On my plane ride back from the Cape for Thanksgiving, I spent some time thinking of ways to improve the league. The league has come a long way this past decade. For example, you can now watch all games online instead of having to call in. (By the way--I think that very soon youngsters will find it unbelievable that someone would actually call to listen to a game instead of watching it on TV or online). Nearly all of the fields have undergone renovations recently and are in the best shape over. The Cape Cod Baseball Hall of Fame is a hidden gem in the basement of the JFK Museum in Hyannis... hopefully someday it can be on street level. And while the financials aren't clear, it seems the All-Star Game at Fenway Park is a good source of funding for the non-profit.
I love how the league operates, which is why my suggestions do not change anything on-field. Here are the top ones I came up with:
- Partner with local businesses to provide more parking We've all been there. You pull up to the park near game time and there's nowhere legal to park. In Falmouth, it's commonplace to park at the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank (sorry, the secret's out). After all, the bank is closed--why should they care? However, the bank is responsible for maintaining the parking lot. Every car that parks there adds to the wear and tear. To help alleviate parking woes, local businesses could partner with the CCBL to sponsor parking. In exchange the local businesses get discounts on banner advertising on the outfield fence, or their name read aloud during the game. It's a win-win.
- Redesign CapeCodBaseball.org I hate to be critical here, because the league has made strides in providing online content. However, the left sidebar of CapeCodBaseball.org reads "(C) 1999". It's time for an update. Most fans I talk to don't even bother with the site and tune into blogs (like us, or Right Field Fog), team sites, and Twitter instead. The major problem is the sidebar, which is frustrating to use because it is very slow. I think there is a lot of good content on the site that goes unnoticed because people just don't have the patience.
- Bring the All-Star Game to the Barnstable County Fair According to the Barnstable County Fair's website, baseball games were the "special attractions" of the fair in the late 1800s and early 1900s. There's a great photograph of a game being played in 1910 at the original fairgrounds (in the village of Barnstable) on page 18 of Dan Crowley's Baseball on Cape Cod. Logistics aside, I think the perfect location for the All-Star Game is the Barnstable County Fairgrounds during or adjacent to the Barnstable County Fair. The game could be held on the last day of the fair, with the rain date being the following day.