by Roy Reiss
It’s a beautiful summer day at Lowell Park. The temperature is hovering around the 80 degree mark, the flag in center field is blowing in to home plate with a slight breeze, and the fans are slowly making their way to their seats. There along the 3rd base line just past the new wooden stands and the home dugout is an elderly person in a folding chair awaiting the first pitch. It’s been this way for years as this is a summer tradition, never miss a Kettleers home game.
89 year old Bettina Sonderegger has been a part of the Cotuit community since the mid 1940’s. Her parents purchased a house on Highland Avenue and she immediately fell in love with the area. She met her husband Carl on Loop Beach Labor Day weekend in 1946, they were engaged a few months later and married shortly thereafter. While they matriculated to the Western part of Massachusetts for work, they’d spend almost every weekend at their Cotuit home.
“My whole family loved baseball and it was a natural to follow the Kettleers,” explained Sonderegger. “In fact my brother still comes down to watch games and it seems like our whole family has gone thru the baseball clinics. My friend Leo Buckley, his kids and grandkids have been part of the clinics too.”
A smile comes to Miss Betty’s face (her close friends like to call her that) when you talk about the Kettleers.
“When we get the schedule, we put it up on the wall. We go to every home game. We take our chairs up at 7 o’clock in the morning and place them along the 3rd base line. It’s shady there and we see the same people, it’s like old home week”, stated Miss Betty.
The wins and losses really don’t matter as much, it’s just the joy of going to beautiful Lowell Park, meeting friends, and spending a few hours in a wonderful atmosphere.
“There’s such a great feeling coming to the ballpark, talking to friends, having a hot dog or two, and watching the young men play baseball. It makes for a very fulfilling experience,” said the long time Kettleers fan.
And Miss Betty had one more thing to say.
“It’s the way you wish everything was!”
Fans coming to Lowell Park next summer will see a new improved infield as well as a rebuilt pitching mound and batters box. The lowering of baselines and infield lip will be done this fall after being approved by Cotuit Athletic Association Board members at their September monthly meeting.
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.