Page 8 - CAA_Yearbook_2023
P. 8

                                    A CENTURY OF BASEBALL

                                                                                 BOB SHERMAN – TEAM HISTORIAN

           HE ROOTS OF BASEBALL ON CAPE COD trace back to the   in Chatham’s history is Joe “Skip” Lewis who led the team to a
        T1880’s and perhaps earlier.  Local town teams played each   League championship in 1967 and to other regular season first
        other,  but there  was no  specific  League.   Then  in  1923 the   place finishes throughout the mid and late 1960’s.  Ed Lyons
        Cape Cod Baseball League incorporated along with four teams   was another outstanding Chatham manager, leading the 1982
        (Chatham, Hyannis, Osterville, Falmouth), thus both the Cape   team to a League championship.
        League and our Chatham Anglers are celebrating centennial   Off the field there were numerous people who served in
        anniversaries this summer.                              leadership positions on the Board of Directors for our Chatham
        The Chatham franchise has been called the Townies, Red Sox,   Athletic Association (CAA), the non-profit organization we
        Athletics or A’s, and since 2009 the Anglers. In the early years   incorporated in 1962.  These individuals raised the funds to
        of the League players were primarily from the towns, but as the   operate the team and began the process of modernizing
        League and teams moved into the 1950’s college players joined   multiple aspects of both the baseball operations and the
        local players to make up the roster.  The college players were   fan experience at Veterans Field.  The CAA oversaw the first
        primarily from the Northeast and this roster format continued   light towers built in 1970 that brought night time baseball to
        until 1963 when the Cape Cod Baseball League was recognized   Veterans Field and through the years other aspects of Veterans
        by Major League Baseball and the NCAA.  These recognitions   Field (e.g. bleachers, press box, merchandise store, concession
        began what is considered the “Modern Era.”              stand, scoreboards, dugouts), have all been added or improved.
                                                                           These additions and improvements have made
                                                                           Veterans Field into arguably the best venue in the
                                                                           entire League.
                                                                           The Chatham franchise hosted at Veterans Field
                                                                           both games where the Cape League All-Stars faced
                                                                           Team USA.  The first of these games was in 1984
                                                                           and the second game in 2000 was played before
                                                                           a crowd estimated at 12,000 fans.  The Chatham
                                                                           franchise has led the League in attendance since
                                                                           the League started tracking attendance and we
                                                                           will be forever indebted to our fans, past, present,
                                                                           and future.
                                                                           Technology  advancements  are  another  area
                                                                           of modernization that has occurred over the
                                                                           last twenty years and the rapidly advancing
                                                                           technology has allowed Cape Cod Baseball
                                                                           League teams to broadcast and stream games
                                                                           over the Internet.  Our Chatham franchise was
                                                                           one of the first teams in the League to bring this
          CHATHAM WAS ONE OF FOUR TOWNS TO HAVE A TEAM IN THE FIRST YEAR (1923) OF THE BRAND NEW CAPE COD   service to our fans and we continue to improve
                            LEAGUE  |  PHOTO COURTESY OF TOM DESMOND       our broadcasts each year.
        Over the years our Chatham franchise has included thousands        Over the years Chatham has evolved into a
        of players who wore the Chatham uniform and played their   benchmark and standard to which other teams measure
        home games on Veterans Field.  As of this writing 207 alumni   themselves.  Our franchise has an expectation of pride and
        have played in the Major Leagues.  The names most familiar to   excellence in everything we do on and off the field.   This
        baseball fans include: Thurman Munson, Jeff Bagwell, Charlie   excellence has led to many books being written about our
        Hough, Bobby Witt, Joey Cora, Marvin Freeman, Evan Longoria,   Chatham team, including “The Last Best League” by Jim Collins.
        Spencer  Torkelson,  Alek  Manoah  and  most  recently  Jeremy   Our Chatham team is also the subject of the only Hollywood
        Pena the Most Valuable Player of the 2022 World Series.  A list of   movie ever made about a Cape League Team “Summer Catch”,
        all Chatham major league players can be found on the west wall   which starred Freddie Prinze and Jessica Biel.
        of the Veterans Field press box.                        We cannot  thank our fans  and supporters enough.    We
        Overall, some of the best years of the Chatham franchise were   frequently hear from our fans, that their love of the team and
        in the 1990’s. The decade saw Chatham win Cape Cod Baseball   league is based on, “it feels like old time baseball.”  And from
        League championships in 1992, 1996 and 1998.  Leadership was   our players the sentiment is, “it was the best summer of my life.”
        provided first by manager Rich Hill and then by John Schiffner,   So here is to the next 100 years of enjoying this jewel called the
        who led the team for 25 years.  Another prominent manager   Cape Cod Baseball League and to the franchises and individuals
                                                                who make it all possible.
   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13