Cape Cod Baseball League games are very enjoyable to go to, not only because of the beautiful ball fields and the high level of baseball talent being witnessed, but also the excitement that one of the players you are watching could potentially make a name for themselves in the major leagues. It always brings great joy to the fans and the Cape League organization as a whole, when one of our own gets the chance to show their talents and succeed on a professional level.
For the 2009 Cape League season, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox scouted a native Floridian playing for Florida Gulf Coast University. That summer a tall, lanky LHP at 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds named Chris Sale, donned the Red Sox uniform. This was the beginning of a successful 2009 season.
That season Y-D won the eastern division with a record of 28 wins, 15 losses, and 1 tie. Sale made a significant impact on the team boasting a record of 4-2. With his 4 wins, he was tied for the most wins in the league. He also led the league in strikeouts with 57 and in innings pitched with 55. Sale finished the regular season with an incredible ERA of 1.47, which was third best in the league. After Chris Sale’s 2009 season with Y-D, it could be seen that he had the talent to play in the majors and he gained the attention of the Chicago White Sox.
Sale was drafted by the White Sox in 2010, though he didn’t start to get significant playing time until the 2012 season. The 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons were extremely successful years for Sale and he was recognized by Major League Baseball, being selected to play in the All-Star game those 3 years. Sale had his roughest season last year going 13-11 with a 3.41 ERA, but he has entered the 2016 season with a vengeance and has made a tremendous impact on the league.
He currently leads the entire league in wins, with a 13-2 record. Sale is also second in the American league in strikeouts with 109 and fourth in the American league in ERA with a 2.79. Chris Sale is in the middle of a career season with the White Sox, who currently have a 38-38 record. This means that Sale is responsible for 1/3 of all of the White Sox’s wins.
Sale is on pace to win over 20 games this season, which is a benchmark of success for pitchers. He has utilized the skills he learned during his year playing with Y-D and has become one of top pitchers in the game today. It is important to address alumni of the Cape League that have success in the majors because it is a positive reflection on the league and the coaching staff. Could this former Y-D Red Sox join the greats like Nomar Garciaparra, Chuck Knoblauch, and Thurman Munson in the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Hall of Fame? Only time will tell.