for immediate release: 13 June, 2005
A Record-Setting Year
CAPE COD, Mass. – Living up to its reputation as the top summer league in the country, the Cape Cod Baseball League had 183 players selected in this year's Major League baseball draft, with an eye-popping 1,004 former Cape Leaguers playing in professional baseball in 2004.
Is it any wonder, then, that the Cape League stands head and shoulders above all the rest when it comes to collegiate talent that sets foot on sunny Cape Cod every summer in an effort to proves themselves against the best there is to offer !
"The Cape League has had top talent since the days when Pie Traynor and Mickey Cochrane played here," stated John Garner, Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting. "The recent (major league) draft numbers are a testament to the quality of players that come here to play in the league."
In addition to the number of former Cape League players taken in the 2005 draft, 160 players that were on the rosters of the 10 teams in the league this season were involved in the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament, and of the 16 teams that competed in the Super-Regionals, 68 of those players were scheduled to come to the Cape after the tourney was completed.
In an amazing cataloguing of players compiled from professional baseball rosters in 2004, the strength of the Cape League is shown by the aforementioned 1,004 players that were on professional baseball teams throughout the world. That encompasses players on major league rosters, minor league rosters and those playing in independent and foreign leagues. Of those 1,004 players, 888 of them were in major league baseball organizations.
"These are extraordinary numbers for a summer league," noted Wareham Gatemen President & General Manager John Wylde, who, along with Steve Wilson, the Treasurer & Webmaster of the Cape League, compiled the list after culling the pages of the Baseball America Almanac's 2005 Super Registry.
Both Wylde and Wilson left no stone unturned in accumulating this impressive data, so much so that after originally listing the number of players participating in professional baseball during the 2004 season at 1,001, they discovered three additional players, thereby increasing the number of players to 1,004.
"Steve deserves an immense amount of credit for this," praised Wylde of his partner. "He did an extraordinary job."
From David Aardsma, who played for the Falmouth Commodores in 2002 and played for the San Francisco Giants last year, to current Oakland A's standout southpaw Barry Zito, who toiled two seasons for Wareham (1997-98), Wylde and Wilson have accumulated an A-Z list of former Cape Leaguers playing in pro ball that is impressive to say the least.
For instance, of those 1,004 players, 125 are former Cotuit Kettleer players, with Wareham close behind with 121 former players in pro ball last year. The rest of the Cape teams (with number of players in parentheses) are: Orleans (115), Chatham and Y-D (112), Brewster (110), Hyannis (109), Bourne (102), Falmouth (100) and Harwich (91). The astute observer may see that adding all the players up one comes to 1,096 total, but this number includes players who played for more than one Cape League team during their tenure on the Cape.
"This shows how the Cape League prepares players for major league baseball," noted Wylde. "(The Cape League) is a professional development league."
As impressive as the 1,004 total players in pro ball is, the 888 that were in major league organizations in 2004 is equally, if not more, noteworthy. That number includes players from rookie leagues all the way up thru major league rosters.
And with the quality of players coming to the Cape getting better each year, there's no doubt that this year's number of 183 former Cape Leaguers taken in the draft will be surpassed in the near future. Is it any wonder the Cape League’s motto is "Where the stars of tomorrow shine tonight" !
Scott Sanford, Web-site Editor