Baseball Review //
Cape Cod Baseball League presents
YD Red Sox vs. Wareham Gatemen
7/23/19 @ Dunkin Donuts Park

More information on the Cape Cod Baseball League :::

Official Box Score here :::

More Photos can be found in a Facebook Album here :::

This was the second time that the Cape Cod Baseball League made the trip to Hartford, CT and Dunkin Donuts Park.   Fun Fact: This was my fifth time overall at Dunkin Donuts Park and of those five times I have only seen the Yard Goats twice.   So I have, with this game, officially been to Dunkin Donuts Park to see the Yard Goats less than other baseball.   That's a pretty fun stat for me.    I thought this game was going to start at noon and then the gates would open at 11 am, so we planned on leaving too early so once we got to the parking lot we wandered around Hartford a bit, eventually going to a Dunkin Donuts.

I had the option to either print the tickets myself when I bought them or pick them up at will call, so I did the will call thing so I could get cool ticket stubs-- which I totally did.   Once we got inside Dunkin Donuts Park, I noticed a table set up for CCBL merchandise but I had to use the bathroom.   At this point, my dad got lost somewhere so Quentin and I went down near the Gatemen dugout to get a ball autographed.   There were quite a few other fans down there waiting as well, though it looked like less fans were on the Red Sox side.

Fun Story: I was interested in obtaining an official CCBL baseball, like they use in the games, in brand new condition and so I emailed some email address through the website which got a reply from someone I won't name personally but needless to say I sent him a check and he sent me a baseball along with a lot of programs and media guides to read about the CCBL.  I literally began reading through them and saw the name "Aaron Nola" on the same weekend we saw him pitch for the Phillies against the Mets.  So we took that ball to get signed, so thank you again for that ball.

After we felt like we had all the autographs we could get, we still couldn't find my dad so we went to that merchandise table.   The thing about getting autographs from the Gatemen is that some of them were very happy to sign and seemed almost like "What? You want my autograph??" but there were a few different players (and I can't name them because I didn't see their numbers) who just walked by and ignored us like we weren't even there.   I feel like no matter how good you are, if fans don't like you then you won't make it that far.

In any event, we bought a hat from the CCBL mainly because the man who sold it to me understood the math on my shirt and I wanted something to rep the CCBL but I feel like I own too many t-shirts.  My go to hat (usually) for when I'm seeing teams I don't have hats for is a Mystic Schooners hat because the "M" feels like "Meriden" but now I have another hat I can wear when I don't have a hat to wear.   But, yeah, I do wear my Blues hat, for example, to non-Blues games.   Hats are something that I feel like you can have too many of- because I did at one point in time- but right now I feel like I don't have enough.  At least not for the amount of baseball I see.

As an aside from the CCBL merchandise table, Quentin and I went into the Yard Goats team store and they FINALLY had the plush Chompers in stock.   This was our third time at Dunkin Donuts Park this season and they finally had him.   (For the record, when I was there on Sunday the team store was closed) Needless to say, we purchased the plush Chompers and Chew Chew toys then on our way out someone asked us if Quentin wanted to do an on the field thing- a goat rodeo- and we said yes so we had a date set for that after the sixth inning as well.

The background of this game is that the YD Red Sox had the best overall record in the CCBL last season while the Wareham Gatemen won the championship last season.   So on one hand, you could say that these are two of the best teams in the CCBL.   They both still have pretty close records to stick with that fact this season as well.   But the other part of this is that the CCBL is considered by many to be the best baseball league in the United States outside of the majors.    If you're really curious about such things (AND I AM) there is actually a book about it. 

This was an evenly matched game.   It felt like watching the World Series.   Both teams were tied 1-1 for a bit and then the Gatemen pulled ahead with the Red Sox trying to come back but not quite getting there.  This game had great plays (a diving catch in right field by the Gatemen), great pitching and even great hitting.   It was everything baseball should be and I would go to every game that I possibly could if I lived in Cape Cod.   I think the real moral of this story though is that you should find the CCBL that is local to you.   It's easy to think "I'd go to these games if they were closer to me", but there are games closer to you!  The GHTBL is my CCBL, for example.

Here's a fun story: After the sixth inning we went to meet up for the on the field challenge.   We found Fancypants so at least it wasn't a complete waste of a trip.   We were taken down to the on the field level, which basically put us right into the Red Sox dugout.  Quentin was to do a "goat rodeo" which meant he'd spin around on a bat then try and ride a horse, but when we got there we only saw three bats, three giant cowboy hats, three inflatable horses... So, basically, they overbooked the kids and didn't want to send Quentin home empty handed. 

This is where things get funny.   They offered Quentin an official minor league baseball, which had been used and that's kind of cool but if we didn't get that it wouldn't have been the end of the world as it's no baseball we have an actual attachment with.   So Quentin got to hold the checkered flag for the race but my favorite part of the experience was that the guy doing it asked me if I'd ever been to Dunkin Donuts Park before.  I said "Yeah, I was here on Sunday" and he said "Oh cool", while looking at me as if he was thinking "What was going on here Sunday? Is he mistaken? Is he lying? Did the Yard Goats have a game without me?"   Hashtag why can't all baseball just get along no spaces.

Perhaps the worst part of the "on the field challenge" thing though was that they had us down there after the sixth and it didn't happen until after the seventh so we spent an entire inning watching the game from such a strange viewpoint and the other kids kept pushing into me like I wasn't there.   It was just... not my preferred way to watch a baseball game and shout out to the Bristol Blues, who might sometimes have to delay an on the field challenge for some reason but still let me watch the game from third base. 

The weather in Connecticut is such a crapshoot.  They had been predicting rain for quite some time before this game, rain which did come on Monday but only barely during the day- it seemed delayed- and then when I woke up it was raining but the weather forecast said that it would end by 10 am, which it did.   We got a few drops and some people opened up their umbrellas, but overall it was a good day for baseball.  It was neither really hot nor cold, though my dad (who eventually texted me so he could find us) had pants and a light jacket on the whole time.  Quentin and I were in shorts and t-shirts being cool.

I wouldn't mind going to Cape Cod one day for a game or two of CCBL baseball, but as of right now, having the teams come to Hartford makes it a bit easier for me.   They bussed in several groups of children who all left after five or six innings, but still, it was nice to see a crowd- like when you'd go to a day game that had those school field trips to fill them out because most everyone else is working.   I didn't do this last year for whatever reason but if the CCBL comes back to DDP next year I'll definitely be there.


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