By Roy Reiss
June 2, 2015
Each new season brings hope and promise to every team in all leagues. So it is with the Kettleers as collegians from all over the country descend on Lowell Park in the next week or so.
What kind of team will the Kettleers be in the summer of 2015?
No one really knows and as Coach Mike Roberts would be quick to say “check back on July 1st and we’ll see.” There’s the adjustment to the wood bats which can be quite difficult for collegians so used to aluminum bats. There’s the adjustment to playing all week instead of just weekends like most college leagues. There’s the adjustment to being in an unfamiliar area of the country.
Then there’s the most critical aspect to the sport, pitching. No longer are summer leagues getting the top of the line pitchers they used to attract. College coaches at every level are limiting the number of innings their players can pitch. They’re hoping some of their young prospects can develop at the summer league level and help their respective college team the next season. As a result the Cape Cod Baseball League is no longer a league dominated by pitching.
So here we go again. 44 games in a relatively short time period. Players developing life long relationships with host families. Traveling up and down the Cape to follow the Kettleers. Red shirt Fridays. 50-50 raffles. Hot dogs and burgers off the grill at the Kettleers Kitchen. It’s finally here.
Play ball !!!
Random Thoughts and Observations …
Always great to see former Kettleers doing well with their collegiate teams. Two of last year’s leaders, Logan Taylor (Texas A&M) and Rhett Wiseman (Vanderbilt), met up again in the recent Southeastern Conference Tournament. Wiseman homered in the 10th inning to lead the defending NCAA champions to a come from behind win in a 2nd round game while Taylor led the Aggies with a hefty .358 batting average as they had the #3 seed in the prestigious tournament … Two former Kettleers made ESPN’s Top 100 Draft Eligible Players list compiled by Keith Law. Kyle Holder (San Diego) checked in at number 96 while Austin Byler (Nevada) was 97th … Meanwhile Byler and Nevada
teammate Adam Whitt (2014) were both selected to the All Mountain West first team all stars … On a sunny Cape afternoon what could be better than to watch a high school baseball game at Lowell Park? And then to my surprise to see former Kettleers bat boy extraordinaire, Thomas Harris, stroll in from the bullpen and get out of a major bases loaded jam with an inning ending double play. The Sturgis East freshman showed plenty of heart and promise on that sun splashed afternoon.
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.