At the end of the 2017 season, Chatham's John Schiffner will step down as Manager of the Chatham Anglers. This season marks his 25th season as Manager, and 34th season involved in the league. He is the winningest and longest-tenured manager in CCBL history.
The Cape Cod Times has launched the "Cape League Corner" podcast. The first episode features none other than CCBL President Chuck Sturtevant, as he looks ahead to the 2017 season!
Subscribe on iTunes, or where you get your podcasts. You can listen to the first episode below:
It's been a long time coming, but it appears the search for the Cape League Hall of Fame's new home is complete. Total Athletics of Cape Cod has announced a partnership with the league to house the Hall of Fame inside a new 90,000 square foot complex that will be built in Independence Park in Hyannis. The Hyannis Sports Complex is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2018.
The Hyannis Sports Complex, as reported by the Cape Cod Times, will also be the home of CCBL meetings, CCBL player instruction/skill development, and off-season community events in support of youth baseball.
Cape League President Chuck Sturtevant said that "the hall of fame may go mobile and travel from park to park this summer until it settles permanently at the athletic complex".
I was doing some housecleaning recently and came across some Cape Cod Baseball League items that had been packed away many years ago. These items weren't necessarily "lost," but let's just say it's amazing how much stuff a family can accumulate over the course of a few decades and three changes of location. Two of the items were actual game jerseys, both going back to the late 60's, early 70's. One is a gray Orleans Cardinals (now Firebirds) uniform top (number 15) with script "Orleans" across the front. The thing that always struck me as odd about this (and I do remember seeing the Bob Hansen-era Orleans teams wear these) is that the "Orleans," trim, and number are blue. Even as a young 'un, I was pretty sure there were no such things as blue cardinals flying around, so I never really understood the color choice. The other item is a white Falmouth jersey, probably from 1970-'72. This top has a fancy block "Falmouth" across the front. The color combo for the trim near the collar, down the front, and around the number "6" is green and yellow. The Commodores wore these back in the day when star players like Billy Almon and Paul Mitchell called Guv Fuller Field home. I always thought these unis were pretty cool and upon inspecting this recent find, I still like the look. When Falmouth was wearing these, Charles Finley had his Oakland A's teams decked out in predominantly green and gold. Because of that, I remember thinking it would have made a lot more sense for the Chatham A's (now Anglers) to wear this color combo.
Since there is a very limited number of people who would be interested in CCBL memorabilia, I contacted a few folks who are presently involved with the CCBL and its Hall of Fame and asked if they would have any interest in these jerseys. That was more than a month ago and I did not get a response. That's okay. They now occupy an area in an office along with many other CCBL items. There are too many to list, and probably too few of you interested in this old stuff, but some memories came back when looking at team yearbooks from when the Bourne Canalmen played at Keith Field - yes, that tiny field located almost under the Sagamore Bridge was once home to a Cape League team - and the Yarmouth Indians who at one time called Simpkins Field (across from the state police barracks on Route 28) home.
In case you missed it, last year the Cape Cod Times created 360° videos of every field used in the Cape Cod Baseball League. You can view the videos with Google Chrome at https://www.youtube.com/user/capecodtimes/videos or via the YouTube app on your mobile device.
Barnstable Little League is aiming to complete a "built to scale" Fenway Park by Thanksgiving, according to the Cape Cod Times. The field will be added to the Lorusso Complex, which already includes two fields for little leaguers. This new field will be used for Little League Tee Ball, and the teams will be named after organizations in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
The field will officially be called "Fenway Cape Cod", and it was designed and named with the help of the Boston Red Sox, according to LittleLeague.org. The field will include the Green Monster, Citgo sign, centerfield triangle and the right field bullpens.
The Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame is once again attempting a move this off-season, according to the Cape Cod Times. Last year, the league cancelled the annual Hall of Fame ceremony and announced they would be moving the Hall. Plans were quietly scrapped.
If you haven't been to the Hall, I'd suggest going soon before the possible move. It's located in the lower level of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum at 397 Main Street in Hyannis. You should visit the JFK Hyannis Museum website for operating hours.
So, where do you think the Hall of Fame should move to?
- Should it stay in Hyannis, in the middle of the Cape?
- Should it be located near a field, or does that matter?
- Maybe it could fill in one of the empty retails spots on Main Street in Hyannis?
Leave a comment!
If you're a fan of the Cape Cod Baseball League, you probably have a bit of merch and memorabilia. I've definitely bought a number of shirts and hats throughout the years, including a 2016 All-Star Game shirt from this year's game in Chatham. But one of the most sought after items ever produced is from 1988.
In 1988, Ballpark Cards produced a single printing of about 6000 baseball card sets with top Cape League players. The company sold them for $5 or gave them away to players and league officials/volunteers. Two of the best players were selected from each team for cards, along with a card with each team's photo. In addition to the sets, Ballpark Cards also printed an unknown number of 20"x24" oversized display cards for promotion; The League auctioned off a three-card set in 2006.
Here's the complete list of cards from the 1988 set, with some facts about the players (please leave a comment if you spot any inaccuracies or have additional details):
- Tom Drell (Bourne)
MiLB: 1990-1992, reached A+
- Mark Johnson (Bourne)
MLB: Pittsburgh 1995-1997, Anaheim 1998, New York Mets 2000-2002
- Jimmie Jones (Chatham)
- Jeff Bagwell (Chatham)
MLB: Houston 1991-2005
Candidate for National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017
Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame
- Robert Gralewski (Brewster)
- Dennis Burbank (Brewster)
MiLB: 1991-1992, reached A+
- Brian Shabosky (Cotuit)
- Jeff Litzinger (Cotuit)
- Thomas Raffo (Falmouth)
MiLB: 1990-1992, reached A+
- Bob Kiser (Falmouth)
- John Valentin (Hyannis)
MLB: Boston 1992-2001, New York Mets 2002
Drafted by Boston Red Sox in 1988 and never played a single CCBL game
Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame
- Kevin Morton (Hyannis)
MLB: Boston 1991
- Jesse Levis (Orleans)
MLB: Cleveland 1992-1995 + 1999, Milwaukee 1996-1998 + 2001
- Frank Thomas (Orleans)
MLB: Chicago White Sox 1990-2005, Oakland 2006-2008, Toronto 2007-2008
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame
- Chuck Knoblauch (Wareham)
MLB: Minnesota 1991-1997, New York Yankees 1998-2001, Kansas City 2002
Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame
- Maurice Vaughn (Wareham)
MLB: Boston 1991-1998, Anaheim 1999-2000, New York Mets 2002-2003
Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame
Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame
- Mike Mordecai (Yarmouth-Dennis)
MLB: Atlanta 1994-1997, Montreal 1998-2002, Florida 2002-2005
- Stephen O'Donnell (Yarmouth-Dennis)
MiLB: 1989-1992, reached A+
- Harry Ball (Harwich)
MiLB: 1990, reached A-Rk
- Brian Turang (Harwich)
MLB: Seattle 1993-1994
- Brewster Whitecaps
Team photo includes the following Major Leaguers: Dave Staton, San Diego 1993-1994; F.P. Santangelo, Montreal 1995-1998, San Francisco 1999, Los Angeles 2000, Oakland 2001; Erik Bennett, California 1995, Minnesota 1996
- Orleans Cardinals
Team photo includes the following Major Leaguers: J.T. Snow, New York Yankees 1992, California 1993-1996, San Francisco 1997-2005 + 2008, Boston 2006; Matt Howard, New York Yankees 1996; Brian Bark, Boston 1995
- Chatham A's
Team photo includes the following Major Leaguers: Mark Sweeney, St. Louis 1995-1997, San Diego 1997-1998 +2002, Cincinnati 1999, Milwaukee 2000-2001, San Francisco 2006-07, Los Angeles Dodgers 2007-2008; Dave Swartzbaugh, Chicago Cubs 1995-1997; Dan Peltier, Texas 1992-1993, San Francisco 1996
- Cotuit Kettleers
Team photo includes the following Major Leaguers: Tim Salmon, California/Anaheim: 1992-2006
- Wareham Gateman
Team photo includes the following Major Leaguers: Kevin King, Seattle 1993-1995; Darron Cox, Montreal 1999
- Bourne Braves
- Falmouth Commodores
Team photo includes the following Major Leaguers: George Tsamis, Minnesota 1993; Mike Trombley, Minnesota 1992-1998, Baltimore 2000-2001, Los Angeles Dodgers 2001, Minnesota 2002; Gary Scott, Chicago Cubs 1991-1992
- Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox
Team photo includes the following Major Leaguers: Steve Parris, Pittsburgh 1995-1996, Cincinnati 1998-2000, Toronto 2001-2002, Tampa Bay 2003
- Harwich Mariners
Team photo includes the following Major Leaguers: Alan Zinter, Houston 2002, Arizona 2004; Rafael Novoa, San Francisco 1990, Milwaukee 1993
- Hyannis Mets
Team photo includes the following Major Leaguers: Jeromy Burnitz, New York Mets 1993-1994 + 2002-2003, Cleveland 1995-1996, Milwaukee 1996-2001, Los Angeles Dodgers 2003, Colorado 2004, Chicago Cubs 2005, Pittsburgh 2006
In total, 40 future Major Leaguers played on the Cape during the 1988 season. But not all of them were pictured in the baseball card set.
If you search for 1988 Cape Cod baseball cards, you'll run across another set by P&L Promotions with some different players and stars along the sides. At the top of each card, it says "Cape Cod League" and "NCAA Summer Baseball". Since the NCAA was not involved in the creation of the cards, this caused a bit of a problem. Subsequently, the league banned outside companies from creating baseball card sets. However, individual teams have made their own baseball card sets.
- Baseball card set in a league of its own by Mike Richard
Barnstable Patriot, August 5, 2016
- 20 Years Ago, 40 Eventual Major Leaguers Starred
Cape Cod Baseball League, June 16, 2008
- 2006 Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame Game Auction
September 1, 2006
- eBay: 1988 Cape Cod Baseball League Prospects Set
Accessed August 14, 2016
The 2016 CCBL season wrapped up on Saturday, August 13th as the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox defeated the Falmouth Commodores in game 3 of the best-of-3 series. Amanda Cox has the official write-up on capecodbaseball.org. Will Geoghegan has a detailed wrap on Right Field Fog.
The Red Sox have now won the last three seasons, which hasn't happened on Cape since the Kettleers accomplished that feat in the 70s.
Yarmouth-Dennis is now the 2nd winningest team in the modern era of the CCBL with 8 championships, behind Cotuit's 16 championships.
Falmouth was attempting their first championship since 1980, and were hoping to get the win in front of their home crowd. The Commodores' 36 year drought is the longest in the Cape Cod Baseball League. The Hyannis Harbor Hawks have a 25 year drought, last winning in 1991 with a team featuring Rich Aurilia and Jason Varitek.
Growing up on the Cape and now visiting for a few games every season, it can still be hard for me to grasp just how close the Cape League is to Major League Baseball. There's the famous statistic: 1-in-7 MLB players played in the league. And I frequently go to pro games and recognize players on the roster that I've seen play at McKeon Park or Red Wilson Field.
And yet, I was still surprised to read this news story about Matt Davis. Matt started as a temporary player on the Brewster Whitecaps this year, led the league in homers in the beginning of the season, and is now working his way up A-ball in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. Pretty cool.
Best of luck, Matt Davis!
Behind the scenes, there's a lot of work that goes into each Cape League game. A recent Wicked Local Cape Cod article shed some light on bat boys (and girls). Arriving at games an hour beforehand to prepare balls, and staying to clean up the dugout till late at night, these kids are some of the hardest working volunteers in the league.
Thank you, bat boys and girls!
The long wait is almost over - the 2016 season begins on Friday, June 10 with games across the Cape from Bourne to Brewster. Check out the official 2016 schedule.
While we wait just a few more days, here's a couple fun things:
If you're a fan of the Cape Cod Baseball League at all, then you've heard of Arnold Mycock. He was the first person inducted into the league's Hall of Fame, and the Championship trophy is named after him. He is known as "Mr. Cotuit Kettleer", which is a title that only begins to describe his dedication to the franchise and the league.
Arnold Mycock passed away at his home in Cotuit on April 22, 2016 after a brief illness. You can read more about his legacy from the league's official statement.
It's official; the Barnstable Land Trust raised $1.8 million to purchase land surrounding Lowell Park in Cotuit. More than 1600 donors pulled through to help preserve the land from being developed. The Barnstable Patriot reported on this story on December 23, 2015.
Lowell Park has been home to the Cotuit Kettleers since the team was founded in 1947. The Park was part of Elizabeth Lowell High School, which was on the site of the parking lot (Jim Gould has a little history on that). Lowell Park is one of the few remaining Cape League fields without lights. Phase 3 of the Capital Project to make park improvements is scheduled for completion before the 2015 season.
At times, it was warm enough this week on the Cape to play baseball. But, we're still over 160 days away before the best college players in the nation return to our favorite fields.
There were a couple big stories from the league during the holiday week:
- First, some sad news - Joe Sherman, the league's senior writer, editor, league historian and director of special projects, passed away at the age of 74 on Saturday, December 19. Read more about his life and legacy on the official press release.
- On December 16, 2015, the league announced that the Hyannis Athletic Association are renaming the Harbor Hawks' home to the Judy Walden Scarafile Field at McKeon Park. Scarafile served 24 years as Cape League president and 45 years with the league overall.
The Cape Cod Baseball League has officially released the 2016 schedule. The first five games of the season are on June 10, 2016 with first pitches in Brewster and Y-D at 5pm. There are no scheduled doubleheaders this season.
The All-Star Game will be in Chatham at Veteran's Field on July 23, 2016.
Playoffs start on August 8, 2016 and the eight-team format will be used again.
The "On The Cape" short film has been in heavy circulation the past few days on Twitter and Facebook. CodBall had a chance to do a quick email interview today with Ben Fraternale, who created the video with his friend Jeff Friedlander.
Congrats on the video - it really came out great. How'd it come to be? How long were you planning it?
Thank you! My friend Jeff and I have been visiting the Cape since childhood. When we discovered the Cape league, it became the highlight of every summer. Suddenly trips to the Cape meant calculating the math of how many games we could fit into a weekend. I started photographing the games when I was 15 years old and as Jeff and I grew older, we both gravitated toward careers in video production. This year, we felt we had the right equipment and right creative juice to really represent our Cape experience on film.
What was the filming process like?
We filmed for only three days, bounced all around the Cape, and each day we tackled a different region. We'd film for most or all of one game and then shoot over to the next. At night, we'd head to the beaches and docks for timelapses. Filming felt very similar to photographing games, trying to capture those key moments, so the whole filming experience was really nostalgic in itself.
Tell us about the voiceover. Was that always planned?
I knew from the outset that I wanted a voiceover which captured the nostalgia and essence of our experience. After I finished the editing process, I asked my girlfriend Laura Pavlo (who is a talented writer/author) to try and tackle the material as poetically as possible. I think she did an incredible job of baking the emotion and visuals into words. It only felt right that my grandfather, Ladd Fraternale, would then voice those words. With some editing to make it sound like a vintage radio broadcast, I think the voiceover compliments the video in an essential way.
At CodBall, we've had a bit of discussion about the best parks in the league. The top parks mentioned always seem to be Veterans Field in Chatham, Eldredge Park in Orleans, and Lowell Park in Cotuit. But, all of the parks continue to make improvements thanks to volunteers and donations. What are your favorite parks and places to sit when watching games?
Veterans Field and Eldredge are classics for sure, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Red Wilson Field. When I first started following the league, I latched onto the Y-D Red Sox and got to see some incredible players as a result. That park, though doesn't have every bell and whistle, just fosters unique memories for me, and we shot quite a bit of "On The Cape" there.
Beyond the Cape League, what are your favorite spots on the Cape?
If I had a "home town" on the Cape, it would be Hyannis. From the record store to the ice cream shops, it screams childhood for me. With the field in such close proximity and the hall of fame in the heart of town, it's always my first stop.
What's next for you guys?
We've had an incredible reaction to "On The Cape" from the league, players, and fans. Talking to league personnel and hearing such positive feedback made the film more instantly rewarding than we ever could have expected. I think it's important that, with such prestige and talent, the league is artfully filmed in some capacity beyond game streams and televised events. That being said, we'd love to do another Cape league project in some capacity, with the league's permission, for summers to come.
On October 28, the league is set to elect their new officers. Chuck Sturtevant of Falmouth is expected to be elected the new president of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Sturtevant has a long 29-year history with the league and recently stepped down as GM of the Bourne Braves.
Judy Walden Scarafile announced her retirement at the end of this past season.
The Cape Cod Times reported on this story on October 15.
Another Cape League season is in the books.
The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox defeated the Hyannis Harbor Hawks to win the 2015 Cape League Championship. This is their 5th championship in their past 12 seasons, and their 2nd back-to-back championship in their past 10 seasons. They are now tied with Wareham for the 2nd most CCBL championships in the modern era, with 7 total. The franchise is winning at a pace similar to the Kettleers of the 70s-80s.
The Red Sox took game three on Wednesday night with a decisive 8-1 victory under the lights at McKeon Park. Here's a recap on the Y-D site.
Dustin Hunt (Northeastern) led Y-D to victory with 10 Ks on Saturday as the Red Sox have earned a spot in the CCBL Championship Series for the 2nd straight year, and the 6th time in 10 years. Right Field Fog has a good game wrap.
The last time Y-D won back-to-back championships was 2006-2007 back in the days of Buster Posey, who is now arguably the best catcher in Major League Baseball. Gordon Beckham (Chicago White Sox) played short on the 2007 squad.
So now a well-rested Hyannis team faces off against the most successful CCBL playoff franchise of this century. Hyannis has not won a championship since 1991, a team that featured Rich Aurilia (2001 MLB All-Star, 15 years in MLB) and Jason Varitek (3x All-Star, 2x World Series Champion, 15 years in MLB).
Here's the schedule (from the CCBL):
Sunday, Aug. 9
Y-D at Hyannis at McKeon Park, 6pm
Monday, Aug. 10
Hyannis at Y-D at Red Wilson Field, 4pm
Game 3 on Tuesday, Aug. 12 was postponed due to rain.
Wednesday, Aug. 12
Y-D at Hyannis at McKeon Park, 6pm