What could be better than knocking off work at 5 pm, walking half a mile down Main Street to a little ball field tucked into the pines, and watching the best college baseball players in the country play nine strong innings in the June sunshine?
Welcome to Cape Cod Baseball League baseball, arguably the best summer college baseball league on the planet. Where wooden bats reign, and little girls sing “Take Me Out To the Ball Game” during the seventh inning stretch. Where admission is free, kids run wild, and you can pick up a cup of clam chowder and a couple dogs for dinner. Cute girls in their summer clothes flirting with the boys in the dugouts. Old timers parked by the third base line fence in their lawn chairs. Families tucking into boxes of pizza on picnic tables.
This is the real deal. No lights. No rock music. No mascot running the baselines.
This is where I:
- smoked my first cigarette (in the pit in the woods behind the visitors stand)
- had my first (of several) fights with a townie (I was and always will be just a summer kid)
- had my bike stolen something like three times
Cotuit is where major leaguers like the Met’s Ron Darling played. The Yankee’s GM, Joe Girardi, was a Kettleer. The team was started in 1947 and has won the Cape championship more than 12 times. The current list of Kettleer alumni in the pros is here.
Great aerial of the Cotuit park here.