius (1967), Culjis (1969), Cal Loan (1971, ’72, ’73) and Capital Mall Realty (1975); La Fiesta (champions) in the County League (1964-66); Cannery Union (champions) and Reno CafĂ© in the Mexican-American League (  1967-72); Placerville Outlaws in the Placer-Nevada League (1965-66) and Culjis in the Night League (from its inception until 1975). Furtado also took Mexican-American League batting honors with the Cannery Union. 

In addition, Mike coached the Elk Grove High varsity from 1974 to 1983, posting a  191 -89 record while winning five league championships and a Division II Section Championship in 1981. He was voted Coach of the Year four times as the Thundering Herd’s skipper. 


 

Ken Hottman

Of all the talented players to come out of Sacramento, few can claim to have been drafted four times in two years as Ken Hottman.

Ken played locally at Elk Grove High and the Elk Grove American Legion teams. One of his teammates was Buck Martinez, who went on to a long major league career as a player and manager. At Sacramento City College Ken hit  .313, 8 home runs and 30 RBI in 1967 and in 1968 captured the Valley Conference Triple Crown with .363/7/31. Both Panthers’ teams finished as the state runners-up. With two exceptional seasons in JC ball, Hottman was drafted in the 2nd Round of the 1968 draft by the Chicago White Sox. 

Hottman played seven seasons of pro ball, culminating with his September call up with the Sox in 1971. He earned the major league appearance after hitting .302 with 37 home runs and 116 RBI for the Double-A Asheville club which won the Dixie Association crown that summer. Those stats also garnered Ken the Topps Player of the Year Award in the Southern League. His first at bat came against Kansas City, where former school friend and teammate Buck Martinez was behind the plate for the Athletics.

He also played on two other championship teams in his minor league career, including Appleton of the Midwest League in 1969 and Iowa Oaks, Eastern Division champions of the Triple-A American Association (AA). In 1974 Ken was traded to Cleveland and finished his career with the Indians Triple-A team, Oklahoma City (AA).

While still active, Ken played two seasons of Winter League with La Fiesta and Culjis. The latter was loaded with prime capital area talent, including major leaguers Larry Bowa, Buck Martinez, and Lowell Palmer.


 
Leron Lee

In June 1966, Leron Lee became the first Sacramento area ballplayer selected in the first round of the major league draft when the Cardinals took him with the 7th pick. A three-time varsity starter at Grant High where he twice made All-City, Lee hit .425 in 1965 as a junior, and .457 in his senior season.

That year, Lee became a local legend when he hit a monster shot off fellow La Salle Club Hall of Fame inductee Pat Fall at McClatchy that was later deemed a ground-rule double, despite traveling at least 400 feet in the air (For more on this story, visit BaseballSacramento.com/History/Time Travelin’ 1966).

A top running back for the Pacers, Lee had offers from 35 colleges, but he chose his first love baseball and signed with St. Louis. The Cardinals assigned Leron to Single-A Modesto in the California League where he played for future Hall of Fame manager, Sparky Anderson. At Modesto, Lee hit .297, 22 home runs, 67 RBI with a .522 slugging percentage, earning Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player in the California League, only the second player to claim both honors.

In the late ‘60s, Lee played for Winter League staples Wismer-Becker and the Jim Fellos-coached Gold Nuggets.

The Cardinals advanced Lee the next two years, culminating with his strong performance at Triple-A Tulsa (.303/17 HR/96 RBI). On September 5, 1969 he made his major league debut. In 1970, he made the Cardinals roster, earning spot starts throughout the season. In June 1971, the Cards traded Lee to San Diego.

In 1972 at San Diego, Lee had his best year as a pro, hitting .300 in 405 at-bats. That season on July 4, he broke up a no-hit bid by New York Mets star pitcher Tom Seaver with a single in the ninth inning.

Lee played eight years in the major leagues, hitting .250 for his career, which included stints with the Cardinals, Padres, Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers.

After Los Angeles released him in 1976, former Dodger Jim Lefebvre invited Leron to join him in Nippon Professional Baseball (commonly known as Japanese League). The following season, at age 29, Lee signed with the Lotte Orions and led the league in home runs (34) and RBI (109), making the “Best Nine,” the equivalent of MLB’s All-Star team. After Lefebvre retired, Lee invited his younger brother Leon to join him on the Orions, and together the Lee tandem struck fear in Japanese opponents for a decade.

Leron went on to make the Best Nine three more times (1980, 1984-85). His 11-year career in the Japanese League still ranks high atop the list of foreign players, including: .320 batting average (4th with a minimum 2000 ABs), 283 home runs (4th), 2,674 total bases (3rd) and 912 RBI (4th). Before Leron’s arrival, foreign players typically came to the Japanese League near the end of their careers. Lee’s example started a new trend.

Brother Leon, who also enjoyed a long, productive career in Japan, is the father of major leaguer Derrek Lee.

After retiring from Japanese baseball, Leron Lee served as the hitting coach for the World Series champion, Oakland Athletics in 1989. He continues to work in baseball and has business interests in Japan.


 
Don Murphy


Don Murphy’s baseball career began at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, where he was a boarding student.. He returned to the Sacramento area in 1962 and Don attended Bishop Armstrong. He played baseball two years for Coach Dick Sperbeck, graduating in 1964.

He was the catcher for Southside Legion in 1964-65. Don played two years of community college baseball at American River and two years at St. Mary’s College, graduating in 1968. That summer Detroit signed Murphy to a contract and he played for Batavia in the Class-A (Low A) New York-Penn League. The following season he was promoted to the Tigers’ Advanced-A team Rocky Mount, champions of the 1969 Carolina League, where he finished his pro career.

Murphy was a regular Sacramento busher, logging time in three leagues. Starting in 1964, he played in the Winter League for French Electric, Julius, Cal Loan and Klumps. In 1971, Cal Loan claimed the crown and one of Murphy’s highlights that season was catching a no-hitter thrown by Sacramento’s Bob Forsch. Forsch, who had been signed by the Cardinals as an infielder in 1968 was trying to stay in pro ball by returning to the mound, a position he excelled at during high school. Murphy credits coach Jim Fellos for giving Forsch the opportunity to pitch on a team that included Oakland A’s pitching prospect Dennis Meyers.

Don also played for La Fiesta in the County League (1966-67) and following his pro career played in the Night League from 1970-76 with Gold Nugget and Buggy Whip. He coached for league-winning Culjis in the Night League from 1980 to 1984.
Murphy also coached youth baseball at Land Park Little League and Land Park Pony League.

In addition to Fellos and Sperbeck, Don played for several “outstanding local baseball men,” including: Burt Bonomi, Lou Bordisso, Tom Morgan, Don Saner, Charlie Schanz and Babe Thomas.


 

Bob Puccinelli

For three years, Bob Puccinelli roamed the outfield for Sacramento High (1953-55). In his senior season, he led the team in hitting with a .407 average, was named the schools’ Outstanding Baseball Player, and made the Sacramento Union All-City team. Later that summer he starred for the champion Isleton team earning praise from columnist Vince Stanich “as one of the greatest bush prospects in County League history.” Bob also played for Muzio Bakery in the Valley League and the Sacramento Solons Rookies that included a number of future La Salle Club Hall of Famers.

Puccinelli went on to play three varsity seasons for Cal Berkeley, culminating his collegiate career with a win in the championship game of the 1957 College World Series as Cal nipped Penn State 1-0, going undefeated in the tournament. The Golden Bears, which had an outstanding showing in the 2011 CWS, haven’t won the college crown since Puccinelli’s team in 1957.

In college, Bob spent his summers playing for the Humboldt Crabs of Arcata (1956-58).

In 1959, he earned the University of California’s Sumner Mering Award as the outstanding senior student from the Sacramento area.

Following his senior season at Cal in 1959, the left-handed hitting outfielder Puccinelli signed with Cleveland. That year he played for the North Platte Indians Class Short-Season D in the Nebraska State League, hitting a team-leading .312. The following year, he was promoted to the  Class-B Burlington Indians of the Carolina League. But Puccinelli’s baseball career was cut short that summer when he sustained a rotator cuff injury in his throwing shoulder. 


 
Richard Separovich

 

A three-year starter for Christian Brothers’ varsity (1953-1955), Richard Separovich was named to the Sacramento Union All-City team in 1955 (batting .337) and was voted the Gaels Most Valuable Player. Twice he made the Sacramento Bee-KFBK All-Star team, which performed against other squads sponsored by Bee newspapers in cities like Modesto and Fresno.

During that time he also played third base and outfield for Southside American Legion.

Beginning in 1955, Separovich played four years in the National Division of the Sacramento Winter League: Cannery Union (1955-56) and Dales (1957-58). He also played in the County League for the Cannery Union (1956) and Rio Vista (1957), and for Dales in the Rural League (1958-1960), which claimed the championship in 1959.

For two years (1955-56) he performed on the Sacramento Solons’ Rookie Team with teammates Bob Puccinelli, Gus Niklas, Mel Grable, Jim Barudoni and Mike Bakarich. The Solons Rookies competed against the Oakland Rookies, Vacaville Med Facility and teams from Placer, Roseville, Placerville, Modesto, Redding and Penryn.

After high school, Richard played four years (1956-1959) in the outfield for the local college nine, Sacramento State. At that time the Hornets were in the Far West Conference, which included Cal Davis Aggies, University of Nevada, Chico State, San Francisco State and Humboldt State. Rich culminated his baseball career by hitting .410 and making First Team All-Conference his senior year.

He later went on to coach Goethe Junior High School from 1971-1975.

With his induction, Richard joins three family members in the La Salle Club Baseball Hall of Fame: father Mike Separovich (1976) and uncles Mark and Tony Separovich (1982).


 

 1962 Bishop Armstrong
Baseball Club

 

W  hen old time baseball people reminisce about the best high school baseball teams ever to play in Sacramento, the 1962 Bishop Armstrong team, led by head coach Dick Sperbeck, frequently springs to the top of the list. Six players from the squad made All-City, including the area's batting leader, and two of the top pitchers. While posting a dominating 22-2 record, the Falcons (who did not play in a conference) beat four conference champions from Northern California.

By mid-March, Bishop Armstrong had jumped out to a 9-0 record, with six consecutive victories coming on shutouts. The Falcons only two losses came against always-tough Lodi and the Stanford frosh at Sunken Diamond, led by pitcher Jim Lonborg, a future Cy Young Award Winner for the 1967 Boston Red Sox. The Falcons won a late season rematch with Lodi 2-1 in 12 innings at Land Park behind Mike Green, who struck out 20 and walked only three in going the distance.  

Green finished with the area's best pitching record of 9-0 (0.28 with 127K), while Larry Marietti was 9-2. Green (.416), Marietti (area-leading 24 RBI), Bonomi (.342) were returning All-City team members from 1961, while Doug Crawford (.333), Gene Cervantes (.367) and Mike Fox (the area’s hitting leader with a .482 average) also made the squad in the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union. Six All-City selections from one team has never been duplicated since Armstrong’s team accomplished it fifty years ago. 

To read more about this dynamic ballclub’s winning ways, visit http://www.baseballsacramento.com/History-Travelin%27_1962.html



For the complete list of La Salle Club Baseball Hall of Members visit the main page.


 Updated 05/09/12

 

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