07/20/2014 8:36 AM
Article By: Paul Galop
The annual Cape Cod Baseball League Player Seminar was held on Saturday, July 19 at the Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School auditorium. All players were in attendance for what turned out to be an educational opportunity that far exceeded everyone’s expectations.
CCBL Commissioner Paul Galop welcomed the players and coaches with a brief overview as to what the program was about to offer. CCBL President Judy Walden Scarafile provided opening comments while thanking those that made this annual event possible while assuring players they were about to receive unique information that would be of major importance to their career path.
CCBL Senior Vice President Jim Higgins provided an inspiring video highlighting portions of CCBL Hall of Fame speeches from former major leaguers emphasizing how important their specific summer on Cape Cod was to their professional growth. The constant bottom line message was their summer on Cape Cod was the best summer of their life in so many different ways.
Chuck Fox, Manager of Operations at the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, then presented a video and Power Point presentation for the players discussing career opportunities within professional baseball as well as draft expectations, collective bargaining factors, benefits, pensions and salaries at all levels of professional baseball. This portion of the seminar concluded with an invaluable handout from MLB to our players for future reference that were quickly collected.
Galop then introduced a player from the 1995 Chatham A’s who went on to a major league career with the St. Louis Cardinals culminating in being the winning pitcher of game 7 in the 2008 National League Championship Series against the New York Mets as the Cardinals went on to win the World Series that same year. Left-hander Randy Flores, now the founder and CEO of OnDeck Digital who provides a unique service to the CCBL for scouts, parents and fans at a distance, spoke eloquently, emotionally and passionately about his career from USC to the Cape League to the major leagues.
He emphasized people you meet along the way that shape your life that you will meet again many years later as he did, and how important those relationships are every step of the way. How people and players behave when no one is watching determines your level of integrity and defines you as a person. Randy’s speech had everyone’s undivided attention as his experiences in the Cape League, as well as his professional playing career provided a perspective for the players that they all want to encounter and experience. There is nothing like hearing it from someone who has not only been there, but has been highly successful in everything he has done, thanks to hard work and an extraordinary level of integrity and ethical behavior.
New York Yankee Scout Matt Hyde, who has been with the CCBL in numerous capacities for nearly 30 years, took the floor and went out into the crowd to be with the players. He stressed the opportunity the players have right now, the importance of every little thing the players do on and off the field, and what scouting directors look for during the games, before the games, after the games, dugout behavior, away from the ballpark behavior and every imaginable factor which ultimately decides a players draft position. Matt’s passion and direct approach to the players resonated deeply as there was not a peep in the audience and the information they received from Matt was embraced completely.
Scarafile wrapped up the seminar by introducing League Officers and Deputy Commissioners to formally announce the CCBL 2014 All-Star teams and HR Derby participants. These were selected earlier in the day by the 10 CCBL Managers and the results were warmly and enthusiastically welcomed by the audience.
As the hour and 15 minute session came to a close, numerous players upon exiting the auditorium went out of their way to thank league officials for providing such a worthwhile and meaningful seminar. This is the kind of student-athletes we have in the CCBL each year!
Needless to say, the day was hugely successfully and we could not be more pleased. We are thankful to the support of Major League Baseball, our internal and extended members of our CCBL family, the interns who were instrumental in making this such a successful event, our incredible speakers, Dennis-Yarmouth High School and Y-D Red Sox General Manager Steve Faucher and especially the players and coaches for making this such a special day.
Thank you! Commissioner, Paul Galop