30 June 2008
‘City Of Champions’ Pulls Out the Stops
For Two Cape League Teams
BROCKTON, Mass. – There is no better place to stage a championship rematch than in the “City of Champions,” which is where the defending champion Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox and finalist Falmouth Commodores squared off Saturday night at Campanelli Stadium.
While the two teams that took the field looked nothing like those that met in the Cape Cod Baseball League Championship last August, the game was designed to increase the exposure of the league, as well as benefit the new Hall of Fame and the Jimmy Fund.
“We hear so many great things about the Cape League that we thought it would be advantageous for our fans to have an opportunity to see them,” Brockton Rox president and former Brockton major Jack Yuntis said. “A lot of people in this region don’t go south over the bridges during the summer. So we thought this would be a great opportunity to expose the Cape league and to give these kids playing in the Cape league game an opportunity to get a little more exposure for themselves.”
The Brockton game, broadcast live on WATD (95.9 FM) in Marshfield as well as both the Red Sox and Commodores web-sites, was one of four being played at locations other than CCBL fields throughout the summer. The Wareham Gatemen already played one in New Bedford, with another set for July 11, and will also visit Martha’s Vineyard on July 22 to take on the Commodores.
“It ‘s something we are experimenting with just to try to heighten the awareness of the Cape Cod Baseball League outside of baseball circles,” Y-D general manager Jim Martin said. “We were excited to come here today.”
Martin was also the brains behind the players swinging lavender bats. All 30 are engraved and will be sold at both Falmouth and Y-D home games to benefit the Jimmy Fund. Lavender was chosen because it is the general color for cancer awareness.
For a game dubbed the “Hall of Fame Classic,” four former Cape league players took the field for pre-game festivities, one of which was Peter Marciano, brother of former Brockton great and undefeated (49-0) heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. Ticket proceeds also went to benefit the new league Hall of Fame set to open in Hyannis.
Yuntis said the game is something he hopes to continue in the future to support the CCBL Hall of Fame as well as any selected charity.
As the Cape League continues to grow, so too does the outreach to the off-Cape communities, which is exactly the point, said Joe Sherman, special events coordinator for the league.
“That was the idea, to introduce Cape league baseball to folks who are just close enough to be able to drive down to the Cape to see a game if they liked what they saw here tonight,” said Sherman.
Those folks, all 1,173 in attendance, certainly learned what the Cape Cod Baseball League is all about – history, tradition, and baseball in its purest form.
Laura Rasmussen, CCBL Intern ([email protected])
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Stefanie Marini, Laura Rasmussen