Photo courtesy of capecodchamber.org
By Drew Gallant
Since 1885, the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) has been the premier amateur baseball league in the nation. Ever since joining forces with the NCAA in 1963, the CCBL has yielded top Division I collegiate talent across the country. The league’s motto is “Where the Stars of Tomorrow Shine Tonight”, and with good reason.
In 2017, the CCBL had over 300 alumni under contract with Major League organizations, including current Boston Red Sox players Chris Sale (Yarmouth-Dennis, ‘09) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (Hyannis, ‘09-’11). Josh Donaldson, Evan Longoria, Kris Bryant, Matt Harvey and Jason Kipnis are some other big names who made pit stops on the Cape in their collegiate years.
The CCBL is recognized as the top summer collegiate baseball league in the country by college coaches and professional baseball scouts. One diehard fan called the league “the essence of baseball.”
While travelling throughout Cape Cod in the summer, there are always opportunities to catch some baseball. The 10 teams play a 44-game schedule at the beautiful fields of the Cape in Bourne, Brewster, Cotuit, Chatham, Falmouth, Hyannis, Harwich, Orleans, Wareham and Yarmouth-Dennis.
It’s no secret that the great American pastime is consistently losing love in the grand scheme of things, and what’s even more saddening is that kids just aren’t picking up a bat and glove as often anymore. The Wall Street Journal even published a piece in 2015 titled “Why Children are Abandoning Baseball.” This shows why we are among a blessed bunch on the Cape to be able to spectate this premier league with top-tier talent every single summer. No matter how popular the other major sports get, the CCBL will continue to fetch tomorrow’s baseball stars for us to watch.
Cotuit Kettleers head coach Mike Roberts urged everyone to get out this summer and catch a game.
“I would encourage everyone to take in a Cape Cod Baseball League game,” said Roberts. “They’re the best family entertainment on the Cape. Not to mention, it’s a great buy because there’s no charge!”
Coach Roberts, who referred to the league as the “pearl” of all summer collegiate leagues, went on to discuss the history of the league and how it’s helped shape the culture of the Cape.
“History is our greatest teacher,” Roberts said. “With over 100 years of games in so many different villages, the CCBL has helped shape the summer entertainment culture of families on the Cape from Memorial Day to almost Labor Day.”
Roberts, who has been coaching in the League since 1984, expressed his gratitude towards everyone who has chipped in to make the CCBL the league it is today.
Summer is right around the corner and soon the sounds of baseball will fill the air throughout Cape Cod once more.