06/28/2012 11:05 AM
BREWSTER, Mass. -- When the Brewster Whitecaps needed to find a new field manager for 2012, they didn’t have to look farther than their own dugout.
John Altobelli, in his 20th year as head coach for Orange Coast College, was assistant coach last season with the Whitecaps.
Altobelli’s success at Orange Coast has earned him the top spot in the college’s all-time wins list, with a 453-375-2 record. Named OEC Coach of the Year four times, Altobelli also earned honors as Southern California Coach of the Year and State Coach of the Year in 2009 when he led his team to its first state championship since 1980.
“I’m really enjoying myself, having the guys respond and listening,” said Altobelli. “I want them to showcase their skills. I’m not here to reinvent the wheel and try to change the way they hit or pitch. I want them to do their thing.”
Brewster is coming off a 10-5 win at West Division-leading Falmouth in a game broadcast on the Cape League Sunday Night Baseball Game of the Week on 96.3 WEEI Cape Cod and improved to 4-6 on the season.
Fondly called “Alto” by his players, Altobelli takes a work hard but have fun approach to the season, noting that he aims to have his players want to be at the field each day. After the long spring seasons—some longer than others, as teams fight for a chance to play in Omaha—summer ball can be grueling.
“I think that’s the important thing for these guys,” said Altobelli. “You have the long grind of the summer after playing a long college season. My main thing for them is showing up on time and playing the game hard, but let’s have fun doing it, and enjoy coming to the ballpark each day.”
Altobelli hopes this season is the start of many with the Whitecaps, building a consistency in the Brewster dugout that teams like the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Chatham Anglers and Wareham Gatemen have enjoyed.
“Hopefully we can keep things going here and college coaches will keep sending me their guys, and we can make this a long run.”
“It’s exciting,” he added. “It’s exciting to have my wife and two little girls out here this year—they weren’t here all last year, but it was nice last year I had my son JJ (Oregon) out here. It was a good father-son bonding experience. It’s exciting being the head guy, to just be around the Cape. You know, you hear about this league for all these years and then my experiences last year, and now being in charge, it’s exciting.”