05/27/2007 1:41 PM
for immediate release: 2 June, 2007
Cape League Hosts U.S. Military All-Stars
Chatham & Orleans June 9-10
|Saturday, June 9 at 7:00pm
Veterans Field, Chatham
|Sunday, June 10 at 7:00pm
Eldredge Park, Orleans
CAPE COD, Mass. – For the third straight year, the U.S. Military All-Stars will invade Cape Cod as part of their 2007 Red, White and Blue Tour of America.
The Combined Armed Forces squad will play two games against a select team of Cape Cod Baseball League players comprised of players from each of the 10 CCBL franchises.
This promises to be a memorable weekend of baseball and pageantry that brings together over 70 players and coaches from all over the country. The teams will face off in two exhibition games: Their first meeting will take place, Saturday, June 9 at Veterans Field in Chatham beginning at 7 p.m., and again Sunday, June 10 at Eldredge Park in Orleans, also beginning at 7.
"It’s difficult to properly explain why we love playing on the Cape,” said Lt. Commander Terry Allvord, U.S. Military All-Stars Founder/GM. “The best way to say it is probably because it’s a very special place for a myriad of reasons. Our past visits have been an incredible experience for everyone involved, from the league president to the youngest fan. I know how important it is to our players to have a chance to play in the Cape and they want to see it on our schedule each year.”
"Many of our guys told me that while they were fighting in the war they dreamed of returning home for an opportunity to play against the very best in the Cape", said USN Lt. Commander Terry Allvord, GM of the U.S. Military All-Stars.
The U.S. Military All-stars visit 23 states during their 18th annual Red, White and Blue Tour of America and one of their favorite places to visit is Cape cod.
“Few places can match the rich tradition of baseball and history of the Cape Cod League. More importantly to us, is that the Cape is overflowing with patriotism and support for our troops. There are players that set the Cape as the bar to help drive them to make our team. For many of our players due to operational commitments and their time away from the game it may take a few years of trying out before they make the team.”
Fielding a competitive squad has been a challenge for the Military All-Stars, particularly during this time of conflict in the Middle East.
“It’s even more difficult during a time of war for us to build and maintain a competitive team,” said Allvord. “We normally have 20 games and three months under our belt before we arrive. This summer, we will be lucky to have 3 games and a week to practice. It will also take more than a 100 different players constantly changing our roster and playing for a few weeks or a few innings.
For the first time, a native son returns to his roots on Cape Cod as a pitcher for the Military All-Stars.
“One of our players, (USN) Ensign Brian Higgins (Washinton & Lee) is a perfect example of this situation,” said Allvord. “He has strong roots in the Cape and has recently earned his commission as an officer in the Navy. He has a small window to join us in the Cape before reporting to his first ship. It will be an honor for him to toe the rubber for us in a place that has meant so much to his development and success.
“Our being able to witness his return to the Cape after his many achievements will be a thrill for all of us. Even though Brian, and many others schedules will only allow him to play in one game this summer, he will be an inspiration for us all to watch him pitch.
“Brian is one of many reasons why our mission to support the troops is so important. He has learned the deep lessons of why our freedom is so important during his time while living in the Cape. He has volunteered to do what is necessary to protect our way of life and very soon Brian will be at the tip of the spear. That is why our players accept the immense responsibility to represent all those in the armed forces who came before us and those serving at this very moment. We look forward to another historical weekend in Cape Cod.”
The CCBL Team that will compete in the games for the Military All-Stars Weekend will be led in the first game by Chatham A’s field manager, John Schiffner on Saturday at Veterans Field. Kelly Nicholson, field manager of the Orleans Cardinals, will take over the reins for the game held Sunday evening at Eldredge Park. Many of the players were selected at a meeting with Deputy Commissioner Sol Yas and general managers at the Frank Finn CCBL Tryout in Wareham Saturday afternoon.
The return of the Red White and Blue Tour brings together two teams who symbolize our nation’s great sense of patriotism and tradition. This special series allows the Cape Communities to come together and see some of the finest athletes compete in one of the oldest pastimes of our country.
“The Cape Cod Baseball League offers the U.S. Military All Stars a chance to compete against the best summer collegiate league in a setting that cannot be beat,” said CCBL senior vice president Jim Higgins, chair of the Military Games Committee.
The Military All-Star Tour signifies a great deal to everyone participating on all levels. The phrase coined by Lt. Commander Allvord, “Hustle, think, win,” runs deep in a time where the need for patriotism and support for our troops is vital.
This year especially, the 18th annual tour’s usual schedule of 350 appearances, making visits to 23 states is much more difficult with less time to practice and a roster of 100 different players constantly changing due to their calls to duty.
The U.S. Military All-Stars participate during off-duty time while on leave; cover their own expenses and decline government funding to ensure all available resources support our brave men and women overseas. Over 95 percent of the players selected each year have been deployed in direct support of the Global War on Terrorism. They represent some of the most talented athletes in the armed forces selected from thousands of personnel worldwide. In addition to playing highly competitive baseball, the team has joined forces with USA Cares, the Military Family Assistance Center which is a worldwide charitable organization serving all branches of the military, and Louisville Slugger to promote Operation Slugger II.
In 2005, Operation Slugger I began in response to an e-mail sent to the renowned baseball bat manufacturer from a solder in a war zone, asking for help in getting sports equipment for the troops. Operation Slugger I was the result and over 13.5 tons of sporting equipment was delivered to troops overseas. Operation Slugger II aims to reach a goal of 20 tons.
The Cape League will partner with the U.S. Military All-Stars to help collect sports equipment this summer for Operation Slugger II. New and gently-used equipment and supplies, such as gloves, bats, balls, footballs, basketballs, and hand pumps, are urgently needed. Locally, the Cardinals will partner with the Orleans Fire Department, which will be a collection site and Chatham will also be a drop-off location for Operation Slugger II.
To learn more about the Military All-Stars and their 18th Annual Red, White and Blue Tour, visit www.usmilitaryallstars.us.
People can contact: www.usacares.us or call 1-800-773 -0387 for more details on the Military Family Assistance Center and Operation Slugger II. Fans attending either of the games are asked to bring items for the Cape Cod Cares for the Troops donation boxes! Nearly 2000 care packages have already been sent overseas by Dylan DeSilva and these gift items are well-received by the soldiers. Cape Cod Cares for Our Troops is a non-profit organization started by 12 year old Dylan DeSilva. Dylan wanted to find a way to honor our soldiers for their service, dedication and sacrifices to our country. With the help of his family and friends he sends care packages to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan on a weekly basis.
Beginning its 123rd season in 2007, the 10-team Cape League originated in 1885 with individual town teams, was reorganized into the Cape Cod Baseball League in 1923 with teams in Chatham, Falmouth, Hyannis and Osterville and is now the premier collegiate baseball summer league in the country.
The CCBL vs. U.S. Military All-Stars exhibition game in Chatham next Saturday will be broadcast live on www.wbz1030.com beginning at 6:50 p.m.. Broadcasting legend Fred Cusick will provide play-by-play while Dan D’uva of the Chatham A’s and John Garner of the Cape League will do color.