18 August 2005
THIS WEEK IN THE CAPE LEAGUE
TEAM OF THE YEAR AWARD
On August 9, 2005 the Bourne Braves became the third team in Cape League history to receive the distinguished Commissioner’s Cup award. The Commissioner’s Cup is an annual award given to the team “that demonstrates the highest level of integrity and professionalism on and off the field, ensuring and enhancing the championship caliber of the Cape Cod Baseball League.” Last season, both the Wareham Gatemen and Falmouth Commodores shared the award – making them the first teams to ever be honored with the award in the Cape League.
“There are many objective and subjective factors that go into the decision making process of this award”, commented Paul Galop, Commissioner of the CCBL. “On field issues such as team behavior, professionalism, ejections and aggressive posture on our anti-tobacco stance all play a part in our review process. Additionally, off field issues such as player behavior, administrative deadlines with CCBL documentation and community involvement also contribute to our award assessment”, added Galop.
The Bourne Braves, who finished the season with a 26-17 record and clinched their first Western Division title since 2003, made a huge impact on and off the field this season – something that Braves GM Mike Carrier predicted would happen at the end of last season.
“After last season during one of our board meetings we set the goal for our franchise to win the Commissioner’s Cup,” said Carrier, who after a heartbreaking loss in game three of the Championship series on August 14th, was honored that his team had won the award. “We started out with a goal to improve ourselves as an organization, and this is truly the icing on the cake.”
“The Cape League is a volunteer league. So this award is a tribute to everyone involved in the Bourne Braves organization right down to the volunteers who made it happen,” added Carrier.
The Braves found themselves in a great position all season long. They remained in first place in the Western Division for much of the season, and made sure that fans that visited Coady School Field in Bourne felt appreciated and valued every time they walked into the ballpark.
“In our organization we like to think that we do ‘more in less,’” said Carrier. Our game day operations were specifically geared towards making fans comfortable, and we tried to ensure that our volunteers, right down to our interns, were easily identified and able to help people with anything they needed.”
Carrier also credits his coaching staff, led by Harvey Shapiro, for delivering a competitive team that put the principles of sportsmanship, honor and respect above everything else. This philosophy speaks for itself, as the Braves had no ejections or suspensions during the 2005 season.
Much credit also goes out to the players – who without hesitation stayed after every game and enjoyed signing autographs for fans often well into dusk. This interactive relationship between players and fans made the Bourne Braves franchise a more accessible and recognizable team throughout the Cape League.
With the possibility of six players returning to next year’s roster, Carrier admits that the combination of winning the Commissioner’s Cup and retaining the services of six players, is a great tool for attracting great talent to Bourne for next season.
“With a new facility being built next year; the fact that we have been to the League final twice in the last three years; and now being awarded the Commissioner’s Cup, I think it’s a big boost for our organization and something that we value immensely,” said Carrier.
“We are grateful to have been given this award and will build on it for next year.”
For the second time in three years, the Braves lost the Cape League championship in the third and deciding game to the Orleans Cardinals. Michael Kydd, CCBL Intern, [email protected]
John Garner, Jr.
CCBL Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 [email protected]
Interns: Stephanie Falco, Jason Itzkowitz, Jenna Kubesch, Michael Kydd, Nicholas Mucci, Colin Reed