Enfield Native Elected To Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall Of Fame

Enfield Native Elected To Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall Of Fame

Chris Corkum was a standout player at Enfield High School and Providence College before playing three decades in the Tri-County League.
Chris Corkum at bat during a USA Over 30 All Stars game in the Virgin Islands in 1992. (Courtesy of Chris Corkum)

HOLYOKE, MA — Two outstanding baseball players with connections to Enfield - one directly and the other indirectly - are among five individuals who have been elected to the Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame.

Chris Corkum, an Enfield High School graduate who played at Providence College before embarking on a lengthy career in the Western Mass. Tri-County League and as an instructor, and Doug Clark of Springfield, brother of Enfield High School assistant principal Connell Clark, will be inducted as part of the 10th anniversary class. Past honorees include Baseball Hall of Fame members Rabbit Maranville, Leo Durocher, Candy Cummings, Jack Chesbro and Frank Grant.

At Enfield, Corkum, 70, led the team with a .450 batting average in his senior year. Following graduation in 1970, he played varsity baseball at Providence from 1970 to 1973; the Friars were ranked second in New England Division I in 1972.

He began playing in the Tri-County League in 1979 and stayed more than 30 years, including parts of four decades. He amassed a league-record 1,020 hits, was annually named to the league all-star team, and was elected Manager of the Year in 1991. The Broad Brook resident began playing in the Connecticut Men’s Senior Baseball League in 1990, and competed for seven years in the Greater Hartford Twilight League.

In 1984, he founded Chris Corkum's Baseball Inc., and runs dozens of camps annually in Connecticut and Massachusetts. He also remains heavily involved in coaching youth baseball.

"I'm very humbled by this," he told Patch. "I was, and still am fortunate to be around great people and kids, and hopefully help them become the best they can be."

Corkum was elected to the Enfield Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001, alongside his high school coach, Bob Bromage.

"Chris was a real conscientious player," Bromage said. "He worked like hell in high school and in college at Providence. Baseball has been his whole life."

(Left) Chris Corkum batting for Enfield High School. (Right) Playing first base at Providence College. (Courtesy of Chris Corkum)

Following an excellent dual career in baseball and football at the University of Massachusetts, Clark, 46, was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the seventh round of the 1998 Major League Baseball draft. He made his big league debut in 2005, getting into a dozen games with the Giants and Oakland Athletics over the next two seasons.

He enjoyed a successful 17-year professional career, compiling a .292 career batting average with 1,261 hits and 95 home runs in 10 minor league seasons. In 2003 and 2004, he appeared in 253 games for the Norwich Navigators, the Giants' Double-A farm team, batting .296 with 14 home runs, 120 runs batted in and 41 stolen bases. He also played nine seasons in Mexico and three in Korea.

"It was a labyrinth with a lot of twists and turns," Clark told Patch Wednesday. "This is a tremendous honor; I've had very talented teammates, coaches and friends through the years. Growing up, I looked up to local athletes and wanted to be like them."

After his playing days, Clark coached for seven years in the Giants farm system. For the 2022 season, he moved to the Boston Red Sox organization, and was named hitting coach for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs.

The Hall of Fame induction dinner is slated for March 2 at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow, Mass. Tickets may be obtained here.

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