08/16/2006 10:24 AM
16 August 2006
THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
DANIEL J. SILVA
BREWSTER, Mass. – The second Brewster player to earn the prestigious Daniel Silva Sportsmanship Award, Matt LaPorta (Florida) displayed not only great baseball talent this summer but exhibited outstanding sportsmanship on and off the field.
Matt LaPorta, Brewster Whitecaps
For the past three years, a catcher has been the recipient of this award. Although LaPorta has been a first baseman for the Whitecaps, he began his career at the University of Florida as a catcher and will perhaps return to that position should he continue into the professional ranks.
This year LaPorta was chosen by the Boston Red Sox in the 14th round of the draft and was the object of much attention by the scouts this summer. It was LaPorta's second season with the CCBL, and his second season with a postseason team. He was on the 2004 Y-D Red Sox team that ultimately won the CCBL championship, and he made it to the third game of the playoffs with this year's Brewster Whitecaps. In addition, he was a member of both the 2004 and 2006 East Division All-Star teams and competed in both of the home run hitting contests as well.
He made quite an impact on this Brewster team and had been a role model for a lot of the league newcomers. “Matt wanted to become the leader of the team and the guys looked up to him,” said Brewster field manager Bob Macaluso. “He hustled and is a very good player ... he is very likeable,” Macaluso added.
Macaluso was not surprised that LaPorta was chosen for this honor: “Matt played the game with a lot of enthusiasm and was very personable on and off the field.” LaPorta would talk to the umpires and opposing players, he didn't argue calls, and Macaluso said "he really played the game in a positive manner."
LaPorta lead his team in homers all summer and ended the season with six. He was one of the league leaders in slugging percentage at .463, and he finished first on his team with 19 RBIs.
LaPorta has been with Florida for three years and has been a standout player for the Gators, earning himself 54 career home runs and 154 RBIs. He ended his third season with a .259 batting average. Of his 41 hits, 14 were for homers, helping him rack up 38 RBIs. In 2005, he led the NCAA with 26 homers, setting a single season school record.
Since 1973, the Silva Award has been one of the most important and honorable in the Cape Cod League. It is voted on by the ECAC umpires, who witness the sportsmanship of these young men throughout the season. The award is named after former Cape League commissioner and umpire-in-chief Daniel Silva, who was an inductee into the CCBL Hall of Fame in 2000.
By Johnna DeChristoforo, CCBL Intern [email protected]
Interns 2006 : Chad Burkart, Johnna DeChristoforo, Jonathan French, Michael Kydd, Lauren Malone
Adam McGillen, Nicholas Mucci, Courtney Reilly, Daniel Scalia, Shannon Taylor, Kevin Wolfe