Isaac Collins (Creighton) not only earned a championship ring with Wareham this season, but he also snagged the #1 spot (!) on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays this week. Check out the video proof in the tweets below:
It's hard to believe, but the summer 2018 Cape League season has wrapped up. The Wareham Gatemen, led by MVP Austin Shenton (FIU), swept the Chatham Anglers in the Championship Series.
While Wareham was busy capturing their first title since 2012, Ballpark Digest posted their annual attendance figures across all summer leagues (that reported figures):
Overall, this was a great season for summer ball! Cape League attendance numbers increased slightly over 2017. Per usual, Chatham had the highest reported figures with an average of 1840 fans per game. Compared to other summer leagues, the Cape's numbers trail far behind many Northwoods League franchises, including the Madison Mallards, who pulled an impressive 6249 fans per game this season. As I mentioned in a previous post, the Northwoods League is for-profit and operates in larger markets.
Interestingly, Wareham finished atop the Cape League this year but finished dead last in reported attendance.
Editor's note: It's playoff time! Stay tuned to @CodBall for our coverage
I'm not sure how I missed this one!
Matt Paré (aka the "Homeless Minor Leaguer") and Ty Kelly (MiLB, Las Vegas 51s) star in this hilarious skit that imagines how the 2001 romantic comedy Summer Catch (2001) came to be.
For the uninitiated (and you may want to stay that way), the CCBL is the setting for Summer Catch, which stars Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jessica Biel.
Matt Paré announced his departure from baseball earlier this year after spending a few years in the Giants organization. In 2012, he was a temp player for the Y-D Red Sox before spending the majority of that summer with NECBL's Newport Gulls. Subscribe to HomelessMinorLeaguer on Youtube and his other channel Hey! Matt Paré.
Ty Kelly is a utilityman for the New York Mets organization, currently in AAA with the Las Vegas 51s. In 2008, he was a CCBL All-Star on the Brewster Whitecaps.
The Cape Cod Times has renewed their Cape League podcast, Cape League Corner, for a second season. The first episode of the 2018 season is out now and features an interview with Commissioner Paul Galop. Subscribe in iTunes or your preferred podcast app.
Sixteen former CCBL players were selected in the 2018 First-Year MLB Draft, including the first three overall picks. RHP Casey Mize (Wareham '16, Auburn) was selected first overall, catcher Joey Bart (Harwich '17, Georgia Tech) went second, and Alec Bohm (Falmouth '17, Wichita State) went third. See CapeCodBaseball.org for the full list of first-round selections.
For those keeping track, the CCBL seems to have had significantly more alumni selected in the MLB draft than any other collegiate summer league. The Northwoods League (previously blogged about) had one former player chosen in the first round.
In case you missed it, here's a video of Casey Mize being selected and below is a great tweet from him:
The Northwoods League ( NWL) is a collegiate summer baseball league in the Upper Midwest. Since founded in 1994, the NWL has grown to 20 teams with the most attendance of any summer league. TwinCities Business published an in-depth look at the league's history and finances: A League of His Own (May 25, 2018).
What makes the NWL possibly better than the CCBL?
- Games are at minor league-quality ballparks, some of which were vacated by Major League Baseball as they moved franchises further south for larger cities and better spring weather.
- The NWL and its franchises seem to have more money than any other summer league; this is because the NWL is for-profit, and teams operate in larger markets than the CCBL. More money means that the league and its franchises can invest more in the fan and player experience.
- The Grind. Unlike the CCBL, teams must take long bus rides to travel between cities, which more accurately replicates what a player will experience in the minors.
Ultimately, both leagues have their unique appeal. The NWL fills a void left by former Minor League and independent ball clubs in the Upper Midwest. The CCBL provides a nostalgic experience with town-based teams.
The most significant difference between the leagues? The CCBL has the top talent. In the 2017 MLB draft, 253 CCBL alumni were selected, with 10 players in the first round (CCBL's MLB Draft results). The NWL had 181 alumni selected, with no players in the first round (NWL's MLB Draft results).
Dunkin' Donuts Park will host the Tuesday, July 24, 2018 game between the Y-D Red Sox and the Wareham Gatemen. The Gatemen will likely be the home team since the official CCBL schedule still has the game listed at Wareham. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:30pm, which means that both teams will likely start their buses very early in the morning to practice beforehand. Tickets will be $10, according to NBC Connecticut.
This game is interesting for a couple reasons:
- It seems like the furthest (at least distance-wise) location a CCBL game has ever been played away from a team park. Dunkin' Donuts Park is a bit over 2 hours driving time (without traffic) from Clem Spillane Field in Wareham. It probably took longer for teams to travel to Nantucket and maybe Martha's Vineyard when games were played there.
- This marks a return to CCBL games being played off-Cape, which has received some backlash from fans in the past; especially with regards to when the All-Star Game was held at Fenway Park.
Fox Sports' special "Cape Cod: Journey to the Bigs" will premier on FS1 on Tuesday, April 17 at 11PM, following the Indians/Twins game and MLB Whiparound. The special will also air on Fox Sports' regional networks on April 18 (check your local listings).
The special follows three players who played in the 2017 season: Griffin Conine (Cotuit, Duke), Tristan Pompey (Wareham, Kentucky) and Chandler Day (Orleans, Vanderbilt).
Read more about the special on Fox Sports, and watch the trailer below.
Jake Anchia (Nova Southeastern University) made some noise with Wareham this past summer. He led the team in RBIs (20) and home runs (5). He also participated in the 2017 Friendly's Home Run Hitting Contest and led the West Division with four home runs.
The Miami Herald posted a great story about Anchia and his father's success in immigrating from Cuba. His father boarded a shrimp boat when he was 11, started a family, and worked his way up to deputy fire chief in Miami Beach. Jake said, “My dad is an inspiration... He came here not knowing any English. He lost his father when he was only 20. But he still worked hard to pursue the American Dream... If he could pull all that off, then I feel like I can do it without a problem.”
Anchia is the starting catcher for the NSU Sharks and is in his junior year.
Author of Wildball, a Cape League-inspired novel out April 12, 2018
Author of Wildball, a Cape League-inspired novel out April 12, 2018
Brian, thanks for reaching out to CodBall and congratulations on nearing the publication date of Wildball. You started work on the young adult fiction novel in October 2014 - what inspired you to start writing it at the time?
I was inspired to write the story after going through a rough time in Hollywood. I interned at two film production companies for my last semester of BU, and I was verbally bullied by superiors at both workplaces. When I came back home to the Cape afterward, I needed to write about the experience in order to make sense of it and move forward. So I decided to tell a story about an athlete and his coach instead of an intern and his superior. It made things a little less raw for me but still allowed me to explore that dynamic between a naive student and a severe mentor.
You're from Falmouth, and I imagine you've been to many Commodores games. What was it like growing up on the Cape and being around the League?
Growing up here, I didn't appreciate what a special thing it was to have a Cape League team in my hometown. As a kid, it was more of a social thing to meet friends at a Commodores game, but I didn't follow the action. The last few summers I've been to a bunch of games, not only as book research but also because I'm a bigger baseball fan now. It's been cool to see my Falmouth circle and the Commodores family start to blend. Over the years some of my friends have interned for the team. And interns for the Commodores have gotten summer jobs at Coffee O, the cafe where I work.
Sarah Murphy's 2017 Wicked Local article mentions you volunteered with the league and Falmouth Community Television a few summers ago. What were your responsibilities, and how was that experience?
I volunteered at a playoff game in August of 2014. Commodores vs. Kettleers I think. FCTV had been contracted to broadcast some Cape League games that summer, and they knew I was interested in sports, so they asked for my help. I was set up at a computer where I changed numbers for the game's stat-tracker. I'd click on the first diamond when a runner made it to first, or I'd change the numbers for how many balls and strikes during the at-bats. It was a small role, but it was a way I could bring my skill-set into the world of the Cape League.
The only downside was it was a long game. Pretty sure it went into extras. The two guys we had working the cameras left as the night went on. I wanted to bail too, but my supervisor encouraged me to stick it out. I'm glad I did because that was the night I started getting ideas for my book.
You used Publishizer, a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding site for authors without publishers, to gain support for Wildball (then known as This River is Wild). You’re now collaborating with Black Rose Writing for publication this year. What has the process of working with them been like, and has it been different than your expectations?
So far I've discovered that a smaller publishing house means creative freedom. I don't know what it's like for writers at bigger houses, but Black Rose has been supportive of my vision. They've let me change the story without objecting and the cover art designer Dave King is supposed to be very collaborative. Reagan Rothe is the man in charge at Black Rose, and I got lucky that he has a love for baseball. His brother played in the Minors in Texas, and Reagan wrote a book called Dreams and Baseball before he switched over to publishing. I think that connection helped my book find a home.
It seems like you have a lot going on in your life - wrapping up the novel, tutoring students in writing, and working on your music. What are you most passionate about, and what do you think you will focus on in the future?
Unfortunately, I've had to put music on the back burner with the book taking off. I toured as a bassist for Milk last year which was a blast. Their record Horsetown Threshold just made a 2017 Best-of List on DigBoston. Tutoring is still a big part of my life, but I've had to start turning down gigs since the rollout for the book takes up a big chunk of time each week.
Right now I'm most passionate about writing. Wildball has been a 3+ year labor of love, so I want to put the same amount of energy into promoting it as I did when I was creating it. This year will involve local events on the Cape and if I play my cards right, a national book tour. Once that's through it'll be time to start the next book, which is a continuation of Wildball. Hopefully, people will be hungry for it.
Pavin Smith (Harwich 2016) made national headlines this week with a Christmas tweet.
Pavin used his Arizona Diamondbacks signing bonus to pay off his parents' mortgage. Check out the video below or on Twitter.
In 2016, Pavin hit .318 for the Mariners with 48 hits and four homers. He was an All-Star for the East and selected to the 2016 All-League Team. The Diamondbacks picked him in the 2017 MLB draft and he is ranked as the top prospect in their system.
The Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame will not be open anytime soon. Definitely not by Spring 2018, and probably not by Spring 2019.
A Cape Cod Times article about Mike Sherman (Managing Partner of Total Athletics of Cape Cod), says that the brakes have been put on the 92,000-square-foot Cape Cod Training Center. Sherman said he is "aiming to get a finance team and investors onboard by the beginning of spring." The Training Center was announced to be the new home of the Hall of Fame in March, after the Hall of Fame was moved out of the basement of the JFK Museum on Main Street, Hyannis in January.
Unfortunately, this news means the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame is very likely homeless for 2018.
It's been 10 years since our last holiday gift guide!
Here's an updated list of our best bets for the Cape League baseball fan in your life:
- Shop online at some of the team stores (not every team has a store):
- Chatham Anglers store
Don't miss the custom blanket and scarf.
- Cotuit Kettleers store
The bobblehead player is my favorite!
- Falmouth Commodores store
Buy this beautiful print of Guv Fuller Field and have it framed.
- Harwich Mariners store
This store also features a couple CCBL hats.
- Wareham Gatemen store
Quite a few new shirt designs, and more CCBL hats.
- Chatham Anglers store
- Buy a brick at Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth
This is a very cool gift for a Falmouth or big CCBL fan.
- Donate to the CCBL or the team of your choice in the name of your loved one.
- A custom bat from the Barnstable Bat Company (just like the players use!). I recommend the stickball bat, which is a great substitute for the standard yellow wiffle ball bat.
- The 1998 Cape Cod Prospects baseball card set
This is my personal favorite baseball card set that I own. You can find the sets on eBay.
- Browse capesports on eBay
The former Hyannis Sportscards in Hyannis continues to sell goods on eBay. There's always a few Cape League artifacts listed for sale.
- Books or DVDs about the Cape League
There haven't been many recent books or movies, but there are a few classics below that every fan should own. Note: Slider (2004) is a novel loosely based on the league. Summer Catch (2001) is a really cheesy movie starring Freddie Prinze Jr. that is a highly inaccurate portrayal of the league (but I love it anyway).
The Cape Cod Times posted a great recap and video from the 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held on Saturday, November 18 at the Chatham Bars Inn.
Eight people were inducted into the Hall of Fame this year:
- Dennis Long (Hyannis '77-'79, MiLB '80-'83)
- Justin Masterson (Wareham '05, MLB '08-'15)
- Timothy McIntosh (Chatham '85, MLB '90-'93 & '96)
- Steve Newell (Wareham '73, MiLB '73-'75)
- Jeremy Sowers (Wareham '03, MLB '06-'09)
- Joey Cora (Chatham '84, MLB '87 & '89-'98, brother of Red Sox Manager Alex Cora)
- Chuck Sturtevant (CCBL President '16-Present)
- Tom Yankus (Orleans '63-'65 , MiLB '56 & '58)
The Hall of Fame currently has no physical location, but will be at the future Cape Cod Training Center in Independence Park in Hyannis - advertised to open in Spring 2018.
Noah Song (RHP, Navy) made two starts for the Harwich Mariners on his 2017 summer leave. It's worth watching this short clip where he talks about his time on the Cape. In Song's sophomore season with the Midshipmen, he led the Patriot League with 89 strikeouts and was tied for 2nd in wins (6).
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".