06/13/2007 2:00 PM
for immediate release: 14 June, 2007
CCBL Opens 123rd Season with 5 Games Friday
Nation's Top Summer Collegiate Circuit Ready to Go
CAPE COD, Mass. -- Fresh off a two-game weekend sweep of the U.S. Military All-Stars and an eye-popping Major League Baseball draft which saw 154 of its players chosen in the first 22 rounds, the No. 1 summer collegiate baseball league in the nation is poised and ready to open its 123rd season Friday, June 15, with a full slate of five games.
Yarmouth-Dennis, the Cape Cod Baseball League's defending champion, will visit Hyannis and Bourne will drop in on Cotuit for a pair of twilight contests scheduled to get under way at 5 p.m. Then, under the lights at 7, Wareham invades Falmouth, Chatham visits Harwich and Brewster plays at Orleans.
Cape League fans are still talking about the dominating performance of a select Cape League team last weekend against the U.S. Military All-Stars, who were making their annual stop on the Cape as part of their Red White and Blue tour. Although comprised primarily of "temporary players," the Cape League squad played like veterans, posting a 3-1 victory Saturday night at Chatham and a convincing 8-1 win Sunday at Orleans.
Many of the players participating in those two exhibition games are hopeful their performances will earn them consideration for spots on the final rosters of CCBL teams once the dust settles from last week's amateur draft. As usual, a large number of drafted players are ticketed for spots on Cape League team rosters this summer, but they may be tempted to embark on a professional career instead, opening the door for some "temporary" players to step in.
It was no surprise that Cape League players were prominent in the baseball draft, which was shown live on ESPN for the first time, Seven of them went in the first round, and four were among the top 10 -- former Cotuit southpaw Daniel Moskos (Clemson), taken by Pittsburgh with the fourth pick; Orleans catcher Matt Wieters (Georgia Tech), selected by Baltimore at No. 5; Falmouth left-hander Ross Detwiler (Missouri State), Washington's choice at No. 6, and Y-D and Brewster slugging first baseman Matt LaPorta (Florida), the No. 7 pick by Milwaukee. Joining them as first-rounders were Bourne slugger Beau Mills (Lewis & Clark), at No. 13 by Cleveland; Cotuit right-hander James Simmons (Cal-Riverside), No. 26 by Oakland, and 6-10 Orleans right-hander Andrew Brackman (North Carolina State), who was selected by the Yankees with the 30th selection.
Local southpaw pitcher Cody Crowell (Vanderbilt), who played at Harwich and Brewster the past two summers, was selected in the 14th round (No. 445 over-all) and signed by the Toronto Blue Jays.
This year, for the third straight season, the Cape League has received a grant of $300,000 from the Yawkey Foundation to support improvements to its baseball fields. The villages of Cotuit and Wareham are benefiting from the 2007 grant. Lowell Park, home of the Cotuit Kettleers, and Clem Spillane Field, home of the Wareham Gatemen, received $150,000 each to utilize for field improvements which will support not only the activities of the Cape League, but also those of high school, Babe Ruth League and American Legion baseball teams and leagues. Yawkey Foundation grants in 2004-05 went to assist in the construction of two new baseball fields for the Bourne Braves and Brewster Whitecaps, while Falmouth and Hyannis received similar grants in 2006.
Both summer visitors and year-round residents have enjoyed Cape League baseball games for decades, and now listeners and viewers throughout the world may share in that special brand of entertainment as the CCBL continues to expand its internet presence. For the sixth straight year, webcasts of every game will be beamed out on the Internet by each of the league's 10 teams, and WBZ1030.com, will present a special CCBL Game of the Week package with legendary sports announcer Fred Cusick handling the play-by-play duties and CCBL media and broadcasting director John Garner doing color commentary. The seven Monday and Tuesday night Game of the Week webcasts will feature live streaming audio and video.
In all, 220 regular-season games, the All-Star Game and every playoff game will be available online.
The 45th annual All-Star Game on July 28 at Clem Spillane Field in Wareham will also be broadcast live by the Cape and Islands' three National Public Radio (NPR) stations -- WCAI 90.1 FM, WNAN 91.1 FM and WZAI 94.3 FM. The listener-supported stations are a service of the WGBH Educational Foundation, serving Cape Cod, the offshore islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, and the south coast.
More than 100 CCBL officials, team volunteers and media representatives attended last Sunday’s CCBL First Pitch Brunch, which was hosted by the 99 Restaurant in West Yarmouth and featured Pete Sheppard of WEEI Radio’s “Big Show” as master of ceremonies. Highlighting the function were short talks by Commissioner Paul A. Galop and the league's field managers.