I experienced a New England rite of passage this past weekend: catching a Cape Cod League baseball game.  I popped into a game earlier this spring, watching about ten chilly minutes of a Harwich Mariners vs the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox game. After just a few moments on the wet and cold bleachers, I finally begged my way out of that pinnacle baseball moment and back into the warm car.

This past Friday night featured sunny skies and temperatures in the comfortable 70s. The Chatham Anglers were scheduled to play the Harwich Mariners at home, the intimate Veteran’s Field in Chatham.  It was perfect conditions for a baseball game and there was no way out of this one.

The game was everything that my baseball-loving, Cape Cod-worshipping husband had promised.  The game itself was interesting, the crowd was engaged, and the concession stand was all that I had hoped for (great hot dogs). I was particularly fascinated by the scouts positioned behind the backstop, scribbling notes and taking photos of prospects. The little leaguers flagging fly balls were pretty entertaining as well.

Pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed myself, I returned to work and turned to Christopher Klein’s The Die Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston, knowing that he would fill in some of the gaps of my Cape Cod League knowledge.

Sure enough, Chris Klein had all sorts of good facts for me.

Did you know:

  • That at any given game, fans are likely to see six future major leaguers?
  • That one out of seven major league players are alumni of the Cape Cod League?
  • That two big Red Sox greats—Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek—played in this invitation-only amateur league?
  • That players are required to play with wooden bats (as opposed to aluminum like they do in college) so that they hit as they do in the Majors?
  • That the players live with area families and hold summer jobs at local businesses?

If you’re a “baseball purist” who is put off by “superstar egos and out-of-control player salaries,” as Chris states in his book, then the Cape league just might be your version of baseball heaven.

For more information, including stats and schedules, check the Cape Cod League Website.

Want to know more about the Cape Cod League and all things related to baseball in the greater Boston area? Pick up The Die-Hard Sports Fan’s Guide to Boston by Christopher Klein, available in bookstores and online.