Dick Schoonover, pitching coach in Falmouth in the 90's and with Bourne earlier this decade, passed away on Monday, December 7, at the age of 81. To refer to Mr. Schoonover as a Cape League assistant coach does not begin to tell his story. Mr. Schoonover played six years of professional baseball in the Philadelphia Athletics and Cincinnati Reds organizations. He worked with present Bourne coach Harvey Shapiro as the pitching coach of the Dutch National Team. He also served as an assistant coach with the Nicaraguan Olympic Team, teaching the art of pitching to coaches and players.
Mr. Schoonover served as an assistant coach at Kent State University in 1986. After spending the 1988 season on the staff at Ohio State, Mr. Schoonover returned to Kent State in 1989 and was the pitching coach for the Golden Flashes from 1990-1996.
Mr. Schoonover served as the Falmouth Commodores pitching coach under Shapiro from 1994-1996 and he returned to that position in 1998 after a one year absence. When Shapiro was named head coach of Bourne in 2003, he brought Mr. Schoonover back to the Cape. Mr. Schoonover was the pitching coach for the Braves through the 2004 season. Jenabeth Ferguson has noted on the Braves website that Mr. Schoonover was able to come to the Cape this past summer and he spent three weeks working with the Braves pitching staff.
The Braves lead the league in 2003 with a team ERA of 2.10. The leaders of that staff were Eric Beattie (league ERA leader at 0.39), Kyle Schmidt (second in the league at 0.55) and Tim Grant (fourth, at 0.74).
During his time in Falmouth, Mr. Schoonover was the pitching coach when Eric Milton set the league record for individual ERA when he posted a 0.21 mark. Milton's '96 season and Beattie's '03 season place them one-two in the Cape League record book for individual ERA.