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.
7 thoughts on “Local ball”
I can almost smell the greem infield from here. no, wait!, that’s another type of grass I think I smell.
beautiful park, great ambience. but it needs more fresh grown California produce.
Excellent post mr Churbuck. now Release the hounds!
That’s my team. the Kettleers, although I never seem to get to games any more because I’m still at work when the games start. As I’ve told many people, it doesn’t get any more old-time America than that. However David — you forgot to mention the butt splinters.
Butt splinters — I swear, my fat ass almost snapped one of the bleacher planks leaving last night’s game against Chatham.
Charlie — it’s called hooky. Just run.
It’s solid, competitive baseball – up close – with some of the best college players in the country.
Not sure if they still do this, but a couple of years back they used to have a child accompany each Cotuit player to their fielding positions just prior to start of the game and stand next to them for the National Anthem. My son trotted out with the center fielder for this event one year and was in his glory. The league is a treasure and Elizabeth Lowell field a wonderful place for baseball.
Three more weeks and we’ll be back for our annual Cotuit pilgrimage – looking forward to seeing a few games then.
They still do it Mike. Did it tonight — Cotuit 2, Hyannis 1. Life is good.
Hooky is out of the question. I’m an employee of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and (inside reference), to quote the late George Keverian “I am not a hack.” I can always take vacation time of course, but ducking out early would be a disservice to to my fellow citizens.
Now, stop guffawing please — it’s all true.
I hadn’t enjoyed a Kettleers game in about since my youth.
I read your post and thought the exact same thing. We went to the Chatham as well and my 7 year old was thrilled to see “real” baseball players up close. Great games with a lot of action. Got to explain the “pickle” that happened between 1st and 2nd. You don’t see too much of that in the 7 year old’s baseball games.
Lucky for you that it is so close that you can take in a game on a whim.