Can you believe it has been 9 years since we filmed Touching the Game, The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League? Since that fun summer of 2003, we have been following many of the Cape players who appeared in the film. Many people know that an average of 1 in 6 players in the Cape League make it to the Major Leagues but, as we have found out, once you make it to the show, it is not easy to stay there. Every year a whole new crop of players are drafted and signed, forcing many pro ball players to play in another country, try their luck in the Independent Leagues, or call it a career all together. Then there is always the injuries. Many of the people we followed in 2003 though are still making a go of it. Let’s take a look.
After a couple years with in the NY Yankees system, Justin Maxwell has found a spot as a 4th outfielder with the Houston Astros. Maxwell has dealt with injury issues throughout his career, but until recently, was having a good year with the Astros. He’s currently ending a 15-Day stint on the DL with a bad ankle, but will begin rehabbing in the minors soon. Sam Fuld who enjoyed his best year as a pro last year with the Tampa Bay Rays, has been out all season after wrist surgery. He could return in August. Fuld’s former Stanford teammate John Mayberry has had a steady year on the Phillies. A back up outfielder and 1st baseman, Mayberry has seen a lot of action due to several Phillies injuries.
Remember what we said about the difficulty of staying in the Majors once you make it. Some of our guys from the summer of 2003 have logged quite a few miles switching teams and bouncing up and down from the Majors to the Minors. One is Andy Laroche. After being named the starting 3B with the Pirates a few years back, Andy has had a tough road of it. He spent the first few months of this season with the Indians AAA affiliate Columbus, but after asking for his release, has now landed with the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox. Those who remember Andy playing for the 2003 Wareham Gatemen, don’t have too far to go to see him playing today! Pitcher Dave Purcey has also bounced around. He is now trying to make it back to the Majors as a reliever with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA-Phillies). Also trying to get back to show are former Cape Leaguers Brandon Boggs AAA-Indianapolis (Pirates), Trevor Crowe AAA-Columbus (Indians), and Tommy Manzella AA-Huntsville (Brewers).