By Roy Reiss
March 9, 2015
It’s hard to believe that the Cape Cod Baseball League season is just about 3 short months away from opening day. Imagine the sight of the freshly cut infield at Lowell Park, the beautiful shrubbery and the smell of the flowers at the parking lot entrance and in the baskets on the walkway!
It’s difficult to imagine that pretty summer picture right now when all we have is mounds and mounds of snow to look at. Everywhere you go there’s nothing but a cover of white stuff. Which raises the question, “how does this impact Lowell Park and can it be ready for baseball?”
“This really is very normal for winter, “ explained Alan Blanchette, a Kettleers Board member who overlooks the maintenance of the field and grounds at Lowell Park along with his wife, Sue. “The turf is very tolerant and the snow is actually good for it because the snow eventually will melt. And snow has plenty of nitrogen in it and serves as nature’s fertilizer which is really good for the field,” said the likable Blanchette.
So don’t fret Kettleers fans, Lowell Park will be ready for the 69th season of Cape Cod Baseball League action come June 10th when Hyannis opens the 22 game home season for the Kettleers.
After a disappointing 2011 summer, I can recall Coach Mike Roberts talking about the maturity factor and how he’d try to have more players finishing their sophomore season on his future rosters. That’s been the recipe the last few years with the Kettleers, yet in perusing the rosters of Cape League teams for this coming summer, one thing really stood out.
The defending champion Y-D Red Sox have 13 players on their potential roster who will be finishing their freshman year in college. Included in that list is Barnstable’s Will Toffey who is in his freshman year at Vanderbilt.
Many Red Sox fans are interested in what’s happening at the Chicago Cubs training camp this spring after ace pitcher John Lester signed with the Cubs this off season. Adding interest to the Cubs situation is the development of two former Kettleers who are opening some eyes at the Mesa, Arizona site. Justin Grimm (2009 Georgia) is hoping to duplicate his 2014 performance coming out of the bullpen for the Cubs while catcher Cael Brockmeyer (2012 CSU Bakersfield) is hoping to rise up through the Cubs minor league system. Brockmeyer, whose mother is the only OBGYN on Martha’s Vineyard, played for Class A Kane County last season. The 6 foot 5 inch Brockmeyer who chose baseball over a hockey career, hit for the cycle for the first time in his career last season and is a highly regarded receiver by the Cubs management.
Catching up on a few notes of interest from the past and future…..Congratulations to 2011-13 intern from Northwestern Seth Bernstein who will be working this summer with the Media Relations Department of the Oakland Athletics….Speaking of the A’s, Kendall Graveman (2011 Mississippi State) will be competing for a spot in Oakland’s starting rotation or bullpen this Spring. Graveman made his major league debut for Toronto last September and was then dealt to the A’s this past off season as part of the Josh Donaldson trade….Meanwhile former Kettleers hurler Josh Lindblom (2007 Purdue) has signed on to pitch this summer with the Lotte Giants in Korea…..There’s a new book out , 101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out-2nd edition by Josh Pahigian that lists the Cape Cod Baseball League in his top 10 places, specifically number 6. One of the pictures gracing the cover of the book is the great aerial photo of Lowell Park shot by Kettleers volunteer Rick Heath…… And a special thanks goes out to Noreen Jones who is editing and putting together the magnificent Kettleers Yearbook in 2015.
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.