A New Weekly Column from Codball

by Harrison Meyers

               Another season of Cape Cod Baseball is upon us, and Codball has a few new things in store for this season.  From a new column and a new contributor, its finally time to kick off the 2019 Cape Cod Baseball League season.  My name is Harrison Meyers and I am the new contributor on staff here at Codball, and I will be putting together a weekly column about the league, and life on the Cape.  There is so much to say about the Cape League that I wont get to it all every week but for this column we are going to break down all the best action, the implications for the teams, and name the Codball Players of the Week so even if you cant be on Cape to follow your favorite summer league you can follow Codball and not miss any of the action.

About the Author

               The 2019 Cape Cod Baseball League season marks my 14th season following the league full time.  My family and I have been traveling to the Cape for our annual vacation for over two decades now and it was in 2006 as a precocious nine-year-old I caught the baseball bug.  From that day on I was in love with the sport, and it would only be a few months later that I met my true first love, the Cape League.  There is something special about a Cape League game, for anyone who has gone to one you know exactly what I am talking about.  The feel of the wind as it whips off the water, the smell of salt in the air, and the lack of salesman hocking beer and peanuts in the stands are just a few things that make the Cape League different from your professional or even some college level games.  With this in mind it makes it easy to understand why a nine-year-old kid who loves baseball would fall in love with the way baseball is played in the sleepy towns and villages of the Cape.

               Following my introduction to the league I started following it full time, imagine the now 10-year-old me begging my mother to get onto our old desktop computer to check out scores and highlights from NCAA games to follow the guys who might make it to the cape.  That was me.  There is also a story of how I emailed Bill Bussiere – former Hyannis GM and current League bigwig - to find out if the Hyannis Mets (as they were known as the time) would take me if I went to a Division 2 school, but more on that later.  That was my life, even though I am not from the Cape I feel as if I grew up on the ballfields of the Cape, following my beloved Hyannis team up and down the Cape, pointing out every field along the way, and causing my parents an unknown amount of frustration by insisting that we always be at the game before the national anthem (sometimes a challenge when your driving from Hyannis to Wareham for a game on Friday night.  Now that I do this drive myself, I understand why we were late).

The Column

               My new column with Codball will come out once a week on Thursdays and serve as a weekly recap and primer for the big games over the week ahead.  I will highlight the games I am looking forward to in the new week, shout out the best players across the league and award them Codball Player of the Week honors, and do it all in about 600 words (ok, sometimes more).  Being just one person I cannot possibly cover everything there is to know about the Cape League and every story that comes up, but I will do my best to cover all of the big story lines and bring you the action from the field so if you can’t be on Cape you can still keep up to date with the help of your friends at Codball.  And while I am a devoted Harbor Hawk fan and have worked with the team for many years, I love all Cape League baseball and will tell each story as such without bias while giving my personal opinions on the matter (this is a blog after all).  The column currently remains nameless, so please reach out to me if you have an idea.

If you see or hear a story that you think should be covered, reach out to me at Harrison@codball.com, or tweet at me (@HyannisFaithful) or the blog itself (@Codball).  I am excited to get back onto the field and can’t wait for the first pitch of a new season, just hours from now as I am finishing this first post at slightly before noon on June 10th, the first day of the new season. 

This is going to be a great season, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you, hearing your stories, and continuing the old Cape League pastime of looking at the current crop of Cape Leaguers and trying to guess who the next big-league superstar is going to be. 

-Harrison Meyers

Cape League Corner Returns for 2019, Hall of Fame Class Announced

by Andrew in

As I write this, it's the morning of Opening Day 2019, which is Christmas Day for Cape League fans. 🙂

The Cape Cod Times’ Cape League Corner podcast is back again for their third season, and you can follow along in your favorite podcast app. The official Cape League Instagram account also looks to be a great way to follow along this year. And don't forget about @CodBall on Twitter.

In other news, on Sunday, June 9th, the 2019 CCBL Hall of Fame class was announced. In this year's class is former Commissioner Paul Galop, former MLB third baseman Conor Gillaspie (Falmouth '07), and Yarmouth-Dennis manager Scott Pickler (aka "Pick"). See the league press release for the full list.

Adley Rutschman (Falmouth '17) selected #1 in MLB Draft

by Andrew in

The 1st overall pick of the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) First-Year Player Draft was Adley Rutschman (Oregon State). Rutschman, selected by the Baltimore Orioles, played 21 games for the Falmouth Commodores in 2017 and is touted as a better overall catcher than Buster Posey.

Adley Rutschman press conference after he was selected #1 overall in the 2019 draft.

Is he that good? Well - he was intentionally walked by the Cincinnati Bearcats with the bases loaded on Friday night, May 31st.

It’s the second year in-a-row where the 1st overall pick was a Cape leaguer.

The Cape had 14 alumni selected in the first round, compared to 16 last year (including Casey Mize). The league reported they had 60 alumni in the first four rounds. Andrew Vaughn (Wareham ‘18) was selected third overall by the Chicago White Sox, and J.J. Bleday (Orleans ‘18) was selected fourth overall by the Miami Marlins.

Checking in on McKeon Park before the 2019 season

by Andrew in

On Sunday, May 19, we drove by McKeon Park in Hyannis to check on the status of their renovations.

Good news - the field is looking great! The new home and away dugouts are still in progress since they only have a concrete foundation. There's no sign of the new Daktronics scoreboard, but maybe that's being installed closer to opening day.

Judy Walden Scarafile Field is brand new!

Judy Walden Scarafile Field is brand new!

Old bench and painted sign by the field house

Old bench and painted sign by the field house

Home dugout foundation

Home dugout foundation

Away dugout foundation

Away dugout foundation

Funds for the updates to McKeon Park were from the Barnstable Town Council through the Community Preservation fund ($750,000), and the Yawkey Foundation ($100,000). The estimate for the entire project is $1.75 million. According to the Barnstable Patriot (Dec 18, 2018), future updates will include new bleachers and handicap-accessible levels.

Brad Pfeifer, president of the Harbor Hawks, says the goal is to bring McKeon Park up to the same quality as a small minor league facility.

Watch the CCBL Documentary, Summer Heat

by Andrew in

There’s a new-to-me Cape Cod Baseball League documentary called Summer Heat by D.J. Jamiel and Nick Johnson. The film centers around the 2014 Hyannis Harbor Hawks and initially sought funding via Indiegogo. I believe it is not available anywhere, except a single link on the Harbor Hawks home page.

I enjoyed watching Nick’s Hawks Talk during the 2014 season, which was an ambitious 40-episode video blog.

You can watch the entire 52 minute documentary with this Vimeo link: https://player.vimeo.com/video/274793623

Brady Singer surprises parents with Christmas gift

by Andrew

Brady Singer (Falmouth ‘16) is making headlines this holiday season. Not only is he the Kansas City Royals top prospect, but he surprised his parents with an incredible Christmas gift: he paid off all their debt. Watch the video from Twitter to see the reaction.

Singer pitched 28 innings for the Commodores in 2016. In 2017, Singer helped his Florida Gators to a national title and earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team. This year, he won the NCAA’s Dick Howser Trophy for national college baseball player of the year, and was selected 18th overall in the Major League Baseball draft.

Watch the mini-documentary "Cape Cod: Journey to the Bigs"

by Andrew

Without any fanfare, Fox Sports released “Cape Cod: Journey to the Bigs” on their Vimeo account. If you haven't seen the 22-minute mini-documentary, it centers around the 2017 season and features interviews with volunteers, players, managers, alumni, scouts, and host families including Barbara Ellsworth (known as Mrs. E). Mrs. E. passed away on October 31, 2018, and was inducted posthumously to the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame on December 1, 2018.

Wareham's Isaac Collins on SportsCenter Top 10 Plays

by Andrew

Isaac Collins (Creighton) not only earned a championship ring with Wareham this season, but he also snagged the #1 spot (!) on SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays this week. Check out the video proof in the tweets below:

How Summer Catch was written

by Andrew

Editor's note: It's playoff time! Stay tuned to @CodBall for our coverage

I'm not sure how I missed this one! 

Matt Paré (aka the "Homeless Minor Leaguer") and Ty Kelly (MiLB, Las Vegas 51s) star in this hilarious skit that imagines how the 2001 romantic comedy Summer Catch (2001) came to be. 

For the uninitiated (and you may want to stay that way), the CCBL is the setting for Summer Catch, which stars Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jessica Biel.

Matt Paré announced his departure from baseball earlier this year after spending a few years in the Giants organization. In 2012, he was a temp player for the Y-D Red Sox before spending the majority of that summer with NECBL's Newport Gulls. Subscribe to HomelessMinorLeaguer on Youtube and his other channel Hey! Matt Paré.

Ty Kelly is a utilityman for the New York Mets organization, currently in AAA with the Las Vegas 51s. In 2008, he was a CCBL All-Star on the Brewster Whitecaps.

Lower Cape TV interviews Brewster coaches

by Andrew

Don't miss this new clip from Lower Cape TV with Brewster coaches Tommy Weber and Neil Barbella. Download the LCTV App to watch all Brewster Whitecaps home games this season.

The players right away band together, eat together, live together, laugh together. It’s really not that difficult for them. That’s one of the things that really impresses me about this level of player - how easily they adapt to new surroundings, their host families. There’s not a lot of instances of guys wanting to go home. They know what the stakes are and how lucky they are to be here, and they really embrace it.
— Tommy Weber, 6/14/18 on Lower Cape TV