It took 22 years to return to Fenway for a Cape League All-Star game but just a couple of hours -- 4.5 innings to be precise -- to play the 2009 edition. Thick clouds, chilly breezes and maddeningly persistent rain could not drown out the excitement and energy of fans who journeyed far and near to see future big leaguers play in a big league stadium. They were treated to some excellent pitching by pitchers from the western division of the Cape and a triple hit by Zack Cox (right) of Cotuit to deepest centerfield. Cox was later named MVP for the blistering hit that will be remembered for sometime around the league. Big Papi would be proud.
"I knew it was a tough league. Other than that I didn't know what to expect. I knew it was going to be a challenge," Cox told CodBall after the game.
Asked about the triple, Cox said "It was a first pitch fastball and I wanted to make the most of it. (Rounding second) I gave it everything I had. I don't hit a lot of triples."
Western division pitchers Brandon Workman, Jack Armstrong, Eric Pfisterer, Dallas Gallant and Stephen Harrold combined to pitch 5 scoreles innings.
The West scored two in the first. Todd Cunningham of Falmouth reached on an E5 and scored on the Cox triple to deep center. Cox came around to score when Cody Stanley hit into an apparent double play but reached on a fielders choice. Falmouth's B.A. Vollmuth scored the third and final run in the second after he singled and scored on Cox's second hit of the night, an RBI single.
There were not a lot of highlights for the East this year. The East has led recent All-Star competitions. See the Cape Cod Times' story today to read about the East's 11-9-1 edge.
I enjoyed tonight a lot. I'm not sure I would play future All-Star games off the Cape but I did enjoy the experience. I think there is something special about the All-Star game traveling from Cape League park to Cape League park. I do appreciate what the Red Sox and Cape League did tonight. It took vision and effort.
I saw a lot of friends tonight who love baseball. Most notably I got to hang a little with co-conspirator Andrew Wirtanen. I also met face-to-face for the first time Tom Simon, creator of Cape League dice baseball. I saw the Cape Cod Times guys, Brian Foley over at the College Baseball Blog and managed to be interviewed on WCAI/NPR.
Speaking of Tom Simon. He handed Andrew and me two sets of dice game cards -- the all-stars from the East and the West with their current stats. I will roll a full game this weekend to see if the result is any different than the actual game tonight.
Right Field Fog has a nice play-by-play. We missed you Will.
I can't wait to get back to the Cape tomorrow for more league games. Safe travels everyone.