08/03/2022 10:37 PM
Article By: Daniel Fox
It was a scorching hot day at Spillane Field in Wareham, the site of the 2022 Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game. Many employees and volunteers had arrived at the field hours before first pitch, getting the site ready for what promised to be one of the most memorable days of the Cape League season.
One of those at the field early was Falmouth Commodores and League President Chuck Sturtevant. Sturtevant is in his 36th and final year working at the Cape League, but he still displays the same youthful energy as if this was his debut season. He bounced around the concourse, exchanging lengthy conversations with everyone he came in contact with.
I asked Sturtevant if he ever remembered an All-Star game played in such scorching heat.
“I don’t believe so,” said Sturtevant. “This is as hot as I can ever remember it. And I’ve been here since 11 AM.”
There was no tone of frustration in his voice. Nor was there a sense of fatigue or displeasure. Sturtevant didn’t seem to mind the mid-90s heat, or the fact that he was staring down a 12-hour day at the ballpark chalk full of responsibilities. Chuck Sturtevant was at a baseball field, and when he is at a baseball field, he is at peace.
To understand this is to understand the essence of Sturtevant. He has held a lot of positions over the years: General Manager, President, Hall of Fame Committee member, Finance Committee member, League Executive Board member. But above all else, Sturtevant is just a guy who donated 100 baseballs to his hometown Falmouth Commodores in 1987.
“I loved it, I loved the game of baseball, I loved to see great players make it,” said Sturtevant. “I’m very fortunate.”
Many of the biggest accomplishments Sturtevant has had over the years have come off the field, such as taking over the role as Bourne Braves General Manager and Treasurer, leading them out of financial trouble. Yet it’s the memories of the game on the field, such as when I asked him to recall his favorite player, that make Sturtevant really light up.
“Darin Erstad,” he said without hesitation. “He played with me for two years, I inducted him into the Hall of Fame in 2003. He was phenomenal, a great person, to this day I still communicate with him, his wife, his family, and so on. I went to his wedding in Jamestown, North Dakota on January 15, and who goes to Jamestown, North Dakota? The only two people he introduced at the rehearsal dinner were myself and his host mom, and he said if it wasn’t for me, he would have never been the number one pick in the country.”
With all the responsibilities he’s had over the years, it’s clear that the impact Sturtevant makes on a player's life is one he takes the most pride in.
“You’ve got to remember it’s not about what you get out of it, it’s about what you can give to get out of it,” said Sturtevant. “You’ve got to love it, and help these guys achieve major league status if they can.”
Yet it’s not just players who Sturtevant has had a major impact on. Those who have worked with Sturtevant over the years have raved about the effect he’s had on their careers. That includes Eric Zmuda, the current commissioner of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Zmuda first met Sturtevant when he was a host family in 2010, and credits Sturtevant for helping him get more involved with the league.
“I think just grabbing the experience of what Chuck has seen and done, and the wisdom that he has, just being able to have him as a fountain of knowledge has been a great benefit,” said Zmuda.
Besides taking the role as mentor, Sturtevant has become a close friend to Zmuda.
“I think if you ask two dozen people who are involved in the Cape League what their favorite thing is about Chuck, it would be his wit and humor and his kindness,” said Zmuda. “We’ve been fast friends (ever since I joined the league).”
Sturtevant has also formed a strong bond with Falmouth Manager Jeff Trundy. Trundy first joined the Commodores in 1997 before quickly ascending to head coach in 1999. In the two decades since, Trundy and Sturtevant had worked closely together to run the Commodores on and off the field, while also becoming close friends.
“Chuck has not only been a guy I’ve looked to for guidance and direction, but probably first and foremost he’s become a dear friend,” said Trundy.
Trundy points to Sturtevant’s selflessness as one of the things he admires most about his friend.
“I think what you find out quickly about Chuck is that all of his decisions and work always placed the kids first,” said Trundy.
“I think that’s what makes him so valuable to us as an organization and to the league, because he always places the kids' priorities first, not his own.”
Sturtevant’s dedication to the community and players has made him a beloved figure to fans and league members alike. Yet while it’s clear that Sturtevant’s love for the game and league hasn’t faded in the slightest, it’s now time for him to let someone else take the reins.
“It's time for me to sit back. I want to go to a game, and enjoy it and not be bothered so much,” said Sturtevant.
“Even though there are some I bet who will want to say hi or whatever, but I want to be able to go and enjoy a game, and really relax for whatever time I have left.”
No matter what title Sturtevant holds, he will always be what the Cape Cod Baseball League is all about.