YARMOUTH, Mass. – It’s been 45 years since Bobby Valentine patrolled the outfield for the Yarmouth Indians in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
In 1967, as a 17-year-old high school junior, Valentine batted .294, led the league in runs scored and impressed the Los Angeles Dodgers enough to become their first-round draft pick in the ’68, just behind the Yankees’ first selection, slugging Chatham catcher Thurman Munson, CCBL MVP and batting champion.
Fast forward to last Thursday, May 3, 2012 when the first-year Boston Red Sox manager was honored by the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Yarmouth Area Chamber of Commerce and Cape Cod Baseball League on Bobby Valentine Day.
The event-filled day began with a regionally-televised press conference at the Cape Cod Community Media Center, public appearances in Yarmouth and an afternoon ceremony in Hyannis where Valentine presented his Red Sox jersey to the Cape League Hall of Fame & Museum. The No. 25 autographed shirt became the centerpiece of a new exhibit honoring eight current MLB managers who played in the CCBL.
Before a throng of media, league and town officials gathered in front of the JFK Hyannis Museum, Valentine expressed how thrilled he was to be back at the place where he spent one of his first summers away from his hometown of Stamford, Conn., and how this special summer on the Cape catapulted his baseball career.