America's League

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Looking Back At The All-Star Game Experience

Photo by Lilly Rennie
07/29/2023 10:25 AM

Article By: Kaileigh Grieb

As the West Division celebrated their 7-1 victory over the East this past All-Star weekend, 6,145 fans flocked to Whitehouse Field to join in the festivities. Fans from all over the Cape eagerly watched the best of the best go head to head representing their divisions.

Upon entering the ballpark, rows of sponsor tables that help support the Cape Cod Baseball League and all it has to offer lined in rows. Sponsors such as Milton CAT, as well as Baseball Cloud, proudly were part of the CCBL’s 2023 All-Star Game.

Being a sponsor for a little over eight years and this being their second summer working at the All-Star Game, Milton CAT representative, Dean Swartz, proudly represented the League’s title sponsor and had much to share on the day.

“The Cape League is such an important part of summers and baseball on the Cape. We cover the areas where all the teams are so it's just a sort of community neighbor and partner. We think it's a really good thing to do.” Said Swartz when asked what their purpose is partnering with the CCBL.

As the day went on and fans began to funnel into Whitehouse Field, players warmed up and prepared for the day. The autograph tables were lined with memorabilia and players for both divisions left their lasting impact on fans who eagerly waited for signatures and to even just bask in small moments with these players.

Another major sponsor that made an appearance this past All-Star weekend was first year league, Baseball Cloud. Baseball Cloud is a platform that aims to provide the in-game metrics that creates visualizations for the players to better understand their data as well as formulate a better relationship with said data with the coaches alongside their players. The CCBL aims to use this platform to not only help players across the league improve their stats but allow for their own college coaches to have a better understanding of their players. Major league organizations also have access to this platform.

Baseball Cloud representative, John Updike, proudly showed off exactly what Baseball Cloud was all about.

“You have the best players in the country playing the best amateur baseball in the world. It’s been great to be able to see the information for the players and to see the effect the information has on the players and their development.”

Upon that, Baseball Cloud also centers around fan engagement. As seen on the CCBL’s own social media platforms with players winning “Home Run of the Week”. This allows for fans to see for themselves how far a player's home run was, height of the ball, as well as the speed of the ball.

For many fans in attendance, the All-Star Game wasn’t anything new to them. For many, the All-Stars have become a sort of summer tradition that they carry with them year after year. However, the smooth sailing of the day couldn’t have been done without the help and endless hard work from the CCBL interns who put their all into what that day was all about. Former interns even made their own appearance to support both players, coaches, and staff who helped make the day what it was for all.

One of those familiar faces in the crowds was Ethan Kagno, who was a writing intern for the CCBL from 2020-2022. In his time with the League, he has seen the transitions vary from the COVID summer season into what it was at Whitehouse Field.

“Today has just been awesome. It was great to see all the interns that I used to work with like a little reunion,” joked Kagno.

When asked what it was like to intern and work All-Star Games in the past for the CCBL, Kagno had much to share, saying:

“Just being able to meet everyone and make connections with the scouts, with teams, the players, coaches, and the other interns from other teams. It was just a great overall experience. I encourage anyone who wants to work in sports to work for the Cape League.”

The support that the staff felt during the All-Stars came straight from the top of the League. That being Commissioner Eric Zmuda, who was not shy in sharing his excitement for the day, as well as the support for all who helped make the All-Star Game what it was.

“This was the All-Star Game that I was envisioning. Seeing people enjoy themselves, the exciting Home Run Hitting Contest, and a lot of engagement.” Said Zmuda.

This being Zmuda’s third All-Star Game as Commissioner for the CCBL, he shared how easy it is for staff and players to put immense pressure on themselves to make the All-Star Game a great experience:

“At the end of the day, it’s just another baseball game. Keep that at heart because that’s what everyone is here to see and enjoy yourself, always remember to have fun and it becomes a very good day. Everybody is always here to help, so many volunteers helping, so many dedicated interns, and you have help from the ten franchises throughout the day, too.”

Getting on the field to the players and coaches, there was much talent on the East and West rosters. Coaches selected what they saw as the best representation from both Divisions of the CCBL and in doing that, they prepared quite a game for fans to watch.

Coming in on the West side, the field manager was the Bourne Braves own Scott Landers with the East being led by Brewster Whitecaps manager, Jamie Schevick. Coach Schevick has been the heart of the Brewster Whitecaps for nine seasons now. This being the second All-Star Game Coach Shevick has been a part of, he recalled how refreshing it was to see a solid lineup of players enjoy a day full of fun baseball.

“The biggest enjoyment we get as coaches is watching our players. It’s been a long summer for a lot of these guys so to see them come out and enjoy themselves and have fun playing baseball, that's what it's all about.” Said Shevick.

From a players standpoint, the All-Star Game was more than just a day of celebration. The best of the best of the CCBL turned up bright and early and were ready to showcase their worth in front of scouts, fans, and coaches alike whether it was through the “Home Run Hitting Contest” or even the game itself.

For two players, the day was what they made it. Will Koger (Wareham Gatemen) and Patrick Forbes (Brewster Whitecaps) made their gametime appearance this past weekend. The two pitchers from Louisville may not have been donning the same summer ball uniforms this season, but their support for one another spread from the East and West dugouts.

“It was a great experience. It was nice meeting players from all different teams,” reflected Koger. “(Forbes) hasn’t pitched against Wareham yet, so it was good to see him pitch today, he shoved it just as I expected him to.”

Forbes agreed with Koger in the experiences they had both shared throughout the day, agreeing that there is no better place to improve as a player than on the Cape.

“It’s nice meeting people from all over the country. Staying in a good home, living with good people, having good food, it's the best place to be for summer ball,” said Forbes.

With the playoffs looming in the distance and the pressure starting to build on these teams, seeing a lineup of the best of the best come together for a day of fun and not-so serious baseball was a sight many enjoyed watching.

Players and coaches on both sides of the CCBL shared in much comradery both on and off the field as the day went on. Including sharing in that comradery with volunteers and interns who helped keep the day on track so that fans both young and old could enjoy the festivities of good ol’ fashioned summer baseball.