The BBL Hall of Fame has announced the induction of two new members following league-wide voting, which began last month. Catcher Mike ‘Dinosaur’ Lapi, and pitcher Ricky Geraldo, became the newest members to join the hallowed halls of the leagues greatest stars since 1991.
Lapi played from 1995 until 2012, for numerous teams, first with the Kingston Battlements, then the Toronto Ducks, Chicoutimi Cinquantes, and Hamilton Industrials, before moving to the American Eagle League (AEL) to play for the Richmond Ravens then the California Tidals over six years. He then moved back to the Lake League (LL) for a year with the Ohio Oxen and finally a year with the New York Minutemen. He received 98.3% of the votes in his first year on the ballot, the second-highest vote after the iconic pitcher, Iron Arm, who had 99.7% in 2014.
During his career he was awarded league MVP four times (three in the LL, once in the AEL), was selected to the All-Star team 14 times, and won the Gold Crown award at the catcher position 10 times, and one more time as a DH. In 2003, he came close to winning the Triple Crown, taking the batting title with a .349 average, and hitting a league leading 28 home runs, but falling short on RBIs by just 3 – he had 78, and the league leader, Errol Corfield, had 81. He would have been the first Triple Crown winner since the league entered its modern era in 1995.
Ricky Geraldo joins several pitchers already in the Hall, and also played from 1995 until 2012, first with the California Tidals, then the Ohio Oxen, Hamilton Industrials, and Nevada Speeders, before returning to California for one season as a reliever, then moving on to the San Diego Seagulls, Seattle Salts and finally the Battle Creek Attack. His career record was 97-73, with a 3.41 ERA, tallying 1,218 strikeouts in 1,619.2 innings. Geraldo won the AEL Sandy Koufax Award in 1998 when he went 10-3 with a league-leading ERA of 1.90 along with an AEL topping 104 K’s.