by Roy Reiss
December 23, 2015
December 18, 2015 is now part of the great history of Lowell Park and the Cotuit Kettleers.
On this date, the Barnstable Land Trust culminated an 18-month venture to purchase for $1.8 million 19 acres of land surrounding the picturesque baseball field that had been owned by the Lowell family. The land could have been used for home development that would have drastically impacted the dimensions of the park.
Instead 3 acres of the land has been conveyed to the Town of Barnstable and will serve as a woodland buffer around the town owned park. The remaining 16 acres will be maintained as a permanent protected conservation area.
“We actually started talking to the Lowell family in the spring of 2012, finalized our agreement with them in February of 2014, and completed the project in December of 2015.” explained Jaci Barton, Executive Director and Land Protection Specialist of the Barnstable Land Trust.
“I’m ecstatic that we accomplished what we set out to do. For Cotuit to have rallied to preserve this cultural iconic for Cape Cod is really an incredible achievement. We had some 1600 contributions, but actually many more than that when you consider all the youngsters who donated a dollar or two at Kettleers games over the last few years, “ added Barton.
“And for me personally it was probably the most fulfilling project I’ve worked on since it was really a grass roots effort and so many people cared.”
Meanwhile Paul Logan, President of the Cotuit Athletic Association that sponsors the Kettleers, had this reaction to the closing, “The Cotuit Athletic Association is thrilled with the recent land purchase by the Barnstable Land Trust and the 3 acres which has been conveyed to the town of Barnstable.
“Our organization learned a great deal by working with the Barnstable Land Trust the last several years in helping to bring this day to fruition. Getting to know many of their members and volunteers while understanding the magnitude of the work they do and accomplish for the town of Barnstable was a tremendous learning experience for our organization.”
Lowell Park has been the Kettleers home since its inception in 1947 and in addition it is also used by Barnstable American Legion, Senior Babe Ruth, a men’s league, the Sturgis Charter Public School East and West Varsity and JV teams, local AAU teams, and for countless youth and advanced baseball clinics.
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Four former Kettleers have been selected as 2016 Louisville Sluggers pre-season All Americans for the upcoming collegiate baseball season. Shortstop Michael Paez (Coastal Carolina) was a 1st team choice. Outfielder Jeren Kendall (Vanderbilt) and infielder Stephen Alemais (Tulane) were 3rd team selections while 2014 Kettleer Kyle Lewis (OF Mercer) was a 2nd team choice.
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.