By Meg Hester CCBL Intern & Ashley Crosby Dir. of Social Media
WAREHAM -- Excitement and anticipation for the upcoming season filled the muggy summer air at the annual Frank Finn tryouts this Memorial Day, as nineteen players earned temporary contracts and a chance at a full roster position.
Roughly 80 players from across the country braved Memorial Day traffic to showcase their talents in front of coaches and representatives from the ten Cape League teams. The players come from all over the country, from local schools like Bridgewater State, Franklin Pierce, and Babson College, to schools farther away, such as Jacksonville University and Georgia State University.
The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox signed six players to contracts, including pitchers Greg Downing (Franklin Pierce), James Lomangino (St. John’s), Eddie Medina (St. John’s), Steve Hathaway (Franklin Pierce), and infielders Chris Serriitella (Southern Illinois) and JericoWeitzel (Clarion).
Orleans picked up three position players in Nick Natale (Palm Beach Atlantic), Tony Negrin (LaSalle), and Ben Waldrip (Jacksonville St.), while Wareham snagged catcher Mike Fischer (Columbia) for their temporary backstop.
Tryout coordinator Sue Pina, who is also the assistant GM for the Cotuit Kettleers, described the event as “all about dreams becoming a reality, and for all those that signed a temp contract, their dream is that much closer.” The dream is that much closer for two Massachusetts natives, Mike Bortolotti (Babson) of Milton who signed with Bourne and Harwich’s own Andy Sadoski (Bridgewater St.), who signed with the Mariners.
The invitational tryout is a chance for field managers to fill holes in their rosters, due to players competing in the College World Series, accepting invitations to play with Team USA, and the inevitable spring season injuries that drain rosters before the season begins.
Those players who signed at the tryouts will join their fellow teammates on June 10th as the league opens their season across the Cape. They’ll have the opportunity to earn full contracts as the rosters stabilize in the coming weeks, with success stories of players like Charlie Furbush (Hyannis 05-06, Detroit Tigers) providing hope in the competitive Cape League.
Furbush, an unknown before the tryouts in 2005, threw a total of nine pitches in his inning on the mound that day—nine perfect strikes to dispatch his three batters faced.