A Very Special Story: Mickey and Me (Part 1) - by Joe Brown

A Very Special Story: Mickey and Me (Part 1) - by Joe Brown

Joe Brown, a former sportswriter and big Yankees fan, reached out to us here at Start Spreading the News with the hopes that will will share this great memoir.

After reading this great story, we, of course, agreed.

We will run this story in two parts, on successive weeks. Part 1 is here. Part 2 will be posted on Saturday, November 2 at 1:00 p.m.

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Baseball Paradise

Baseball Paradise

Let’s start today with a bit of trivia: what do Aaron Judge, DJ Lemahieu, Jonathan Holder, Mark Teixeira, John Flaherty, Todd Frazier, Andrew Miller, Joe Girardi, and Aaron Boone all have in common? OK, that’s not a fair question, since I haven’t really given you enough information to answer - sure, looking at the list you would probably guess that each of these guys have worn pinstripes at one time or another, but that’s not all they have in common. If I expanded this list of guys to include Frank Thomas, Nomar Garciaparra, Matt Wieters, Albert Belle, Yan Gomes, Tim Lincecum, Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford, Kolton Wong, and Stephen Wright, do you know what connects all of these guys? Yes, they all have played Major League Baseball, but prior to that, they all played summer ball in college for the most prestigious amateur summer league in the country.

Deep in the heart of Red Sox country, 8 teams in the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL), consisting of the best talent college baseball has to offer, battle it out on iconic small-town American diamonds across the peninsula of Cape Cod from the beginning of June through the first week of August every year. Not only are these fields filled with fans for the summer, but at any given Cape League match-up, it is impossible not to notice anywhere from 3-15 MLB scouts in attendance. Scouts are intrigued not just by the talent pool available for viewing on any given night, but also because the CCBL allows scouts the opportunity to watch players in game settings with a wood bat. For fans of baseball, the games are fantastic for a number of reasons: a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, admission is free (though donations through 50-50 and pass-the-hat are greatly appreciated), and you can get as close to the action as your lawn chair will allow. For hardcore baseball fans who are prospect geeks, the CCBL allows you to see some of the best amateur baseball prospects in the country up close from the same angle as professional scouts. The league is truly unique, and there is some magic at each of the Cape League’s fields. I have been going to the Cape for 1-2 weeks every summer for the last 25 years, and CCBL baseball is at the heart of every trip.

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