By Dylan Wolter
July 14, 2015
Retro night marked more than funky tunes and groovy outfits. The throwback event signified tradition of Cotuit Kettleers winning baseball. The Kettleers did not disappoint on a night where members of the 1964 team were in attendance, winning the ballgame 3-1.
The 1964 Kettleers went an unfathomable 33-3 that season in what is considered the best year in the Cotuit Kettleers history. They won their fourth consecutive championship that year as well. Players on that team including Jim Hubbard, Jeff Scudder, and Dick Mayo, threw out the first pitch on Tuesday evening, although not quite at the strength they could once throw.
Jim Hubbard, a one-time player and manager of the Kettleers, was ecstatic to be honored on Retro Night and have his team remembered for their accomplishments. The Cape Cod Hall of Famer celebrates 79th birthday tomorrow and was jokingly remarking that he is just happy to be alive and could attend the game. He marked the change in the field and the addition of the stands as the biggest difference between 1964 and now.
“I’m probably a little prejudice but I think man for man was probably the best team to ever play on the Cape,” stated a bold Hubbard. “Most of our wins were by six or more runs.”
As for Mike Roberts, he enjoyed the atmosphere of the night, especially the music. “Mostly I love the music, I’m a mo-town guy and I love the 60’s music so I was listening to that all night,” says Roberts. Most of all Roberts was thrilled to earn a victory and get closer to a playoff spot.
Wealth of Riches in Outfield: Jack Klein (Stanford) has done a tremendous job in centerfield for the Kettleers this season, making all the routine plays and even a few highlight catches. When Klein went down with a minor foot injury, the newly acquired Jeren Kendall (Vanderbilt) replaced Klein in centerfield and the Kettleers did not miss a beat.
In 16 games before he went down with injury, Klein started every game in centerfield without logging a single error. Jeren Kendall made a worthwhile substitute and even a potential permanent replacement in centerfield. Kendall is a natural in the outfield, with terrific speed that covers a ton of ground. He makes plays look easy and makes great reads on fly balls.
Klein may not have the speed of Kendall but is no slouch either. Both have strong arms and can make the terrific catch every now and again. With Klein not totally one hundred percent still, it made sense to put him in right field and stick with Kendall in center.
“I like both of them; they’re both legitimate potential major league centerfielders,” remarked Mike Roberts who knows it’s not a bad problem having both Klein and Kendall to fight over centerfield, “but Klein still has the foot problem so he’ll stay in right field until we can get his foot healed up.”
Once Klein gets back to full health it will be interesting to see what Roberts does. Still having both Klein and Kendall in the outfield could be as good of a defensive alignment as you’ll see in the Cape. Will Haynie (Alabama) came in to catch for Michael Cantu (Texas) in the seventh inning, a smart move as Haynie threw out a runner trying to steal second base in the eighth inning.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that Will is one of the best catch and throw guys that I’ve ever had,” admired Roberts, “when you get late in the game and he’s not there, you’re going to see Will catch.”
Woodcock Earns Award: Jon Woodcock, the Virginia Tech lefty, earned the Coca-Cola pitcher of the week. The award is given out by the Cape League in which they recognize the best performances of the week.
His performance against Wareham earned Woodcock the award. He pitched seven shutout innings, striking out five without allowing a walk. His record improved to 3-1 on the season and his ERA now stands at a remarkable 0.98, 4th best in the entire Cape Cod League
Woodcock was very happy with the award but really just wants to keep his team rolling and winning ballgames. He also admitted that with the all talented arms over the league, it makes winning the award a little more special. Woodcock made sure to note, “The competition is great and you’re seeing top notch arms every week so it’s a huge honor to win that award for sure.”