by Roy Reiss
April 10, 2013
With the 2013 Cape season less than 2 months away, it’s a good time to look at what’s ahead for Kettleers followers this summer. On paper, it looks like it could be a memorable season. Of course coach Mike Roberts would caution that nothing has ever been won on paper, and you never know who will eventually arrive in Cotuit and how they’ll mesh with the others.
However, some of the players who are on the pre-season roster have certainly caught the eye of college followers. Leading the way is right handed pitcher Tyler Beede of Vanderbilt. The Auburn, MA, native was 7-0 starting the season and looks to be fulfilling all the promise predicted of him when he was selected in the first round of the 2011 Major League Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Southpaw Jordan Montgomery of perennial power South Carolina sported a 3-0 record with 19 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched. 2012 Kettleer Jordan Ramsey of UNC Wilmington has been very impressive with his 5-2 record and 1.60 ERA in his first 9 appearances. Lefty Ben Smith of Coastal Carolina has turned some heads with a 3-1 record and 1.37 ERA in his 8 starts.
As far as position players, Washington State’s Yale Rosen, a big burly 1st baseman-DH, is hitting .351 with 5 homers thru 29 games. Shortstop Joey Pankake (great name for any player) is hitting .301 in the very tough Southeastern Conference for South Carolina. Pankake was a freshman All American last year. Cotuit fan favorite Aramis Garcia, one of the top catchers in the country this year, is hitting a robust .342 thru 29 games with a team leading 40 hits. Also scheduled to play for the Kettleers this summer are Drew Jackson of Stanford (Brett’s brother) and Bradley Zimmer of San Francisco (Kyle’s little brother) which should bring a little smile to old time Kettleer followers.
Many times we tend to dwell on the baseball aspect of the CCBL, yet there’s another valuable quality that’s just as important, the life-long relationship building between player and house parents. Take for instance Debbi and Roy Ricci of Mashpee. Last month they reunited with Sam Brown, a right handed pitcher from North Carolina State who wore the Kettleers uniform back in 2008. It was the second time in the last 5 years Brown returned to the area to visit with the Riccis. The memories and the friendships that are developed over the course of one summer live forever. It’s stories like that which make the Cape League so unique in nature!
Former Kettleer public address announcer Mike Horne recently remembered one of his favorite moments working Cotuit games. Working in the old cinder-block press box where he had to climb a ladder to reach the PA announcer’s booth, a former player crawled up and told him, “Sir you’re pronouncing my name incorrectly. It’s te sheera, not tex eeera.” Of course the player was Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees who was playing for the Orleans Cardinals (now called Firebirds) back in 1999. A public address announcer never forgets a moment like that.
A couple of other notes as spring moves into New England.
- A couple of former Kettleer hurlers staged quite a pitcher’s duel earlier this month. 2011 alum Bobby Wahl of Ole Miss dueled 2011-2012 alum Kevin Ziomek of Vanderbilt in a beauty. Vandy came out on top 3-1 as Ziomek went 7 innings plus to go 7-1 on the season while Wahl went 6.2 innings and was not involved in the decision.
- The remodeled Kettleers Kitchen at Lowell Park should be a popular location this summer. Rich and Lori Pimental of the Cotuit Fresh Market will introduce garden and chef salads as well as turkey, roast beef and chicken salad wraps in addition to the usual assortment of goodies you can purchase at the Kettleers Kitchen. Sounds scrumptious.
- A couple of former Kettleers are having impressive seasons at their respective schools. Last year’s batting champion, Patrick Biondi, set a new Michigan record for stolen bases this year while ace fireman Dan Slania of Notre Dame is on the verge of setting the Fighting Irish record for saves this spring. Finally James Roberts of Southern Cal is hitting .340 on the season while leading the Trojans in hits, home runs and RBI.
Kettleers Korner will be anything and everything that might interest fans, past and present, about the Kettleers. Roy Reiss, who started his career working for Curt Gowdy Broadcasting, was a former sportscaster on Channel 7 and several radio stations in Boston. His son Mike now covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.