LOCAL BETTY FIELD TRIP: CAPE COD LEAGUE BASEBALL

July, apple pie, and baseball {some may want to add a nice wine and lobster to that list.} They all go together right? With a $100 only getting you a Red Sox ticket in the bleachers or outfield grandstand, it’s hard to justify a spontaneous trip to town with three kids for a day at the ballpark. We prefer to be able to see the players without the aid of a telescope, thanks.

Then, at Fenway there’s the age-old bathroom debate: Take all the kids with you into the womens room and have to explain why? Or send them off alone, hoping {fervently hoping} that they come back with the job done.  Yes, we not-so-fondly-remember the times we had to throw ourselves on the mercy of some man heading into said bathroom, and ask him to locate a few stray members of our brood, and send them out of said bathroom. That was an awkward request to be sure….”um, excuse me sir could you find a few boys in there?”… So gee, if heading north to Fenway isn’t looking too appealing, head south. The Cape Cod Baseball League experience is not to be missed, here's the reasoning {beyond that bathroom thing that is.}

First of all, it’s free. Aside from the charming picnic you’ll pack {who’s kidding whom, Cape League Baseball is known for great hot dogs, and Brewster boasts a chowder truck} not a cent needs to be spent, although, you may want to shell out for a raffle ticket. They’re sold by the arm’s length and the winner takes all the money gathered by, you guessed it, selling raffle tickets. It’s circular logic- but someone in the stands ends up with close-in a cool $K.

Second, go for the ball, the caliber of the game is great. These are top college players {and some MLB drafted young players looking to brush up their game} It’s still old style, no mega front-office stuff. What that means for the fans? Fiercely competitive teams, and great players on their way up, accessible to the crowd. They’ll stay after and sign swag until the last kid has left the park. Redhead Betty has batting gloves, tee shirts, even helmets that the  young players signed and handed over to her eager fans. Find a player that you think might make it to the bigs, track his performance over the summer and see where he ends up come spring training time. That glove with his name on it might be an eBay commodity one day; Garciaparra, Varitek, Boone, Youklis, and Martinez have all cycled through CCBL.

Third, it’s easy. Games are typically in the early evenings or later if the park has lights, so you can drive down/drive back without too much trouble.  Most of the fields you have your choice of bleachers, lawn or hill seating. Choose what works best for your clan. If you have little ones, lawn and hill seating provides a little room to roam. Lots of fields also have playgrounds {bless you, park planning}. Get there early for a good spot. Put down your blanket, bring out your gourmet picnic, hot dogs and “sparkling cider” and settle in for the fun. Then let the old-fashioned goodness take hold.

For the full schedule {mid June through early August} and the roster of who's who and what's what, go here>.  Getting into the spirit of the game? Cape Cod Blog CapeLeagueBaseball carries scores - or for the short wrap up and some stellar pics head to Twitter @Official_CCBL. Batter up!

Bourne Braves {most unfortunate logo}
Harwich Mariners {best name - hey, I'm from Seattle}
Cotuit Kettleers {strangest name}
Chatham Anglers {best food}
Hyannis Harbor Hawks {Cape Flyer adjacent}
Brewster Whitecaps {best chowder}
Wareham Gatemen {Cape Flyer adjacent}
Falmouth Commodores {most awesome logo}
Orleans Firebirds {awesome park for families}
Y-D Red Sox {least imaginative name}