We are off to quite an exciting start in our 2008 season. Now that we have hit the halfway point, few can remember this level of parity league-wide. We have complete divisional races in both the East and the West. No one team is running away with its respective division, and no one team is out of contention. This translates to the fact that every game at every ballpark each night already has playoff ramifications.
If you have not seen some of the changes at several of our ballparks this year, there is still plenty of time to do so. The Western Division has quite a new look. The Bourne Braves have spectacular lighting that can be seen easily from atop the Bourne Bridge. As you are coming over the bridge on Cape, simply glance to your left and there they are. Night baseball has also returned to Hyannis as the Mets installed brand new lights at their field, which have added a new dimension to McKeon Park. Guv Fuller Field in Falmouth is the sight of all new lighting that was replaced early last fall, thanks in part to a very generous Yawkey Foundation grant. Those enhancements are significant. Not to be outdone and also with a little help from our Yawkey friends, the Cotuit Kettleers have enhanced their playing surface and safety fencing along with new and enlarged seating on the visitor side of the field.
Our Eastern Division teams have also been busy. The Harwich Mariners finished their new lights during week one of the season and what a difference a day made. Thanks to the Yawkey Foundation and the Town of Harwich, they took a very good ballpark and made it a showplace. All other teams continue to provide outstanding facilities for these high profile collegiate players.
So how did the Cape League do in the recent Major League draft? The numbers are not only staggering, but also unprecedented. Besides having over 200 players drafted, the first round spoke volumes. There were 30 selections in the first round. 10 of those selections were players that just completed high school and thus never had the opportunity to play on Cape. The other 20 were another story. Of those 20, 14 were Cape Leaguers. Of the remaining 6, five were on our rosters but opted to play for our national team with USA baseball. We are very proud of our 19 out of 20 average.
As we prepare already for our All-Star Game in Chatham on July 26th at 7PM (live on NESN), and with the playoffs shortly after that, your opportunity has never been greater to come out for a night of FREE and wholesome entertainment. These players tonight really are the stars of tomorrow, right here in your backyard. Our crowds are great, our teams are competitive and the pennant races will surely go right down to the wire this year.
We would love to have you stop by and be our guest. See what the buzz is about nationwide as the best-kept secret in the country about exceptional collegiate amateur baseball is suddenly not such a big secret anymore. The summer of 2008 has already turned out to be something special once again, and we are delighted to share the memories in the making with you. See you around the ballparks! Best wishes!
-Paul A. Galop, Commissioner