07/27/2011 7:20 AM
Article By:HARWICH, Mass. — After watching the Cape Cod Baseball League, most fans would agree that the slogan, "Where the Stars of Tomorrow Shine Today," is appropriate.
Young men are pursuing their dreams and working to hone their craft nearly every day on 10 Cape League diamonds. But what some forget to realize is that the league’s coaches are doing the same. They have all played the game, made sacrifices, and are now doing what they love. And there is no better coach in the league that personifies that ideal than Harwich Mariners assistant Pete Pasquarosa.
Pasquarosa — known as "Fingas" to the Mariners — has been with Harwich since 2004 and boasts more than 50 years in the game. Currently an assistant coach at Wheaton College (the reigning New England Men and Women’s Athletic Conference Champions), he has had other local college coaching stints at Babson College and Boston College. From 1988 to 2004, he also worked with the baseball program at Franklin High (where he teaches), heading the varsity team for the final 13 years of his stay. From 1992 to 2001, Pasquarosa was the school’s athletic director. In 2000, he was honored as the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Regional Coach of the Year and earned a top coaching accolade from The Boston Globe. And in a nod to his character on and off the diamond, he was lauded at Fenway Park for earning a statewide sportsmanship award.
Those who know Pasquarosa also know that it’s not just his accolades that make him a special coach; it’s his approach to life. Mariners pitcher Lex Rutledge is in his second season with Harwich.
"I love Fingas," Rutledge said. "He’s a great guy and an awesome person to be around in general. He is always polite, and I love how he always has a smile on his face. He always brings a positive attitude and encouragement to this team."
Rutledge said that Pasquarosa has been a great role model.
"He teaches how to play the game right and go hard each and every time we step on the field," he said. "He’s a huge champion of the mental aspect of the game and always talks to us about approach."
It’s not just the players that recognize Pasquarosa’s value to the Mariners.
"Pete’s been with the team for what seems like forever," Mariners vice president Jim McGonigle said. "He always works well with the kids and the players all love him. We’re fortunate to have coaches like that."
Pasquarosa would say the same about the Mariners. Meeting so many young players, helping them improve and impacting their lives in whatever way he can is something that he considers to be the most rewarding part of coaching.
"You’re involved with so many kids," he said. "I’ve been invited to four weddings of players. And now they’re having kids and seeing them be good parents and good husbands — I like that. Seeing them grow up and be good citizens."
Not only has Pasquarosa had the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with his players, but with his fellow coaches as well. He considers his relationship with Harwich field manager Steve Englert to be more than just coach and assistant coach.
"He’s my friend. I love the guy," he said.
With 50-plus years of baseball experience under his belt, Pasquarosa acknowledges that the game has changed.
"The coaching is better. They have all these guys that are so good," he said. "We didn’t do all the little things that they do here. I mean, looking at the pitching specialists now and the relief — long relief, short guys that come in. It’s just so specialized."
Pasquarosa, who plans to continue coaching for as long as he can, is sure to see the game change even more.
"I’m happy with what I’m doing and I’m just taking it one year at a time," he said. "I’ll just keep doing it until I don’t like it."
Pasquarosa’s connection with his players and his ability to work with kids is connected closely to his home life.
"I have a big family. I have four kids and four grandchildren, so that’s No. 1," he said. "I’m not home that much. I’m always coaching or teaching. Every moment I have to go home and see them, that’s what I do."
Pete Pasquarosa is just another reason why the Cape Cod Baseball League is special. Behind every great player lies a great coach.