The Sandwich Enterprise
July 21, 2000
by Dan Crowley
On Tuesday the All Stars from the Cape League were recognized at Fenway Park in Boston and it’s fair to say that there was a general sense of awe, excitement and respect at the history surrounding them
After lunch in the Diamond Club at Fenway, the players were scheduled to tour the park and then be on the field for batting practice as the Red Sox and Montreal Expos prepared for their game. But Mother Nature altered those plans as thunderstorms came through the area with periods of heavy rain. But, in baseball, players do what they always do when it rains. They sit back and talk about the game.
“I’ve never been to Fenway before,” Falmouth pitcher Bob Brownlie said as he looked around the park. “There’s so much history here. When you think of all the great players who have played here, it’s an honor for me to be here today.”
“It would be a dream to play here,” Bourne third baseman Kevin Youkilis said sitting in the seats along the first base line of an empty Fenway Park as the rain came down. “There’s so much tradition.”
“It’s really beautiful,” added Braves catcher Darren Welch as he studied the Green Monster. “There’s a lot of history here.”
By the time the rain stopped it was apparent that there would be no tour this year and that with the clock approaching game time, there would be no batting practice. In the bull pens pitchers for the Expos and Red Sox began to stretch and throw.
“He went to the same school as me, Kent State,” an excited Dave Mattle said motioning toward Expos starter Dustin Hermanson, who had begun to throw in the visitors bull pen. Mattle will represent the Falmouth Commodores and start in centerfield for the western Division All Stars.
When he finished throwing, Hermanson, Mattle and Brownlie talked serious baseball for quite awaile. The Montreal pitcher answered questions and talked about his road to the major leagues.
Players from both teams took the field to warm up as game time approached. Cotuit starting pitcher, Ryan Combs had the forsight to bring along a baseball, something several of the other players wished they too had done. As he stood along the right field line watching the Red Sox with his ball and a pen in his hand, Combs said, “I feel just like a six year old looking at all my heroes.” By the end of warm-ups he had several autographs.
“This is unbelievable,” Kettleer Nick Glaser said looking around the park and watching the teams get ready. “So many guys have played here. I’m glad I got to see it before they tear it down.”
“It looks bigger on T.V.,” Falmouth pitcher Vince Serafini said scanning the park from the bleachers. “It’s a lot different from what you see when you watch a game.”
Down the right field line by the Pesky Pole, Falmouth coach Jeff Trundy was quietly contemplating. “I’m just thinking about all the people who have gone through this place,” he said without taking his gazed from the field. “To be able to do this is a great thing for the kids.”
Thirty minutes before the start of the game, which turned out to be another Pedro Martinez gem, a 3-1 Red Sox victory, the Cape players filed out onto the field and were individually introduced and presented with a plague by Red Sox Director of Player Development, Kent Qualls and former Cape League player (Hyannis ‘92) and now Red Sox reliever, John Wasdin in recognition of their accomplishments.
The sky cleared at game time and Wednesday was a scheduled day off for the Cape League. There was nothing to do but watch.
“This is great,” Youkilis said. “And tomorrow’s an off day. I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy it.”