by Roy Reiss
It’s a New Year and time to reflect on a few happenings that have transpired over the last several months and also look to the future as the Kettleers faithful shake off the winter cold and dream of baseball this summer.
The Kettleers organization lost one of their valued volunteers recently when Hugh D’Ambrosia passed away suddenly last year. I’ll always remember the story D’Ambrosia told of how his father and Babe Ruth came to be at Lowell Park! Seems that Ruth played an exhibition game in Springfield back in 1927 and somehow left his bat at the field. 14 year old Arthur D’Ambrosia picked it up and took it home. When word spread that Ruth was searching for his favorite bat, the youngster stepped forward and surrendered the bat in return for some swim trunks for himself and his brother. The story was headline news in the local papers at the time and the talk of Springfield. In remembering his dad, Hugh D’Ambrosia purchased a brick at Lowell Park commemorating his dad’s famous connection to Babe Ruth. And that’s how the Bambino got to Lowell Park. If you look hard enough, you’ll find that brick near the 3rd base side just off to the left of the tent.
Some notes and thoughts … Two of the Kettleers long serving Board members, Liz Savoia Grazul and Sue Blanchette, will be stepping down this month after many years of service. Liz provides the most detailed and comprehensive notes for every meeting while Sue’s passion and joy for life helps brighten the scene for those meetings. Both will be dearly missed at the meetings but will certainly make their presence felt at Lowell Park! … The CCBL will once again feature doubleheaders in June. I’m wondering if they have to have doubleheaders why in June when most teams have temporary players? Why not play them in July when there are more fans on the Cape and your roster has more full time players … Noticed where Vanderbilt’s Jeren Kendall who played for the Kettleers the last two seasons is the #1prospect at this early date for baseball’s annual June draft according to ESPN’s Keith Law … Congratulations to Coach Brian Scott and his wife, Jessamy on the birth of their first child, Wren Pamet Scott, a bouncing little girl who checked in at 18 inches and 5 lbs 3.6 ounces on December 7th.
One of my tasks the last few years has been to reach out to Cotuit alumni and get their memories of playing for the Kettleers. A personal favorite was Adam Nelubowich’s insightful response on his time in Cotuit during the 2012 summer:
Playing in Cotuit gave me the feeling that I had almost stepped back in time when I played in the Cape league. I like most every other player came from a University where the game of baseball often felt like a small part of a much larger, complex picture. But in Cotuit life “simplified” as I assuming it would have a few generations before us, and the game of baseball was able to take back the spotlight. The league has a sense of modesty, simplicity, and old fashioned nature that allowed myself and I believe other players to focus on what was important and in-turn produce some of the cleanest, highest level baseball I had ever been a part of. My fondest and most vivid memory was actually a day that occurred numerous times during my summer. It started with riding to the field in a mid 80’s Crown Victoria with Aramis Garcia, a car that was generously loaned to him by his host parents for the summer. We were already dressed in our ball pants (that didn’t fit overly well), our plain grey warm up shirts, and a Kettleers jacket that had been passed down for a decade or so. We would show up at the field, hours early to hit BP with Coach Roberts before piling into a regular school bus to head down the road for an evening tilt at another park. We would play our game and then look for our host parents to bum a ride home. There wasn’t anything fancy about the game day procedure and that was just fine with me. You had the ballparks, talented baseball players, and some really passionate baseball people behind the scenes making it all happen.
I will be forever grateful to all of those that made my summer in Cotuit possible, especially the Hill family, Scott, Trish, and Jason.
Adam is now an account manager with a logistics company in Calgary, Alberta.
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.