12/14/2007 3:52 PM
Cape Cod Baseball League’s All-Star Game Returns
To Chatham’s Veterans Field after 10-Year Absence
Under Armor, Leading Cape Banks to Present July 26, 2008, Contest
CAPE COD, Mass. – After a 10-year absence, all star baseball will return to Chatham next July when the 2008 Under Armour Cape League All-Star Game is played at Veterans Field, home of the Chatham A’s.
At a recent meeting in Hyannis of the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Board of Directors, Chatham was awarded the 2008 mid-summer classic by unanimous vote of the 10 teams.
The A’s last hosted the game in 1998, when the East Division ended a seven-year losing streak by edging the West, 3-2, before an estimated 4,500 fans.
Last year’s game was played at Clem Spillane Field in Wareham, where an estimated 5,500 fans saw the East score a 3-2 victory over the West. It was the 45th CCBL All-Star Game since the league’s modern era began in 1963.
Cape League President Judy Walden Scarafile announced that Under Armour will be back as the title sponsor for the July 26 event. The game will again be presented by the leading banks of Cape Cod, with first the pitch set for 6 p.m.
“Under Armor came on board as a sponsor five years ago and they have expanded their sponsorship every year since,” said Scarafile. “We are thrilled to have them back for the second year as a title sponsor for the All-Star Game. They have been wonderful to work with and we look forward to a lot of fun as we plan the 2008 game in Chatham.”
Commissioner Paul Galop said Chatham is an ideal host location for the Cape League’s late-season classic. “The CCBL’s selection of Veterans Field is timely and exciting,” he said. “The last three events of this magnitude that were held there were spectacular events. The 1994 game against the U.S. Olympic team entertained a crowd (the size of which) was never before seen at a CCBL game. Then in 1998, Chatham hosted the annual Cape League All-Star Game, which was an exciting event that was run very professionally and smoothly.
“Finally, Team USA returned in 2000 and played in front of a record crowd that was estimated to be in excess of 10,000 fans. That day will long be remembered as one of the very special days in CCBL history. So, if history has a way of repeating itself, as it usually does,” Galop concluded, “I would expect the 2008 All-Star Game to be a real festive occasion and a delight for our loyal fans.”
Cape League Public Relations Director John W. Garner Jr. said plans are being made for radio and television coverage of the game. WCAI, local affiliate of National Public Radio, will again be airing the game, Garner said, adding that there is a possibility other NPR stations around the country may pick up the local station’s feed. Both NESN, which aired last year’s game on a delayed basis, and ESPN have expressed interest in carrying the 2008 game. Further details will be announced soon, he added.
In the so-called “modern era,” Chatham has hosted four league all-star contests. The first came in 1964 when the Lower Cape Division lost to the Upper Cape Division, 4-2. Four years later, it was another Upper Cape victory, 3-0, over the host Lower Cape squad.
In 1971, Veterans Field was the site again as an All-Star squad representing the entire league beat the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League All-Stars, 6-3. This was the second game in a series with the ACBL that lasted for nearly two decades and featured games at Boston’s Fenway Park, New York’s Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium and Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium, as well as at Chatham.
The Cape League demonstrated its superiority by winning 13 times, usually by wide margins. The ACBL won just twice, while one game ended in a tie and another was rained out. The two leagues could not agree on a site in 1972, so the previous season’s champions, the Falmouth Commodores, hosted a group of Cape League all-stars and beat them, 8-1, at Fuller Field in Falmouth.
In 1987, after absorbing its fifth straight loss, a 10-1 beating at Fenway Park, the ACBL finally pulled the plug on its participation. The current East vs. West all-star format was adopted in 1988, with Eldredge Park in Orleans selected as the site for the first three games. Chatham didn’t get its next opportunity as host until 1998, and the A’s have waited another 10 years to be awarded the honor for 2008.
Falmouth has hosted seven league all-star games, more than any other franchise. Orleans is right behind with six; Chatham is next with four, and Wareham and Harwich have hosted three each. Both Hyannis and Yarmouth-Dennis have had the honor twice, while Brewster and Bourne (Sagamore) have had just one all-star game played on their fields. Only Cotuit has never hosted the game.