The 2022 Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame class included two former Kettleers in Justin Smoak and Patrick Biondi, who were inducted Sunday at the Wequasset Resort in Harwich, Mass.
Smoak played college baseball at the University of South Carolina and spent one season with Cotuit in 2006. The switch-hitting first baseman tore up the Cape League that summer, leading all hitters with 11 home runs, 21 extra-base hits, and a .565 slugging percentage en route to winning the Pat Sorenti MVP award. In addition, Smoak started for the West Division All-Stars and was selected to the All-CCBL team that year.
Smoak followed up the incredible summer with Cotuit by representing Team USA in the 2007 Pan American Games. One year later he was drafted 11th overall by The Texas Rangers in the 2008 MLB Draft. Smoak enjoyed an 11-year MLB career, tallying 196 home runs and made the AL All-Star team in 2017 with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Justin Smoak speaks at the 2022 Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame ceremony. (Photo by Saylor Murphy)
Biondi joined Smoak to represent Cotuit in the 2022 class. The University of Michigan product played with the Kettleers for two summers after his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Wolverines. In his final year with Cotuit in 2012, Biondi racked up 52 hits in 41 games for a .388 batting average and won the Cape League batting title.
“It’s pretty cool to be able to look back and feel like my time there made an impact on the people in Cotuit in a way that they felt like, ‘Hey, we want you to represent us in this,’” said Biondi in a July interview with Joe Pratt.
Biondi started on the West Division All-Star team in 2012 and earned team MVP honors. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the ninth round of the 2013 MLB Draft and had a six-year professional career.
Biondi was inducted by Kettleers coach Mike Roberts at the ceremony.
“I’m always grateful when a former Kettleers player asks me to do that. It’s very rewarding to have that opportunity, but when you look at the entire picture of the day, the day is the same as every game in the Cape League,” said Roberts. “The Cape League is for the players, and the Hall of Fame ceremony is for the inductees.”
Six men in total were inducted at the ceremony, including three other CCBL and MLB All-Stars in Billy Wagner, Marcus Stroman, and Ian Happ. Steven Wilson, a CCBL executive for over 30 years, rounded out the class.
Mike Roberts and Patrick Biondi (Photo by Saylor Murphy)