Cape Cod Baseball League Ready for Opening Day

HYANNIS – After a full year off due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Cape Cod Baseball League is back for 2021 with its opening day on Sunday. 

“The light is now near the end of the tunnel,” said Director of Broadcasting John Garner.

“This has been in the works for over two years now. We went right down to the first week in May last year in 2020 before we finally had to put a halt to things, because things didn’t look like they were getting any better.”

Garner said that the Cape League was among the first to pull the plug on its then-upcoming season, prioritizing safety for its staff and players amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with other leagues following suit.

As the pandemic recedes amid rising vaccination rates, Garner said the whole league is excited to get back out on the field. 

“We’ve got a lot of precautions going on. We’re going to be doing bi-weekly testing of all the tier 1 personnel. That would include players, coaches and support staff at the game, including team broadcasters,” said Garner. 

Other tweaks that had to be made to ensure a smooth-running season included going from 44 to 40 total games.

The change also had the benefit of opening up housing opportunities for players, as the league did not have as much need for temporary players on the tighter schedule. 

Only four teams—rather than eight—will be able to make the playoffs this season. Make-up games have also been nixed. 

“We’re going with a smaller format of teams to get teams out of here to lessen the exposure that they’re having, and also to get teams back to their college campus,” said Garner.

For the ten teams, Garner said that they may have a challenge ahead of them due to the format changes, but the players will still have an opportunity to show their skills. 

“I would say for the past 15 years, getting off to a good start is more important this year than it’s ever been before because of the reduced format of games, and the four less games they’ll have to play with,” said Garner. 

As many former Cape League players have gone on to join the major leagues, Garner said attendees this summer may be watching young players just at the start of their professional careers. 

All ten teams in the league will kick off the season on June 22, with a full calendar-view schedule here

Cotuit is the defending champion this season.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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