Baseball in its purest form is finally upon us after what seemed like a never-ending winter. The Cape Cod Baseball League is about to kick-off our 125th season with exciting changes that were adopted during the off-season.
We will be playing baseball every night during the summer of 2009 as we have moved games around on our schedule so that there is at least one game every night. Of course the weather may play a part in those plans. We have also added two additional teams to our playoff format so there are now six teams in the playoffs. The winners of each division will earn a first round bye. More teams in the playoffs means more baseball in August which is what we were striving to do to satisfy the large numbers of vacationers that are still here in mid-August.
Field improvements continued to flourish as the Chatham Anglers completely rebuilt their field, compliments of their efficient fund-raising and a grant from our friends at the Yawkey Foundation in Boston. The field features all new turf in both the infield and outfield as well as new safety screening for fan protection to name just a few of the upgrades. The Orleans Firebirds and the Y-D Red Sox were awarded additional Yawkey grants this year and their plans for field enhancements will be worth waiting for. Orleans plans on building new dugouts, putting an addition on the press box and install safety netting along the first base line to provide a safer environment for their fans. Y-D is already installing 14 additional sets of bleachers and has plans to add a permanent facility for refreshments and fan facilities. The addition of a brand new scoreboard is also in the plans.
Head Coaches and General Managers have been working diligently to get the best players that collegiate baseball has to offer to come to Cape Cod this summer. We have over 100 different colleges and universities represented and over 55% of our signed players participated in the baseball regionals. Our ten teams have 48 total players in the College World Series, thus giving our valuable temporary players a great shot of showing what they can do while trying to make the team.
We are very pleased to be having our CCBL All-Star Game at Fenway Park this summer on July 23rd at 7PM. The game will be broadcast live on NESN and the admission price is $10 with open seating. This is the first time we have had our mid-summer classic there since 1987. This is a great opportunity to get a great seat at Fenway at an awesome price to see what has become a very exciting event.
Thanks to our volunteers who continue to be the heartbeat of our very existence, and thank you to our incomparable fans whose allegiance and support is so important and critical to us. We cannot tell you all how appreciative and humbled we are by your dedication and enthusiasm and we hope to exceed your expectations with another great summer of the finest collegiate baseball in the country right here on Cape Cod. Thanks for being here and have a great summer!
-Paul A. Galop, Commissioner