6 June 2007

Cape League set to start with annual military game

By Handout
GateHouse News Service
Wed Jun 06, 2007, 07:25 AM EDT 

Harwich - The Combined Armed Forces squad will play two games against a select team of Cape Cod Baseball League players comprised of players from each of the 10 CCBL franchises.
     This promises to be a memorable weekend of baseball and pageantry that brings together over 70 players and coaches from all over the country. The teams will face off in two exhibition games: Their first meeting will take place, Saturday, June 9 at Veterans Field in Chatham beginning at 7 p.m., and again Sunday, June 10 at Eldredge Park in Orleans, also beginning at 7.
     “It’s difficult to properly explain why we love playing on the Cape,” said Lt. Commander Terry Allvord, U.S. Military All-Stars Founder/GM. “The best way to say it is probably because it’s a very special place for a myriad of reasons. Our past visits have been an incredible experience for everyone involved, from the league president to the youngest fan. I know how important it is to our players to have a chance to play in the Cape and they want to see it on our schedule each year.”
     The U.S. Military All-stars visit 23 states during their 18th annual Red, White and Blue Tour of America and one of their favorite places to visit is Cape Cod.
     Fielding a competitive squad has been a challenge for the Military All-Stars, particularly during this time of conflict in the Middle East.
     “It’s even more difficult during a time of war for us to build and maintain a competitive team,” said Allvord. “We normally have 20 games and three months under our belt before we arrive. This summer, we’ll be lucky to have 3 games and a week to practice. It will also take more than a 100 different players constantly changing our roster and playing for a few weeks or a few innings.
     For the first time, a native son returns to his roots on Cape Cod as a pitcher for the Military All-Stars.
     “One of our players, (USN) Ensign Brian Higgins (Washinton & Lee) is a perfect example of this situation,” said Allvord. “He has strong roots in the Cape and has recently earned his commission as an officer in the Navy. He has a small window to join us in the Cape before reporting to his first ship. It will be an honor for him to toe the rubber for us in a place that has meant so much to his development and success.
     “Our being able to witness his return to the Cape after his many achievements will be a thrill for all of us. Even though Brian, and many others schedules will only allow him to play in one game this summer, he will be an inspiration for us all to watch him pitch.
     “Brian is one of many reasons why our mission to support the troops is so important. He has learned the deep lessons of why our freedom is so important during his time while living in the Cape. He has volunteered to do what is necessary to protect our way of life and very soon Brian will be at the tip of the spear. That is why our players accept the immense responsibility to represent all those in the armed forces who came before us and those serving at this very moment. We look forward to another historical weekend in Cape Cod.”
     The U.S. Military All-Stars participate during off-duty time while on leave; cover their own expenses and decline government funding to ensure all available resources support our brave men and women overseas.
     Over 95 percent of the players selected each year have been deployed in direct support of the Global War on Terrorism. They represent some of the most talented athletes in the armed forces selected from thousands of personnel worldwide.