07/01/2011 8:42 PM
BOSTON, Mass—For the second year in a row, the Cape League players traveled to Fenway Park to take part in a day-long workout on June 30th in front of scouts from all the Major League teams.
The event, hosted by the Red Sox and the Yankees, is an opportunity for players to play on one of the most iconic stages in baseball, and for scouts to see many of the Cape League prospects in a calmer environment.
“I think it’s very important that the scouts get to see them in a workout condition, rather than in games,” said famed baseball writer and Cape League fan Peter Gammons, who took part in the event as a spectator. “The kids are more relaxed.”
The day began at 8:30 in the morning, as teams arrived by bus and made their way down onto the green expanse of the outfield. With workouts taking place in groups of two teams at a time, players ran 60s and took aim at the famous green wall in left field during batting practice.
In the shade along the first base line, scouts took notes, as did Gammons.
“I’m just getting a feel for them, seeing most of these players for the first time,” said Gammons. “Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see everyone in the league by the time summer is over.”
The Cape League, enjoying its 126th year, has seen many of its alumni go on to play in the majors. Last year, over two hundred ex-Cape League players had active contracts with a major or minor league team, illustrating a deep connection between the little summer league and MLB.
“I think that it’s important that the Red Sox make everyone on the Cape realize how important the Cape League is,” said Gammons. “And by doing this, and it’s actually the Yankees and Red Sox put together…it’s just a reminder of ‘we really care about you and we hope you play here some day.’ And it’s an unforgettable experience.”