11 July 2004
THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
Another Successful Day For Nantucket Island Pennant Game
Two weeks ago, the Hyannis Mets held their Third annual Nantucket Island Pennant Game at picturesque Tom Nevers Field. While the air was heavy with fog, most people agreed Nevers Field was a beautiful field of dreams on the water.
The concept of the Nantucket Pennant game is not completely new. In the mid-1990’s Brewster and Bourne also made the trip to Nantucket and played what many called the "Expansion Cup" at the high school field, across from Tom Nevers Field. The two teams were the expansion teams, joining the league in 1988 and the Braves and Whitecaps battled it out for four years on the island.
During the fall of 2001 Larry Maury started working to prepare what’s been quoted several times as picturesque Tom Nevers field. “It’s awesome to see the final result of what we started” stated Maury.
For three years, the Mets have traveled to Nantucket and have invited a team to meet them to play not only for a chance at the Nantucket Island Pennant, but to give their opponents a chance for what many see as a once in a lifetime opportunity, a chance to play on Nantucket.
Many of these ball players have never seen the ocean, the sand, or most certainly Nantucket. Being from all over the country and pulling young men into one geographic region gave all players from Yarmouth-Dennis and the Hyannis clubs a chance to experience something new with their teammates. Being so early in the season the hour and forty-five minute ferry ride over and back was what Hyannis General Manager John Howitt called a bonding experience for the team.
Drew Locke, a temporary player for Hyannis coming from Boston College and Frank Curreri, a catcher for Y-D out of the University of Massachusetts are two players who have already found that teammate's bond. Facing each other as opponents at Nantucket was what Drew Locke called a little weird, because we have played together forever.
Since they were 13 years old, Drew and Frank have played on the same team and it has been a dream for both of them to play in the Cape Cod League. Along the way they even won a state championship together.
The real meaning behind the Pennant game is not just a feeling of pride, but a sense of giving back to the community. The game is a fund-raiser for the Nantucket Babe Ruth Baseball team and it also brings a great experience to the island that many would be unable to obtain due to travel. The day didn’t just start and stop with the game. Two clinics were held in the morning for both the Babe Ruth team and a Little League team. Martin Nadyalklv a 13-year old Nantucket native playing his first year of baseball said, “I really like that they come down here, its fun, and I hope I one day I can play for the Cape League.”
Fans from both teams filled the bleachers to watch the game between the Mets and the Red Sox. Thanks to Hy-Line Cruises, 90 free tickets were given out by the Hyannis Mets while 174 of 200 discounted tickets were given out by President Peter Scarafile of the Hyannis Chamber of Commerce and President Randy Shepard of the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce and Eye Health Services. For the past two years, the fan base has been mostly those who live on Nantucket and this year the league worked hard to give the game its natural setting by giving as many regular fans an opportunity to see the game as possible.
Hyannis won for the second straight year, after losing their first Pennant Game to Falmouth. Since the Pennant Game is also a Hyannis home game, the Mets had the job of inviting whom ever they wanted the second year, and rightfully so it was Falmouth, in order to defend their title. After defeating Falmouth, Hyannis invited Yarmouth-Dennis to the third annual show down in Nantucket.
While the fog posed a constant struggle for both teams, the Hyannis Mets went on to win the game, 9-7 after a lengthy 52-minute fog delay. A major turning point in the game came when the Mets' Shane Robinson (Florida State) hit a two-run homer. The home run cut the lead to 7-5 and gave Hyannis the momentum it needed, not to mention that it was Hyannis’ first home run of the season.
Although Hyannis won, Bob Mayo, President of Y-D said, “The players should feel good about playing in Nantucket and honored to be asked to play.” Mayo also said, “they should enjoy it and take in all the excitement.”
The Nantucket Chamber of Commerce, Yarmouth, Dennis and the Hyannis Chambers all worked very hard to organize the Pennant game. Hy-Line Cruises, Nantucket Bank and AK Diamonds on Nantucket Island all pitched in and sponsored the exciting day long event. -- Erica Gregory, CCBL Intern 2004, [email protected]
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 [email protected]
Bruce hack, League Historian