for immediate release: 15 Jun, 2008
Bourne Throws the Switch,
Braves Officials Bask in Glow
Of New Lights at Doran Park
BOURNE, Mass. – No Bourne-based team has won the Cape Baseball League championship since 1965, when the Sagamore Canalmen accomplished the feat while playing night games under the ancient arclights at Keith Memorial Field in Sagamore.
From left, Bourne Braves President Tom Fink, John Doran and Upper Cape Tech Superintendent Kevin Farr bask in the warm glow of the new Doran Park lights, which were shown to the public for the first time in ceremonies on Wednesday night, June 11. The ballpark was named for Doran’s late father, George Doran Sr., a longtime Sagamore Beach resident and avid fan of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
CCBL photo 2008 / Jim Chandley
Since then, Bourne had played twilight games at Hendy Field at Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Coady Field, a converted soccer pitch off Cotuit and Trowbridge roads in Bourne Village, before finally settling in to Doran Park, now one of the finest facilities in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
The ’65 Canalmen featured two Cape League legends in their lineup. At shortstop was Cape League Hall of Famer Bob Schaefer (UConn), later a manager at Bourne and Hyannis and now Joe Torre’s bench coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Sagamore’s star pitcher was crafty lefty Noel Kinski (Providence), also a member of the Hall of Fame. Their manager was Lou Lamoriello, who today is president and general manager of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
That Sagamore team had one other distinct feature – a lighted ballpark.
Now the Bourne organization, figuring a 43-year run without a league title is enough, has come full circle. The team that finished first in the West Division in 2007 has a Cape League championship as its goal in 2008. The Braves took a major step in franchise history on Wednesday night, June 11, by lighting up Doran Park in impressive fashion.
As Braves President Tom Fink pointed out, the beautiful ballpark nestled behind Upper Cape Technical School was “a crumbling tennis court three years ago.” But at 8:06 p.m. on Wednesday, Doran Park was in perfect condition and brilliantly illuminated.
Upper Cape Tech Superintendent Kevin Farr said he is extremely pleased with the improvements. “The lights have been measured,” he said, “and they not only meet but exceed the specifications for a Triple-A ballpark.”
It was not only the lights that were shining at the ceremony. Various members of the community were there to celebrate the event, including Don Provost and Barry Motta, the two men credited with being the driving forces behind the project.
Also in attendance was John Doran, son of the man for whom the park is named, the late George Doran Sr., a longtime Sagamore Beach resident and avid baseball fan. The younger Doran said he and his family are extremely proud of the way the field has come along. “We already have the best park in the Cape League and we’re not done yet,” said Doran, who is hopeful that Bourne will be selected to host the 2009 All-Star Game.
The Braves also brought back former Bourne and Boston Red sox player Lou Merloni as a guest for the evening. Merloni entertained the crowd with a story of how he narrowly escaped the flame-throwing Billy Wagner (Brewster 1992) because the Braves had no lights during Merloni’s time in Bourne. Merloni, now a Red Sox studio analyst for NESN, praised the new facility and lighting for its “real ballpark feel.”
It was a special night in Bourne and a wonderful way to kick off what promises to be a fun-filled season. Team officials say they believe the new lights will result in a dramatic upswing in attendance, and more fans cheering in the stands should inspire the 2008 Braves to “light up” their opponents.
Jim Chandley, CCBL Intern ([email protected])