Earl Averill, Frank Demaree and Johnny Moore are this year’s inductees into the 2009 Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Earl Averill headlines the 2009 Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame class announced today by the League. Frank Demaree and Johnny Moore, two of the circuit’s greatest hitters are also being recognized for their distinguished careers in the PCL.
Earl "Rock" Averill spent just three seasons with the San Francisco Seals but established himself as one of the league’s best hitting outfielders. In his final season with the Seals he helped them win the 1928 PCL Championship. That year the outfield trio of Averill, Roy Johnson, and fellow PCL Hall of Famer Jolly Smead were unsurpassed at the plate. Averill’s .354 batting average was the lowest of the three (Jolley, .404; Johnson, .360). Averill led the league with 178 runs and had 53 doubles, 36 home runs, and 173 RBI. His contract was purchased the following season by the Cleveland Indians of the American League and he would go on to play thirteen seasons with the Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Boston Braves. He returned to the Pacific Coast League in 1941 and spent half a season with the Seattle club. He retired after the 1941 season and was elected by the veteran’s committee to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.
The 1934 Los Angeles Angels of the PCL are often described as the greatest minor league team of all time and Joseph “Frank” Demaree was a key member of that squad. The 1934 season was also the greatest statistical season for Demaree in his only season with the Angels. He hit .383 with 190 runs, 51 doubles, 45 home runs, and 173 RBI. Not only was he a member of the run-away PCL champions, Demaree was the Triple Crown winner and the Most Valuable Player. He played for Sacramento (1930-1932), Los Angeles (1934) and Portland (1944-1945) in his six seasons in the PCL. His career also included twelve seasons in the American and National Leagues with stops with the Chicago Cubs, New York Giants, Boston Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns.
A model of consistency, John “Johnny” Moore rarely received coverage from the media that followed the teams he played with. Yet he came to the ballpark everyday and went about his business in a quiet manner. He played in over 1,100 PCL games, all with the same club — Los Angeles from 1930-1931 and 1938-1945. In his ten seasons he hit below .300 just once, in 1943, when he hit .290. His best statistical season was 1930 when he hit .342 with 120 runs, 45 doubles, 26 home runs, and 101 RBI and helped Los Angeles finish second to the Hollywood Stars. Moore also played ten seasons in the National League playing with the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Philadelphia Phillies. His lifetime batting average was .307 in the National League and .326 in the PCL. After retiring as a player he scouted for the Braves and Expos until 1970.
The 2009 inductees to the Hall of Fame were selected by the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame Committee, a blue-ribbon panel composed of Minor League Baseball, Coast League, and National Baseball historians. More information on the PCL Hall of Fame can be found on the League’s website: www.pclbaseball.com.