06/08/2023 7:05 AM
Article By: Kayleigh Grieb
With the 2023 season about to go into full swing, there is much to expect out of the Cape Cod Baseball League's 100th season.
Anticipation and excitement is building, with fans and players from each of the ten teams flocking to the Cape with high expectations for this centennial season.
For starters, fans who find themselves fortunate enough to have caught a foul ball should take an extra look at their new momento. A new commemorative game ball design, presented by Baseball Cloud, is set to make its way into regular season games in celebration of the CCBL’s 100th summer season.
Fans can also expect a few change ups regarding how the games will play out.
First off, the infamous pitch clock will begin being utilized in Cape League games. The pitch clock refers to the guidelines that pitchers are expected to follow throughout the season, that being that pitchers are given 15 seconds with nobody on base to pitch and 20 seconds if there is a baserunner.
A pilot program with the pitch clock will be seen on select fields this season, thanks to the new partnership with United Collegiate Umpires. There also have been numerous franchises who will offer physical clocks, for players to see and utilize.
Alongside the pitch clock, another change that players have to adjust to this 2023 season is staying put in the batter’s box after the pitch. Players taking their time getting ready to hit will result in a called strike penalty.
The final major change that will be seen will be in extra innings, where each team will start with a runner on second base at the start of the 10th inning. The rule change intends to reduce the number of ties across the league, while also speeding up the game.
Commissioner Eric Zmuda had much to say on what’s to come this 2023 season.
“Coming from the Falmouth franchise, I know this is their 100th anniversary as well. So I'm looking forward to seeing some of the things they will do with the field. Chatham is the other one that's active right now, being a part of the original four (teams) many years ago. So, they'll be having some special events at their field. They’re going to be doing different things throughout the season that I just want to get to the park and get to the game to see some of the special things we'll be having for all the fans.”
Zmuda, like all involved with the CCBL, wasn’t shy in sharing his excitement for starting this upcoming season on a high note.
“We are looking forward to another fantastic summer. The plays that players make are always very exciting and we always look forward to seeing who’s going to stand out and watch them as they get ready to progress through their professional careers.”
Regarding the changes behind the scenes of the game, Andrew Lang was announced as President of the Cape Cod Baseball League this past January.
Previously serving as president for the Wareham Gatemen in their 2022 season, Lang just as Zmuda, is anticipating a great centennial season.
“The Cape League season is fun, but it's short. So, you prepare all year long. It’s only 8 to 10 weeks and then it's over. So, you have to try to enjoy as much of it as you possibly can over the summer. It's just good baseball. That's what I’m looking forward to.”