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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Small Ball

They don't hit many home runs in the Cape Cod League.
The players are college stars, used to aluminum bats.
They come from all over the country to show what they can do
In something approaching professional league conditions.

The atmosphere at the Cape League ballparks
Is very much like the old days of town teams.
Each of the teams is sponsored by a local town or village.
The parks are owned by the towns and maintained by non-profit groups.

We turn out to cheer for whomever is representing our town this summer.
The players are selected from recommendations by college coaches.
Subject to NCAA rules, they are not paid for playing baseball,
Although many find part time jobs to earn a little money.

Each team has a sponsoring group to raise money, to pay for
Salaries of managers, coaches, umpires, groundskeepers, etc.
And to find, encourage, and support the host families
Who put up ball players in their homes for the summer.

At the ball park, some sit in the little tin bleachers.
Most of the older folks sit in sling chairs on the sidelines.
Kids with mitts play in the outskirts
And race to grab a foul ball hit in their vicinity.

The concession stand is jammed during the entire game.
We have a 50-50 raffle with a variety of sponsors' prizes.
Families spread blankets and picnic with their progeny.
We cheer at all good plays by either side.

Yesterday, the score was tied 1-1 between Chatham and Yarmouth-Dennis.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Chatham pitcher walked two
And was lifted for a relief pitcher, who got the second out, then
Gave up a single that brought in the Y-D runner on second base.

Next, the catcher dropped a pitch, and in the scramble,
Allowed the second runner to advance to third.
Then that runner scored on a passed ball,
And the stands erupted with cheers for the home team.

I score the games; Barbara knits.
I like a tight game -- a real pitchers' duel.
She likes lots of hits, as do most fans.
Doesn't matter who wins, we enjoy the summer at the ball park!