Written by Kathleen Szmit
Though the faces of Cape Cod Baseball League season change, there’s a familiar face among them in Hyannis.
After 31 years with the league, Nick “The Greek” Siemasz is likely one of the best-known folks in Cape Cod baseball.
On July 31, his Hyannis family honored Siemasz as players, fans and the Hyannis Athletic Association celebrated his three decades of service to the team and to the league.
Terri Corbett photo
REUNITED – Nick “The Greek” Siemasz, Hyannis Mets assistant coach, is congratulated by former Cape Leaguer, Pawtucket Red Sox player and friend Joe Hardy following a celebration of Siemasz’s 31 years in Cape League baseball on July 31.
Ever a fixture in the Hyannis dugout or along the first base line, Siemasz admits to eating, sleeping and breathing baseball.
“Being in baseball has been my life,” said Siemasz.
After playing pro ball in the Dodger farm system from 1951 to 58, during which he hit .380 in his best season, Siemasz went on to become the assistant coach at Miami-Dade Community College in Florida.
He also coached one year in the Italian Industrial League and was assistant coach at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL for five seasons.
Siemasz remembers practicing alongside greats including Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Gil Hodges while playing for the Miami Sun Sox.
In 1978 Siemasz came to Cape Cod, originally working with the Wareham Gatemen, with whom he spent five seasons.
After another two seasons with the Falmouth Commodores, Siemasz was welcomed into the Hyannis fold, where he’s been for 23 seasons.
What he enjoys most about the Cape League are the players. “It’s being around the young guys,” he said. “Around the camaraderie.”
Siemasz said he often runs into players from years past, who stop to talk and reminisce about their playing seasons.
While Siemasz played a little football and basketball along the way, baseball was his sport of choice.
“There are so many little things in baseball that people don’t realize,” said Siemasz. “It’s a thinking man’s game. The little things help you with the game. The teams that execute usually win the ball games.”
Having been with Hyannis more than two decades, Siemasz has developed a strong affection for the team and it’s community.
“Hyannis is the hub of the Cape,” he said. “We’re between Main Street and the Bay in a beautiful spot.”
Siemasz cites his most memorable season as 1991 when Hyannis won the Cape League Championship.
“Jason Varitek was on the team,” Siemasz recalled. “We were floundering and we turned it around, beating Wareham two games to three. The most exciting time is when you’re in the playoffs and the finals.”
Working with the league reminds him of his younger days, when baseball was the sport of choice for him and his pals. “We’d play every day ‘til dark,” he said. “When I was younger everybody wanted to play pro ball.”
During his special pre-game celebration, Siemasz was presented with a commemorative Nick “The Greek” Night poster, a Barnstable Ba, and a print of a McKeon Park under-the-lights painting.
“I never thought they’d do that,” he said of the fete. “I’m very blessed that they did. This is like my second home.”
As Hyannis plays its way into the post-season, Siemasz continues to take his place along the dugout fence and the first base line, cheering on his players.
“This is a good man here,” said friend Bill Soares of Falmouth. “He’s a legend.”
“Baseball is such a part of my life,” said Siemasz. “I don’t know what I’d be doing without it, to tell you the truth.”