04/25/2020 4:45 AM
Article By: Paul Galop
A behind the scenes look at a heart-wrenching decision
So, there is no joy in Capeville (apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer, author of Casey at the Bat), the mighty CCBL has struck out for 2020. Thwarted by a never before seen fastball called COVID-19, the incredible leadership of the Cape Cod Baseball League stepped to the plate and did what they are paid to do. Wait a minute! They are all volunteers and were put in a position not seen in the CCBL since wartime in the mid 1940’s when baseball took a pause until resuming in 1947. Yes, to the best of our knowledge, summer baseball on Cape Cod had, up until now, has been uninterrupted for nearly 75 years!
So, what went on in the “war room” when this pandemic hit? Incredible planning and networking are what happened, the leadership taken on by the officers, led by President Chuck Sturtevant and Commissioner Eric Zmuda was amazing. There were constant virtual meetings with the officers themselves, the hard-working general managers, the league executive committee made up of two representatives from each of the ten franchises plus the league officers, league medical personnel with constantly updated data and trends, the NACSB (the National Alliance for College Summer Baseball of which the CCBL was one of the founders) and Major League Baseball. Yes, many days there were multiple meetings.
The primary concern was always safety for our beloved Cape, players, coaches, batboys, host families, volunteers, merchants, sponsors, employers, suppliers and residents. The list of concerns was endless. But this priority was always of utmost importance. How would I know this? Because I was invited to attend and participate in these virtual meetings, and I did. I have never been more impressed or prouder of these incredibly loyal volunteers, and this dates back to 1980. Their dedication, research, camaraderie, passion and sense of community was astounding. To be crystal clear, not one member of the CCBL decision makers wanted to cancel the season, NOT ONE! Common sense immediately kicked in, like is always seems to with this group, and it was abundantly clear that we would forgive the 2020 CCBL season if even one person was put in harm’s way. Yes, we are all bitterly disappointed, but we did the right thing for all the right reasons. The decision was very hard for all 27 voting members, but they unanimously remained steadfast and answered the call. How refreshing in this day and age! But then again, this is the norm for this group. Go to our website at this location (http://www.capecodbaseball.org/contacts/ccbl-directory/) and you will see a list of the Officers I am referring to. Go to this page (http://www.capecodbaseball.org/teams/ccbl/) to see the management personnel of the ten teams that were so positively involved in this difficult yet correct decision. Send them a note. They were stellar! These folks, like our unbelievable volunteers and host families are just that, VOLUNTEERS! Yet, once again, they answered the call with a decision to make that was so difficult and will probably never be matched again in their lifetime. What an honor it was to be able to observe the discussions and candor demonstrated. Congratulations to the CCBL Executive Committee and thank you to the CCBL Officers for the incomparable leadership.
We may have been thrown a curve, but this was a hanging curve that this group absolutely hit out of the park. They did the right thing for the right reasons in spite of the enormous pressure, for VOLUNTEERS! THANK YOU!
So, hats off to the amazing dedication of all of our Executive Committee who were passionately and professionally guided and led by:
Chuck Sturtevant, President
Bill Bussiere, Senior Vice President
Tom Gay, Vice President
Paul Logan, Vice President
Steven Wilson, Treasurer
Paula Tufts, Secretary
Eric Zmuda, Commissioner
Stay tuned as we are already paving the way for 2021!!
Paul A. Galop, Commissioner Emeritus