for immediate release: 17 August, 2008
Chatham A's 2008 Season Review
Chatham’s Faithful Flocked
To Games as A’s Kept Playoff
Hopes Alive Until Final Days
CHATHAM, Mass. -- The 2008 Chatham A’s had an interesting season. Although they did not make the playoffs, there were many high notes for the organization as well as a few anomalies in the pitching staff. The team ended up in fourth place with a 19-25 record. However, they remained in the hunt for a playoff berth until the last week of the season. Losing four of their last five games sealed their fate.
Despite the disappointing finish, the A’s have a lot of positives to remember. Perhaps the highlight of the season for the franchise was hosting the 2008 Under Armour All-Star Game, which drew a huge crowd of 8,629 fans. It marked the first time the All-Star Game was shown live on NESN. The annual Baseball Factory Home Run Hitting Contest created quite a stir, as a few balls hit to right field crossed Depot Street and rolled into the back of the Chatham Fire Station.
The A’s have always been a popular team that draws large crowds, and this year was no exception. They were second in the league in attendance, attracting 40,567 fans. Factor in the All-Star Game attendance and Veterans Park fell just short of the 50,000 mark.
At the helm of the team was the veteran John Schiffner, who added to his all-time record of most wins by a Cape Cod Baseball League manager. At seasons end, Schiffner had eclipsed the 350-win mark. Schiffner also overtook retired Yarmouth-Dennis skipper Red Wilson’s record for most CCBL games managed.
Offensively, the team was led by shortstop Grant Green (Southern California), who was voted winner of the Robert A. McNeece Award as Outstanding Pro Prospect by the scouts. Green led the team in virtually every offensive category and was in the top five of seven offensive categories leaguewide (batting average, hits, doubles, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, extra-base hits and runs scored). Victor Sanchez (San Diego) tied with Green for the team lead in homers with six and drove in a team high 25 runs.
Corner infielder Kyle Bellows (San Jose State) was third on the team in RBI with 19. Bellows was solid on defense as well, committing only one error all season long. Corey Olson (Orange Coast) hit .325 and scored 23 runs in 29 games. Bellows and Olson each won the Coca-Cola Player of the Week Award during the season. Kyle Seager (North Carolina) also had a solid year, hitting .288 with a .380 on base percentage.
The pitching staff was a mix and match of starters, as 14 different hurlers took the ball to the hill to start games. Ace of the staff was left-hander Sammy Solis (San Diego), who led the team with a 2.41 ERA and 32 strikeouts; he also tied for the team lead in wins with three. Solis was the Coca-Cola Pitcher of the Week for week three.
The bullpen was anchored by closer Brad Boxberger (Southern California), who had nine saves to go along with a 2.89 ERA. He also struck out 28 batters in 18.2 innings.
Chatham’s pitchers brought plenty of heat as they tied with Falmouth for the most strikeouts in the league (396). But they also gave up the most hits (408) and the most home runs (29).
Chatham fans had some thrills in 2008. Now, they must sit back and count the days until the 2009 team takes the field.
Bill Watson, CCBL Public Relations Staff ([email protected])
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Stefanie Marini, Laura Rasmussen