For the complete list of Hall of Members visit the main
(Logo design by Walt
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
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
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.
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
Baseball Hall of Fame
All Biographies by Rick Cabral except where
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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 Café in the Mexican-American
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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’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.
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
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
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
In college, Bob spent his summers playing for the Humboldt Crabs of Arcata
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.
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
During that time he also played third base and outfield for Southside American
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
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
1962 Bishop Armstrong
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
To read more about this dynamic ballclub’s winning ways,
the complete list of La Salle Club Baseball Hall of Members visit the main