New York – The stories behind on-field success and failures aren’t always what they seem, but players know that an invitation to the Cape Cod Baseball League means they must do one thing, prove they belong in the big leagues. CAPE COD: A JOURNEY TO THE BIGS tells the story of aspiring college and amateur baseball players as they commit on and off the field to make their dreams come true.
CAPE COD: A JOURNEY TO THE BIGS premieres Tuesday, April 17on FS1 at 11:00 PM ET, following the network’s exclusive coverage of the Cleveland Indians at Minnesota Twins at 7:00 PM ET and weeknight program MLB WHIPAROUND at10:00 PM ET.The special also airs on FOX Sports regional networks on Wednesday, April 18(check local listings).
Every summer, players from around the country gather in Cape Cod, Mass. in front of top Major League Baseball scouts to try to make their dreams of making “The Show” a reality. But the Cape Cod Baseball League provides more challenges than that. It is a taste of the unseen grind of life in professional baseball.
The special follows Griffin Conine (Duke), Tristan Pompey (Kentucky) and Chandler Day (Vanderbilt) who all played in the Cape Cod Baseball League last summer with varying degrees of success. Conine, the son of former big leaguer Jeff Conine, began forging his own baseball identity by winning MVP of the league. Pompey, after hitting two homeruns in his first game, struggled to regain the form that had scouts calling him a “bigger, faster, stronger” version of his brother, Major Leaguer Dalton Pompey. Day, a pitcher from Vanderbilt University, battled demons on the mound after the drowning of his best friend and teammate. But players’ unique paths are connected by a mutual relentless desire to make it.
Six years removed from the CCBL is Jason Wheeler, who, while his wife (whom he met in the Cape) cheered him on in the stands, finally saw his determination made fruitful when he stepped on the mound for the Minnesota Twins in 2017. But like all professional athletes must learn, sports is a business. Within a week of making his MLB debut, Jason was traded twice, and landed back in the Minors. Now 27 years old, Wheeler and his wife have a decision to make…retire and finally start a family or try and keep the baseball dream alive for one more season.
The CCBL has produced hundreds of Major Leaguers including current players & All-Stars Aaron Judge, Andrew Miller, Jason Kipnis, as well as former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and former NL MVP Ryan Braun. But the league’s most star-studded class reigned in 1988. Dubbed ‘The Great Cape in ’88’, 42 players made it to the Majors that year including FOX’s own MLB analysts Frank Thomas and Mark Sweeney.