by Sean Walsh, CAA
JUNE 17, 2004
BOURNE, MA — The Cotuit Kettleers plan to hit the bricks running this afternoon as new Field Manager Mike Roberts’ squad travels to the Coady School Field to play the defending Western Division Champion Bourne Braves at 4:45 p.m.
One interesting focus of today’s game will be how Bourne fans will react when they see their former centerfielder donning the Cotuit crimson rather than the navy blue of the home team.
Maryland’s Justin Maxwell — a 10th round draft pick earlier this month by the Texas Rangers — will be starting in centerfield for the 2004 Cotuit Kettleers rather than returning to the team he played for last summer. In 2003, it was Maxwell’s offensive clout that paced the Braves’ lineup to the Western Division crown and a bid in the the Cape Cod Baseball League Championship Series. While Bourne bowed out to Orleans in the series, Maxwell finished the season as one of only seven Cape Leaguers to bat over .300. He finished at .307, was named to the CCBL All-League Team, was a starter on the Western Division All-Star Team and was awarded with the CCBL’s Manny Robello 10th Player Award. Baseball America dubbed Maxwell the “best athlete in the Cape League last summer.”
Maxwell was offered a deal by Texas but opted to come to Cotuit this summer to re-hone his skills after suffering a broken bone in his forearm on the first day of practice late this past winter at Maryland. He red-shirted this year and still has two years of academic eligibility remaining, but it remains to be seen what Maxwell will decide to do following a summer with the Kettleers.
The Cotuit Athletic Association — the parent organization that runs the famed Kettleer franchise — has been extraordinarily busy this winter. A new pressbox was erected and deemed “the best I have ever seen — anywhere,” by CCBL President Judy Scarafile; a new backstop was put in place; the Kettleers’ online store was launched and much more.
CAA President Martha Johnston unveiled this year’s Cotuit Kettleer Official Yearbook last evening at the annual Meet the Team Barbecue at the Cotuit Federated Church and by all accounts it was the most enjoyable cookout the Kettleers have had in years. Coach Roberts and his players staged a series of skits that had Kettleer host families and volunteers in stitches.