Friday the thirteenth (of August 2010) turned out to a very lucky day for the Cotuit Kettleers and their fans as they won the Cape Cod Baseball League championship at Red Wilson Field in South Yarmouth when they bested the YD Red Sox two games to one in a very exciting three game championship series.
Legendary Cotuit mainstay and CCBL Hall of Famer Arnold Mycock presented the championship trophy that is named in his honor to Head Coach Mike Roberts, GM Bruce Murphy and President Paul Logan. Jubilation reigned supreme in the village of Cotuit as they celebrated their first CCBL championship since 1999. Congratulations to this fine organization who has won the most CCBL championships in the history of the League!
The expanded playoff format that was adopted by the CCBL Executive Committee in the off-season turned out to be a rousing success. Spearheaded by requests from our fans for more baseball in August, playoff games were very well attended and extremely exciting. All teams that hosted games were treated with great weather and thankful crowds that afforded a special emotional and financial boost as we all head into winter meetings and planning for the future.
Our annual All-Star Game at Fenway Park in Boston treated well over 10,000 fans to great baseball and great weather with attractive prices to sit wherever you liked in “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark” on July 28th. The Boston Red Sox provided a special day to our fans, players and coaches and were spectacular hosts.
One significant highlight from this summer that cannot go unnoticed was the special group of young men that played in the CCBL this summer. I repeatedly heard from fans and franchise members throughout the summer what wonderful student-athletes were here with us. Many of the players made it a point to thank their franchise people, house parents, coaches and employers for bringing them here from all over the country for what they believed was “the best summer of their life”. It’s wonderful to see these future professional players perform at such a high level on our ten fields, but it is even better to see how they behave in such an exemplary manner off the field when there are no games.
So as we close down another season, reflecting on what just happened is a special process. Our best playoffs in recent memory were, in large part, credited to our fans that had encouraged more baseball in August. We listened, put the changes in place, and are thrilled that we did. The Cotuit Kettleers who finished third place in the Western Division and lost their last six regular season games, got hot at the right time and provided thrills in the playoffs that will last a lifetime for all of us. The parity in this League among all ten teams is quite amazing and fun to watch.
The volunteers, who are the true lifeline of the CCBL, continue to grow in number with unmatched dedication. They are critical in making the CCBL ball games fun events in true Americana fashion. They unselfishly give their time to their community. The volunteers pass the hat, sell 50/50 tickets, sell hot dogs, sell merchandise and greet guests at gates of the field to name but a very few functions. They open up their homes to young men who, in many cases, have not been home since Christmas. They make friends for life and truly become a second set of parents. Hats off to our volunteers and fans!!
As players, fans, coaches and volunteers slowly departed after our last playoff game at Red Wilson Field in South Yarmouth, it was obvious that no one really wanted to leave because it was truly the end of our very special summer. The “thank yous” and tears could not have been more sincere between players, coaches and host families. When one player thanked me for playing a part, albeit admittedly very small, in providing such a great opportunity for him this summer and thanking me for what I did, I realized at that very moment as to why I and so many others do this, and it really has very little to do with baseball. It has everything to do with the big picture in life and I could not be more privileged to serve this League with such great people as the franchise volunteers, League volunteers and unbelievable fans. The CCBL is a very special place and June 2011 cannot get here soon enough. Have a great and short winter and stay tuned for winter updates!