Inaugural Class of 2009
Pitcher, 3rd Baseman
Jim Falls Sturgeons 1967-74, 76-78, 89; Hallie Eagles 1979-80, 84, 86-88, 96
During a league career that touched four decades, Hepfler was known from start to finish as a powerful, hard-throwing righty who possessed an electric curveball to compliment a hissing fastball.
In 1968 — his second year in the league — Hepfler became the fourth pitcher in league history to win the pitching triple crown, leading the league with 9 wins, 144 strikeouts, and an ERA of 1.38 in a league high 85 innings pitched. In the 1968 All-Star game, Hepfler’s Sturgeons whipped the League All-Stars 10-2, as he was named MVP for his 3-hit complete game performance in which he notched 14 K’s and retired 21 of the first 22 batters in the game. At the plate, Dave was 2-for-4 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI’s.
From 1967 to 1969, Hepfler went a combined 18 and 2 with 287 strikeouts in 165 innings and an ERA of 1.59. Then from 1986 to 1989 — in a testament to his longevity — he went 9 and 0 with 102 strikeouts in 73.2 innings and an ERA of 2.08. Within this qualitative span, the righty grabbed an ERA title in 1988 with a 1.57 mark and then led the league in saves with 3 in 1989.
In 1987, hurled the league’s 24th no-hitter, a five-inning 15-0 win vs. the Lafayette Lakers. Led the league in saves with 3 in 1989. Came out of retirement in 1996 to help the Hallie Eagles win the CRBL title game over Tilden, pitching two innings of scoreless relief.
Possessed power at the plate as well, driving out 31 homeruns and driving in 168 runs during league career. Attained season high of 5 homeruns twice (1979 and 1987) and 18 RBI’s twice (1971 and 1979). Hit over .300 in seven of his 18 league seasons, with a high of .390 (16 for 41) in 1969. Led the league with 20 RBI’s in 1971.
The dual threat that Hepfler provided helped his teams claim seven division titles, two league championships, qualify for 10 WBA tournaments, and survive to play three Final 8’s.
Elected All-CRBL four times (1972, 1979, 1988, 1989) and appeared in five All-Star games (1968, 1970, 1971, 1980, 1984).
Upon induction, his highest rankings as a pitcher include being 2nd all-time in strikeouts per 9 innings, tied for 10th in saves, 11th in total strikeouts, and tied for 13th in wins. Offensively, his highest level is in homeruns where he is tied for 15th all-time.