26 July 2004
THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
24 July 2004, Eldredge Park, Orleans
All-Star Game a Hit in Orleans
Not since 1994 has Orleans hosted an All-Star game, so the task of organizing such a momentous occasion was a considerable one for General Manager Sue Horton and other volunteers.
Starting in the late fall, the Cardinals organization knew that they had something very important to plan. After the holidays, a committee of 20 or more volunteers sat down once a month and began planning the schedule of the All-Star Game, including how they would fit over 5,000 into Eldredge Park while accommodating parking and other needs.
While the park can actually hold 5,000 people, with the hill holding at least 3,000, the main issue was parking. Nauset Middle School willingly opened up their soccer field and Sue Horton said that “people like Don DeLude, really helped with the parking because he knew the ins and outs of the field.”
In accordance with opening the soccer field, arranging special seating for scouts and the press, an extra bleacher section was added and placed around the outfield to help with crowd control.
After all the planning, the crowd wasn’t as large as many had hoped. Horton said that “the weather cut down attendance somewhat because people didn’t want to get there and get rained on and then leave, and some just didn’t want to deal with the crowd and parking so they just avoided it. We would have expected around 5,000 but I think we had somewhere between 4,000 and 4,500.”
While the weather may have kept the some fans away, the scouts were not discouraged. Horton also mentioned that “at least 100 scouts were in the scouting section. It was pretty packed in there.” She mentioned that last year there were only around 85, so it was a big improvement.
Many volunteers pitched in and helped out. Nauset Middle School, AmeriCorps, the Orleans Police Department, the Orleans Fire Department, the Nauset Rotary Club, The Orleans Chamber of Commerce, and many other CCBL volunteers made what Horton called “a good time, where everything flowed smoothly. We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help.”
Heightening awareness to the community and raising money for the league are two reasons for having the All-Star game. The game is also a great opportunity for scouts to come watch the best the league has to offer in its annual showcase. Horton says, “Let the kids be the show, because one of the wonderful things that the league does is showcase the ballplayers on their achievements, bringing tremendous excitement to the league and this area, along with the fans and the coaches.”
League Commissioner Paul Gallop commented that “the great players come to the Cape because of the scouts and the scouts come to the Cape because of the great players. This is what it’s all about, I just like to sit here and take it all in.”
The All-Star Game is an opportunity to have a bonding experience with fellow ballplayers. “It gives a chance for them to bond with each other and the camaraderie in the home run derby is something that the kids get so into, they love putting a show on for each other, they are great kids,” said Gallop.
Will Rhymes, a reserve player for the East, showed just what hard work, determination, and never giving up can do for someone with great talent. Upon his arrival at the Cape, Rhymes was a temporary player for the Whitecaps. He later signed to become a permanent player, and was eventually selected as a 2004 all-star.
Rhymes was excited that he was chosen to be an all-star. “It’s been great. I had hoped I would get the chance to stay, and it has been a great honor. I am thrilled to be here, I have had a great time.”
Frank Curreri gave the crowd a great show of the night, proving to be another success for the East. Starting off his career in the Cranberry League and then working up to the Cape Cod League has paid off for Curreri. He was chosen the East Division Most Valuable Player of the game by the scouts who were in attendance.
“I just had a blast. I was looking for a change up, Madsen, he just left me a pitch I could drive and I got it,” said Curreri, who hit a two-run home run in the first inning. He had many family members at the All-Star game, being the hometown hopeful, and he hoped he could play well for his family. “It is always good to do well when they all are watching,” Curreri said. About the All-Star team, Curreri said, “I am just pumped to make the All-Star team and be competing at this level.”
Although the East defeated the West, both teams played well. Orleans Coach Carcone enjoyed his second opportunity as a head coach for the East All-Stars.
“It was a great time coaching the All-Star team for my second year in a row, this is the best play in the country and they get to show scouts and assistant GMs just how good they are through the All-Star Game. Coach Carcone also said also said that, “both teams did a good job regardless of the score and there was a lot of talent of the field.” -- Erica Gregory; 2004 CCBL Intern; [email protected]
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 [email protected]
Bruce hack, League Historian