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Hot Stovers Club of South Jersey
Larry Litwin – 856-767-7730 – email@example.com
Today’s Date: Oct. 16, 2011 Release: Upon Receipt
(Full release/Pick up on next page)
Event: Hot Stovers Baseball Club of South Jersey 52nd Anniversary Dinner
DATE: Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011
TIME: 2 p.m.
PLACE: Masso’s Columbus Manor, Black Horse Pike, Williamstown.
Details: Seven inductees will have their names added to the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame housed at Campbell Field in Camden. Tickets, priced at $40, are now on sale and may be purchased by contacting banquet chair Dave Townsend at (856)424-8545 or Bill Wagner, Hot Stovers’ president, at (856)767-7170. This year’s inductees are former players: Elwood Bearint, of Camden’s semi-professional leagues and a Philadelphia A’s minor league player; Joe Cruz III, Overbrook High School ’95 and Camden County College; Ted Frett, Woodrow Wilson High School ’66 and Temple University; Chuck Ricci, Shawnee High School, ’87 and Philadelphia Phillies; Josh Schwartz, Gateway Regional ’00, Rowan University and Saint Louis Cardinals system; Steve Van Note, Atlantic City High School ‘99 and University of Delaware; and Larry Litwin, Pennsauken High School, ’63 and Parsons College, who enters as a contributor (current umpire, sports announcer).
In addition, the Hot Stovers will be honoring its 2011 High School All-Star team, South Jersey Coach of the Year, American Legion Most Valuable Player, and six scholarship recipients including winners of the Tom Heinkel, Bill Carty, and Robert Bobo Memorial Scholarship Awards.
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Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 1 of 6 – October 16, 2011
Seven inductees will have their names added to the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame housed at Campbell Field in Camden. The induction luncheon is set for Masso’s Columbus Manor, Black Horse Pike, Williamstown on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets, priced at $40, are now on sale and may be purchased by contacting banquet chair Dave Townsend at (856) 424-8545 or Bill Wagner, Hot Stovers’ president, at (856) 767-7170.
In addition, the Hot Stovers will be honoring its 2011 High School All-Star team,
South Jersey Coach of the Year, American Legion Most Valuable Player, and six
scholarship recipients including winners of the Tom Heinkel, Bill Carty, and Robert
Bobo Memorial Scholarship Awards.
This year’s inductees are former players: Elwood Bearint, of Camden’s semi-professional leagues and a Philadelphia A’s minor league player; Joe Cruz III, Overbrook High School ’95 and Camden County College; Ted Frett, Woodrow Wilson High School ’66 and Temple University; Chuck Ricci, Shawnee High School, ’87 and Philadelphia Phillies; Josh Schwartz, Gateway Regional ’00, Rowan University and Saint Louis Cardinals system; Steve Van Note, Atlantic City High School ‘99 and University of Delaware; and Larry Litwin, Pennsauken High School, ’63 and Parsons College, who enters as a contributor (current umpire, sports announcer).
Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 2 of 6 – October 16, 2011
Elwood Bearint is entering the Hall posthumously. He grew up in the Cramer Hill section of Camden where he was considered one of the top baseball players in the area. He was a crafty left-handed pitcher. Newspaper stories and boxscores indicate he was an above average hitter and excellent defensive outfielder when not pitching.
He was signed by Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics in 1926 and played for the Chambersburg (Pa.) Maroons in the Blue Ridge League and York (Pa.) in the New York-Penn League in 1926 where he hit .256 with a 7-6 pitching record.
In 1927, Bearint hit .316 for the Maroons with a 1-4 pitching record. In an exhibition game for the York Roses, he pitched against the St. Louis Cardinals (facing Rogers Hornsby) losing 6-2.
Prior to signing with the A’s, Bearint pitched and hit for the successful Defiance team in Camden. In 1923, Defiance took the Camden City championship with a 33-8 record. After injuring his elbow in 1927, he returned from the minors to lead Camden to championships in the South Jersey Police League and Strawbridge and Clothier in the Camden City League. For a time, he was a mechanic in the Camden Police garage.
He continued to play in the area during the ’30s and /’40s while running a roofing business. Bearint died in 1954 at 48. Both of his younger brothers, Paul and Chuck, played professional ball and are members of the SJ HOF.
Joe Cruz is a 1995 Overbrook (Pine Hill) graduate and an All American in ’96 and ’97 at Camden County College. In 1997, he was National Junior College Player of the Year, Region 19 Player of the Year and South Jersey Baseball Coaches Player of the Year and named to Team USA.
Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 3 of 6 – October 16, 2011
At Overbrook, Cruz was an outstanding infielder and hitter batting .430, .419 and .469 respectively in ’93, ’94 and ’95. He had double digits in extra base hits and runs batted in all three years. He was All-Olympic Conference all three years, All-Group IV and All-South Jersey in ’94 and ’95 and All-State in ’95. In 1995, Cruz was honored by the Hot Stovers with the Billy Carty Memorial Scholarship. He was Most Valuable Player of the North-South New Jersey State All-Star game in ’95.
Cruz transferred to Mount Olive (N.C.) College where he was first team
All-Regional MVP and played with the 1998 Team USA in Toronto, Canada. Later he
signed with Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic Independent League.
Ted Frett is a 1966 Woodrow Wilson graduate. The left-handed pitcher and hitter
led the Tigers to the Camden City Series Championship, was his team’s MVP and was selected Camden City Player of the Year. In 1966, he tossed one no hitter, two one hitters, and two two hitters. A member of the Cramer Hill Boys Club, he was honored as the winner of the Boys Club of America Medallion emblematic of “Boy of the Year.”
Frett received a baseball scholarship to Temple University where he is still third all-time in strike outs averaging 9.44 per game and 11th in strike outs with 166. His four-year earned run average was 3.07. He was a First Team All-Star pitcher in NCAA District II in 1969 and caught the eye of professional scouts in May 1968 when he tossed a three hitter against Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) snapping the Profs’ 35-game winning streak.
Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 4 of 6 – October 16, 2011
During the summer, he played in the South Dakota Basin League and named an All Star averaging 13 strike outs per game enroute to a 9-4 record.
After graduating from Temple, he signed with the Boston Red Sox playing for Greenville (S.C.) and Winter Haven (Fla.) – Class A. When his professional career ended, Frett returned to the area to play for another 10 years in the Philadelphia Penn-Del and other leagues in South Jersey and Philadelphia.
He is a life-long educator and retired principal living in West Deptford where he is proud to say, “I fly the flag in front of our home 24/7, 365 days a year.” He is the nephew of South Jersey Hall of Famer Fred “General” Frett, HOF ’91 also from the Cramer Hill section of Camden.
Chuck Ricci is a 1987 Shawnee High School graduate and former Phillies pitcher. Now a national cross checker for Cleveland Indians, he has spent 25 years in professional baseball.
At Shawnee, he earned four varsity letters being named All-Conference in ’85, ’86 and ’87, All-Group IV and All-South Jersey in ’86 and ’87 and All-State in 1987. Ricci posted a career 31-6 record and 1.73 ERA for the Renegades.
During his 11 year professional career (1987-97), Ricci, a right hander, went
65-60 with 49 saves and a 3.94 ERA. He led the International (AAA) League with 25 saves in 1995 and was named Pitcher of the Year with the Scranton Red Barons. He had a short stint with the Phillies and went 1-0 with the Phillies in 1995 with nine strikeouts and a 1.80 ERA.
Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 5 of 6 – October 16, 2011
Josh Schwartz had stellar careers at Gateway High School (’00) and Rowan University. He was taken by the Saint Louis Cardinals in the 42nd round of the Major League Baseball draft after graduating from Rowan in 2005.
At Rowan, Schwartz won 37 consecutive games, holds the Prof record for shutouts in a season with four and the career record with eight. He also holds the Profs’ career record for wins in a season, 13, career victories, 38, and a career ERA of 2.03. He is tied for the university record of 17 career complete games.
He was a three-time New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association (NJCBA) Division II/III Pitcher of the Year. He earned NJAC All-Conference honors and American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)
All-Region First Team honors three times. In 2004 and 2005, he was named to the ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division III Baseball All-America First Team. Schwartz is a member of the All-2000 Decade team – Division III.
The lefthander went 9-2 in his senior year at Gateway where he was
All-Conference, All-Group and All-South Jersey. He is now the pitching coach at Gloucester County College, 2009 national champions and the 2010 runners up.
Steve Van Note, a 1999 graduate of Atlantic City High School, earned four varsity letters in baseball. He led the Cape Atlantic League his senior year, batting .556. He was All-Group IV, All-Conference and All-South Jersey in 1998 and ’99.
Pick up Hot Stover honorees/Page 6 of 6 – October 16, 2011
At the University of Delaware, Van Note was team captain and MVP batting .333 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI and a team-leading 19 stolen bases He is 10th all-time among Blue Hen home run hitters with 31.
Van Note spent three seasons with the Lancaster Barnstormers in the Atlantic Independent League leading them to the league title. He has taken his baseball prowess to the All-Star Baseball Academy in West Chester, Pa. where he serves as director of special events.
Larry Litwin is being inducted as the 2011 contributor. He played his high school baseball at Pennsauken (’63), summer ball in the Delaware Valley League where he was All-Star Game MVP in ’62 and Garden State League leading the league in hitting in 1963 with a .429 average. He went onto Parsons (Iowa) College (’67) where he became a sports announcer after suffering a career-ending injury.
Since 1965, Litwin has covered and announced hundreds of high school, college and professional baseball, football and basketball games. He is a 35-year member of the New Jersey Baseball Umpires Association – officiating nearly 1,500 college, independent and high school games including New Jersey State finals, semi-finals and several North-South All-Star Games.
As an announcer, Litwin called games for WJJZ (Mount Holly), WKDN and WCAM (Camden), ABC’s World of Sports (New York), and KYW Newsradio (Philadelphia). On Aug. 11, 1981, Litwin was behind the microphone at Veterans Stadium for the Westinghouse Broadcasting Network and called the Pete Rose hit that broke Stan Musial’s National League hit record. He became a member of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association in 1968 and has served as secretary since 1977.
In addition to his involvement in amateur and professional sports, Litwin has been a full- and part-time faculty member at Rowan University for 41 years.