The Cape Cod Baseball League is a source of pride to all of us here on the Cape. Begun in 1885 as a bunch of town teams comprising of athletes young, old, professional, amateur and average competing against each other, it became a premier collegiate summer league after teaming up with the NCAA in 1963. While there have been some shifts here and there, the league is currently composed of ten teams: (from west to east) the Wareham Gatemen, Bourne Braves, Falmouth Commodores, Cotuit Kettleers, Hyannis Harbor Hawks (Mets), Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Harwich Mariners, Brewster Whitecaps, Chatham Anglers (Athletics), and the Orleans Firebirds (Cardinals).
Divided into two divisions based on geography, the teams play a 44 game season from the beginning of June through the middle of August. Players from around the country come to the Cape to showcase their talent in front of the hundreds of scouts attracted to the concentrated talent-pool and short distances between fields (from Wareham in the west to Orleans in the east is only 44 miles, and several fields are merely minutes apart). Not to mention, the Cape is a wood-bat league, giving players an opportunity to adjust to how the game changes with wood and providing that satisfying crack for fans.
The league has been a step along the way for many players in the bigs, leading to it’s slogan “Where the stars of tomorrow shine today.” For the last several years, upwards of 200 Cape League alums have been in the majors and minors each season. Nine were rostered on the Giants/Rangers World Series teams. Greats such as Thurman Munson and current stars like Daniel Bard (Red Sox, Wareham 05), Tim Lincecum (San Fransisco Giants, Harwich 06), and Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays, Chatham 05) have played on the charismatic and quaint fields on the Cape.
Staffed by a host of dedicated volunteers and interns, the league and its ten teams are fueled by a passion that sets it apart. Host families take in the nearly 300 players that pass through each summer, while others volunteer at games, provide post-game meals, handle the administrative work, and work with sponsors, etc to keep the organizations running as non-profits, so that fans can enjoy the games without admission fees.