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Rochester hosts IL Hall of Fame ceremony06/22/2009 6:00 PM ET
Three members of the International League Hall of Fame Class of 2009 will be honored this Saturday, June 27 during a pre-game ceremony at Rochester's Frontier Field. Steve Demeter, Bill Short, and Ed Stevens each spent a portion of their International League careers with the Red Wings. The ceremony is one of several to take place this season to honor the 14-member Class of 2009. Each inductee will be presented with "The Curtain Call" trophy.
Steve Demeter, Bill Short, and Ed Stevens have each had their names added to the International League Hall of Fame Plaque Display, which will be on hand during the ceremony in Rochester. The following is a brief retrospective of the Hall of Fame careers of each player:
Steve Demeter - Third baseman Steve Demeter was an International League All-Star with Buffalo in 1955 after hitting .285 with 17 homers and 79 RBI. Five years later he returned to the IL and became a staple of the League during the 1960's, playing in over 1,250 games and winning three Governors' Cups during the decade. Demeter enjoyed nine seasons with double-digit home run totals, including 25 bombs in 1961 and 26 in 1962 for Toronto. He led the League in RBI in 1965 (90), hits in 1966 (166), and the following year he paced the circuit for the third straight time in doubles (28, 32, 32).
Demeter's last season in the IL came in 1969 with Syracuse, his fourth team in the League. He retired with a lifetime average of .284 in nearly 1,400 games, having hit 159 home runs with 778 RBI. He was a three-time postseason All-Star, and he played on three pennant winners. Demeter went on to an accomplished career as a Minor League manager, including two years in the IL with Charleston. He took the Charlies to the playoffs in 1975, and later managed in Buffalo (in the Eastern League).
Bill Short - Left-handed pitcher Bill Short won 83 games in 9 IL seasons, a career bookended by All-Star campaigns. In 1959 at the age of 21, Short was the League's Most Valuable Pitcher, going 17-6 with a 2.48 ERA for the Richmond Virginians. He won 13 games in 1963 with Rochester, posting a 3.38 ERA he nearly matched a year later in helping the Red Wings to the Governors' Cup Championship. Short led the IL with a .765 winning percentage in 1965 (13-4) to go along with a 2.92 ERA. He bettered that mark in 1966 (2.78), and the following season he was named the left-handed pitcher on the League's postseason All-Star Team after winning 14 games for Columbus.
Short compiled an 83-50 record in the International League with a 3.08 ERA in 200 games pitched over nine seasons. During that time he had several stints in the Major Leagues, appearing in a total of 73 games with the Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox, Pirates, Mets, and Reds.
Ed Stevens - First baseman Ed Stevens was only 19 years old when he drove in 102 runs for Montreal in 1944. "Big Ed" appeared headed for a long career in the majors, but his big league career was cut short in 1947 when the Brooklyn Dodgers replaced him with Jackie Robinson. Stevens went on to a storied International League career, playing in over 1,200 games, hitting 188 home runs and knocking in 810 runs.
Stevens won a pair of RBI titles in the 1950's with Toronto. In all he had four seasons with at least 20 home runs and four with at least 100 RBI. He was a member of two IL postseason All-Star Teams (1947 and 1952) and played for four pennant winners (1945, 1954, 1956, and 1958). After three seasons in Montreal and five with Toronto, Stevens concluded his IL career in Rochester in 1957 and 1958.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.