Once again this summer The Community Bank and the Hyannis Mets are bringing Cape Cod Baseball League excitement to Sandwich. Next Monday marks the fourth year in which the Mets have hosted other Cape League clubs at Fenton Field at Sandwich High School and another overflow crowd is expected. This year Hyannis will face the Falmouth Commodores beginning at 7 PM.
Sandwich, the town that hosted the first organized baseball game on Cape Cod in 1865, is also home to the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame located at Heritage Museums & Gardens.
"This is our fourth year working with the Hyannis Mets to bring a Cape League game to Sandwich, said David Curtis, president/CEO for The Community Bank. "When first presented to us, it seemed like a win-win idea for all. We enjoy participating in events or programs that benefit children. It gives the Cape League some exposure in Sandwich and in many cases a first-time experience for Sandwich families."
In the summer of 2002 in partnership with The Community Bank, the Mets began hosting games in Sandwich. That first year the Mets faced Bourne handing the Braves a 2-0 defeat. Since then, Hyannis has struggled, losing to Cotuit in 2003 and Wareham last year. But this year with the recent addition of players from the College World Series in Omaha and Team USA tryouts, the Mets hope to get hot in July and get back into the hunt in the Western Division.
Last season, the Monday night game between Hyannis and the Wareham Gatemen drew approximately 2,500 fans. In 2003, Hyannis hosted their arch-rivals the Cotuit Kettleers drawing an overflow Saturday night crowd of approximately 3,000 fans, while the 2002 contest between the Mets and the Bourne Braves attracted 1,800 people.
The Mets will be offering a kids clinic before the game beginning at 5:30 PM conducted by players and coaches on an adjacent field at Sandwich High School.
"Itís been a home run each year, and weíre shooting for another," Debra Woodman, chairman of the Sandwich Visitor Services Board said. "This has been a great opportunity, not only for our visitors, but for our residents as well. In fact, Sandwich doesnít have its own team, so itís fair game on who will be rooting for whom. Bring the kids to the clinic at 5:30. Itís just a great opportunity for autographs and accessibility to future major league stars. Relax with family and friends; watch this favorite pastime in the oldest town on Cape Cod. It doesnít get much better than that."
The Mets are led by first baseman Andrew DíAlessio (Clemson) who is one of the top players in the Cape League in hitting and on base percentage. DíAlessio knows the strike zone and can handle a wood bat.
Others to watch for the Mets are catcher/DH Teddy Dziuba (Babson) and third baseman Kyle Norrid (Memphis). Dziuba has developed a fondness for the long ball and has three home runs, while Norrid, also a hard swinger, leads the team in total bases (24).
Major League scouts working the Cape League this summer speak of Falmouthís Mark Hamilton (Tulane) as the real deal. Arriving late for the start of the season due to an appearance at the College World Series in Omaha with the Green Wave, Hamilton doesnít yet have the minimum required number of at-bats to qualify as one of the top hitters in the league. However, the Commodore first baseman is hitting at over a .400 clip.
Falmouth first baseman Jon Still (Stetson) is one of the top 10 hitters in the league and already has two home runs. Left fielder Chad Huffman and second baseman Shelby Ford, teammates at Texas Christian University, have also had success with the long ball with two home runs apiece.
The short centerfield fence (355 yards) at Sandwich could result in a few souvenirs for lucky fans.
The league marks 1885 as its birth date making this summer the 120th season for the nationís premier summer collegiate league. Last year, according to league statistics, 1,004 former Cape League players played professional baseball.
Pre-game festivities are slated to begin at 6:45 PM and admission and parking are free. Food will be available through the Sandwich High Boosters Club, and the game will be broadcast on Sandwich Area Community Access Television and can be heard on Free Teamline at:www.hyannismets.org.
For more information, visit the Hyannis Mets on line or call The Community Bank at 508-833-5111.