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In Memoriam: Pete Bock

Coastal Plain League

Pete Bock, a distinguished executive who co-founded the summer-collegiate Coastal Plain League and previously served as general manager of the Durham Bulls and the Hawaii Islanders, has passed away. 

Bock helped established the Coastal Plain League 21 years ago. In the years since its establishment, the summer-collegiate circuit has expanded into many markets within the Southeastern United States. Along with helping to establish the Coastal Plain League, Bock served as its commissioner and part owner for a number of years. Bock spent most of his adult life working in baseball, having operated Minor League teams including the Bulls, Hawaii Islanders, Eugene Emeralds and Idaho Falls Braves. He also served as the President and General Manager of the Raleigh IceCaps of the East Coast Hockey League.

Many of you have seen Pete without knowing it. In Bull Durham, Bock played the minister who married off Millie and Jimmy at the ballpark, with the team in uniform and Millie led to home plate under a procession of raised bats. According to Miles Wolff, interviewed by Mark Cryan in Cradle of the Game: Baseball & Ballparks in North Carolina, Bock landed the role because he was the only person who fit the suit already procured for whoever was cast as the minister — a last-minute decision.

The league announced his passing on Sunday. In his honor, all of the Coastal Plain League’s teams have been advised by the circuit to observe a moment of silence prior to their next home game. A full statement from Coastal Plain League owner and CEO Jerry Petitt and commissioner Justin Sellers can be found below:

We have received the sad news that Pete Bock has passed away.  Pete and I co-founded the Coastal Plain League 21 years ago and he served as Commissioner and part owner of the CPL for many years.  He suffered a devastating accident at home 3 1/2 years ago which left him paralyzed and wheelchair bound.
Pete previously was an umpire, general manager of several minor league teams including the Durham Bulls and general manager and part owner of a minor league hockey team. Our sincere condolences go to his wife, Cindy, and son, Jeff, and the rest of his family.
We have suggested that all CPL teams observe a moment of silence at their next home game in remembrance of Pete and his contributions to the CPL and to the game of baseball.
Jerry Petitt                                              Justin Sellers
Owner and CEO                                     COO and Commissioner

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