12 July 2009
Cotuit’s Vaughn Aiming to Beat Own Path on Cape Fields
By Ashley Crosby, CCBL Intern
COTUIT, Mass. —When Cory Vaughn (San Diego State) came out to Cotuit, he had no idea his father, former Major Leaguer Greg Vaughn, had played with the Kettleers some 20 years ago.
“I didn’t know until the first day I got here that he actually played here,” said the younger Vaughn. “I was talking to my dad and he was like ‘you know I used to play here’ and I was like ‘oh no actually I didn’t’.”
Vaughn is just one of the players on the Cape that has a father or brother who have seen the Major Leagues. Falmouth’s Shane Farrell (Marshall) is the son of Boston Red Sox’s pitching coach John Farrell. Brewster’s Jared Bard (Richmond) is the younger brother of Red Sox Daniel Bard, who showed up at a game in Harwich to watch his younger brother pitch earlier in the season. Both pitchers were released, with Farrell going home with an injury.
While he wasn’t the only one originally on the Cape to have seen Major League parks from a different perspective, Vaughn has the added pressure of playing for the same Cape League team his father played for.
Yet somehow, the pressure isn’t to follow in his father’s footsteps. “I don’t like to say footsteps,” said dad Greg, “because Cory is his own man and he’s trying to do it for himself and I understand that. I’d love for him to be better than me and that’s something we work on every day.”
Cory said, “I feel like I’ve had to prove that I can play my own game. Things aren’t given to me because my dad played in the MLB and I’m Greg Vaughn’s son. I’m playing for myself.”
And it helps that his father isn’t putting the pressure on him to be a major leaguer just like he was. While Vaughn did grow up in the ballparks, meeting players like Ken Griffy Jr, “who I idolized when I was growing up,” he said, his father focused on loving the game and simply competing rather than following his lead. And his proudest memory of his son comes off the field and in the classroom.
“When [Cory] made the Dean’s List in Kinesiology at San Diego State, studying special medicine,” he said, smile on his face, saying how his son has “the classroom” to go along with his baseball talent. “I try to tell him this game is so tough to make it, don’t waste time, take advantage of your opportunities.”
“Everything’s so specialized now with hitting coaches and pitching coaches and it all comes out of a book, but what works for me might not work for him, and he has to figure that out,” said Greg Vaughn. “Once you’re out there between the lines I don’t care if it’s your mom or your dad out there, you go out there and try to win and if you’re a hitter and it’s your dad or brother out there pitching you try to knock that ball out of the park.”
“Everyone’s nice,” dad Vaughn continued, “they’re all good guys [in the MLB], but between those lines it’s like they stole something from you and you better go out and fight and take that, and that’s what I try to work on the most with him.”
Vaughn has ten hits and a grand slam under his belt this season so far, despite struggling at the plate a bit, having struck out 26 times in 51 at bats.
Greg Vaughn extended his stay on the Cape a few times to watch more of his son’s games, which were continuously being rained out. Sitting behind home plate at Lowell Park, he’d watch his son take batting practice and talk to him after about how Cory was doing. He’s proud to see his son playing out here and making his own name.
Ashley Crosby can be reached at Crosby@capecodbaseball.org
John Garner, Jr.
Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Michael Campbell, Katy Ann Fitzpatrick