Class of 2012
Cooks Valley Hayshakers 1971-82; Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks 1983-86
A strong right-handed hitter with prodigious power, Pat Prince tore up league pitching for 16 seasons as a member of Coon Valley Hayshakers and Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks.
With the baseball rich Prince family jump-starting the Hayshakers in 1971, brothers and fellow CRBL Hall of Famers Pat, Joe, and Stan provided plenty of offensive force for Cooks Valley’s line-up during the organizations 13 seasons of existence.
Beginning in 1974, Pat had a string of 12 consecutive campaigns in which he hit better than .300. The bright spot for this streak occurred when he hit over .400 in consecutive years, doing so in 1979 (.407, 24 for 59) and 1980 (.423, 22 for 52).
With his plenteous for power, the long-ball hitting Prince tied for the league lead in that category in 1975 with 2. He hit a career best of 6 homers in 1980 and 1984, while also driving in a personal best 22 runs during those seasons as well.
The firepower of the Prince family and the Hayshakers line-up never quite reached the .500 mark or the WBA tournament. That changed for Pat and brother Stan when they joined the fledgling Chippewa Falls Lumberjacks in 1983 after the Hayshakers disbanded. Pat’s big bat (.380 avg., 3 homers, 17 RBI’s) and veteran play helped the ‘Jacks to a 14 and 6 record, a North Division title, a 13-7 win over Cadott in the CRBL title game, and a spot in the WBA tournament. In the league championship vs. Cadott, Pat stayed true to form by knocking a solo homer in a 1 for 4 day with 3 runs scored.
Prince followed up with another power packed year in 1984 (.333 avg., 6 homers, 22 RBI’s) helping Chippewa Falls to another winning record of 13 and 5 and a second consecutive WBA birth. 1985 was Pat’s last full-time effort, checking in with a .300 ledger, 3 homeruns and 10 RBI’s for the Woodcutter’s 11 and 2 crew that won the North Division for the second time, made their third consecutive WBA tourney, and tamed the Lafayette Indians 8-7 in the CRBL title game. In that victory vs. the Tribe, Pat hit a pivotal 5th inning 3-run homer, knotting the game at 6 runs a piece.
Along his road to 286 career hits, Pat topped the 20 hit barrier seven times, with his 1983 total of 27 being a personal best. Joining brothers Joe and Stan as CRBL Hall of Famers, Pat is ranked all-time between 20th and 29th place in nearly every hitting category.
During his league career, the slugging Prince participated in four all-star games (1971, 1972, 1983, 1985), and was recognized as an All-CRBL pick twice (1974 and 1980).