Summer wouldn't be summer without the Cape Cod Baseball League!
Going to Cape League games is a long-standing family tradition for locals and for visitors, too.
Are you thinking, "Eh, we're not big baseball fans."? Well, you might be surprised.
Even my sister, who cares nothing about baseball, found herself cheering for the Brewster Whitecaps last summer!
The Cape Cod League traces its roots back to the mid-1800s, when young men organized into village teams, traveling from town to town, playing the all-American game.
These were devoted players! History tells that in the 1870s, games were actually played on the ice on Mill Pond in Sandwich.
Over the next century, as the game of baseball was quickly becoming America's national pastime, the league grew and transformed into what is is today ...
The premier amateur league in the USA, drawing players from the top collegiate baseball programs across the country.
Today's CCBL players aren't just your average college kids playing summer ball.
These guys are the best of the best. They come to Cape Cod by invitation, to live, work and play baseball for the summer.
And hopefully to catch the eye of the Major League scouts who come to the games in search of the next Babe Ruth.
(No, "The Babe" didn't play in the CCBL. But MLB Hall of Famers Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk did. As did current-day superstars Mark Teixeira, Evan Longoria, Chase Utley ... and World Series Champion and National League MVP, Buster Posey.)
Going to a Cape Cod Baseball League game is the ultimate "small town America" experience!
Adults lounge in folding chairs or sit on the bleachers, watching the game and chatting with friends.
Teens hang by the dugouts for an up-close view of the action. Younger kids bring their baseball gear and play on the lawn.
And adventurous fans get a birds-eye view of the game!
And speaking of a "bird's eye view", this osprey had the best seat in the house for last year's Cape Cod League games in South Yarmouth!
After the game, stick around! Post-game is when the kids meet the players and get some autographs. The guys are wonderful with their young fans!
How cool will it be, a few years down the road, when you realize you have the autograph of a Major League All Star? Your kids can brag that they met him before he became famous!
From mid-June to mid-August, Cape Cod League teams play almost every day. With teams in 10 different towns across Cape Cod, it's always easy to find a game nearby!
Most games don't start until 5 p.m. or after, so there's no need to make that tough choice: "Beach or ball game?" You can have a great day splashing in the surf, then head out to the ballfield to catch the game.
Oh ... have I mentioned that admission to CCBL games is free?
During the game they'll "pass the hat" for donations. (Baseball caps, actually. Caps are passed along through the crowd, and we toss our donations in.)
The teams are non-profit organizations, so they appreciate donations to help pay for bats, balls and other team necessities.
FYI: The cap-passing is a totally no-pressure thing. If you can give a few dollars or so, great! If not, that's perfectly okay, too.
Just come on out to the ballgame and have tons of fun!