for immediate release: 26 May, 2004
Cape League Media getting new homes
A trio of brand new press boxes in Chatham, Harwich and Cotuit highlight significant improvements made to some of the league’s parks for the upcoming season. “We’re very excited to get off the ground, literally,” said Charlie Thoms, Chatham A’s general manager. “For three years we’ve been trying to expand the press box and we finally received approval this year.”
Veteran’s Field in Chatham is the home of a new 12-by-26 foot press box, which will accommodate not only the media, but also house the team’s merchandising operation. “We hope to be able to handle announcers, play by play people and any newspaper reporters or league representatives that need to set up their laptops,” Thoms said. “With the merchandise on the first floor, we’ll finally be able to lock it up at night. We do a pretty heavy merchandise business, so it’s nice to be able to do that.”
This summer, the existing press box will be torn down, not burnt down, as was portrayed in the 2001 film “Summer Catch.” “If we wanted to stick right to the movie, we’d burn it down,” Thoms said. “I don’t think they’ll let us do that.”
Thoms’ Maxwell Builders played a part in the construction of the new press box at Harwich’s Whitehouse Field, doing the framing for the project. “It just goes to show the close relationship between Harwich and Chatham,” said Harwich Mariners President Mary Henderson. Funding for the Harwich press box came initially from the family of the late Al Graeber, who died at the age of 90 in September 2002. Graeber was the Mariners’ public address announcer for 22 years and served in the Harwich Athletic Association.
Casey Close, who played for the Mariners in the mid 1980s, matched the Graeber family’s contribution and put the wheels into motion for construction. “The Mariners have been able to make a tremendous amount of improvements to Whitehouse Field,” Henderson said. “This is the topping on the cake.” Like Chatham’s new press box, Whitehouse field will feature a larger structure behind the plate. “It’s really a lot bigger in size,” Henderson said. “It has a viewing deck for scouts and video cameras and whatever else is needed. That will be a nice, added feature. The viewing deck is the biggest thing for us.”
Not to be outdone, the Cotuit Kettleers put their own finishing touches on a brand new press box this season. After tearing down the approximately 40 year old press box at Lowell Park in October, construction began on a new, 21st century style structure. “It’s a state of the art press box,” said Paul Logan, vice president and building committee chairman of the Cotuit Athletic Association.
The construction of the press box is the first chapter of a three-year renovation program. Future projects include a new scoreboard, increased grandstand seating and more. In December 2001, the Cotuit Athletic Association’s Board of Directors approved the drawing of designs for Lowell Park renovations. Fast forward to June 2004 and the Kettleers are set to debut the new press box in their home opener. “I believe it really fits with the Cape,” Logan said. “It’s everything we envisioned it to be when we started this whole journey.”
Chatham opens up the 2004 season at Veteran’s field June 17, while Harwich and Cotuit will make their home openers a day later. -- T.J. Lasita, 2004 CCBL Intern, TJLasita@capecodbaseball.org
John Garner, Jr.