Former Hyannis and current Minnesota Twins outfielder Sam Fuld was one of 5 former CCBL stars elected to the 2014 Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame. Fuld was one of the players we featured in the 2004 documentary Touching the Game, The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Fuld was one of just a handful of players to bat over .300 in the 2003 Cape season while leading Hyannis to the West Division playoffs. Also elected was the 2003 Outstanding Pitcher of the Year Eric Beattie. Beattie also appears in Touching the Game, leading the Bourne Braves to the Cape Cod League Finals. More information on on the Hall of Fame ceremony can be found here. Congratulations to all!
Blog: Posts in “Cape Cod Film” Category
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).
The Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star game is once again taking place at Fenway Park on Friday evening, and the crowds are getting bigger every year. It’s a great chance to see some of the MLB stars of the future. If you would like to go to the game, all the info is here. If you can’t make it to Fenway, Comcast Sports New England (as well as many other Comcast affiliates) will be televising the game live at 7:00pm Friday evening or on tape delay. Comcast will also be airing a special one hour version of Touching the Game, The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League Thursday evening 7/28 at 5:00pm and 8:oopm. Warm up for the CCBL All-Stars with Touching the Game!
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder John Mayberry played in the Cape Cod Baseball League in the summer of ’03. He had just finished his freshman year at Stanford. We interviewed him a couple times for our documentary Touching the Game, The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League. We were also able to speak to John’s father, former MLB player John Mayberry Sr. who was visiting the Cape to view some of Jr.’s games with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. Here’s a clip from the film.
Sam Fuld has quickly made Tampa Bay Rays fans forget the sudden retirement of Manny Ramirez. With spectacular catches, and timely hitting, Fuld looks like he could be a mainstay in the Rays outfield. Selected by the Cubs in the ’03 MLB draft out of Stanford, Fuld spent the summer of ’03 playing for the Hyannis Mets of the Cape Cod Baseball League, where he was an All-Star. That summer was of course when we filmed Touching the Game, The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League. Check out this scene from the film with Sam Fuld as he ponders whether to sign with the Cubs, or return to play at Stanford.
We usually do a “Where are they now?” on the players in our Touching the Game films twice a year, at the start and finish of the baseball season, but this winter has been a busy one for some of the CCBL alumni. Here’s who will be wearing new caps this spring. Sam Fuld has been traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the big Matt Garza deal. Justin Maxwell has been traded to the New York Yankees. Maxwell had a few chances to break into the Washington Nationals outfield the past couple seasons, but injuries and hitting slumps have hindered his progress. Maybe a change of scenery will get him going. Andy Laroche ran into the same issues (injuries and hitting) for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. He has signed a minor league deal with the Oakland A’s and will be at their big league camp. Jeff Frazier who made it to the majors last season in Detroit, has signed with the Washington Nationals. Brandon Boggs has moved on from Texas to Milwaukee, signing a new deal with the Brewers, and Matt Macri who was in the Minnesota Twins system, has signed with the Colorado Rockies.
Any fan of baseball or documentary films in general will love our inside looks at two of the most significant amateur baseball leagues in the U.S. The Cape Cod Baseball league and the Alaska Baseball League have been providing starting grounds for countless Major League stars. See what the leagues are all about, and hear from those Major Leaguers who experienced them. “Touching the Game, The Story of The Cape Cod Baseball League” and “Touching the Game, Alaska” are both feature-length documentaries that bring you to parts of the country where summer baseball is a tradition. Meet the people and watch the players that make these leagues a true slice of Americana. Both DVDs also contain many “extra” features you will enjoy as well. You can order either DVD individually, but the best deal comes if you order both Touching the Game films. Right now, you can purchase both DVDs together for just $34.95. Just go here, to give the gift of baseball this holiday season!
It is always fun to check up on the players we followed in the summer of 2003 on Cape Cod. Not every Major Leaguer shoots through the minor league system in a couple years. For some, the journey to the majors is a long and arduous, taking many years to get there. Some players have great minor league careers only to hit that glass ceiling of becoming a regular MLB player. That seems to be the point that many of our guys are at now 7 years after playing in the CCBL. Here’s an update on some of the guys who appeared in Touching the Game, The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League: Andy Laroche began 2010 as the Pittsburgh Pirates starting 3B. He hurt his back and while on the DL, lost his starting job to Pedro Alvarez. He has not played much since, and rumors are the Pirates might be looking to deal him in the off-season. Pitcher Dave Purcey started the season at (AAA) Las Vegas as the Toronto Blue Jays are making him a middle relief pitcher. He is now back with the Jays, and is doing well in that role. Justin Maxwell had been penciled in to start in the Washington Nationals outfield, but a poor spring training sent him to (AAA) Syracuse where he also struggled at the plate. He is now up again with Nationals trying to crack their lineup. Outfielder Trevor Crowe has had a good year for the Cleveland Indians batting around .250. He should be a fixture there in the coming years. After a poor start, Sam Fuld ended up batting .272 for (AAA) Iowa. Unfortunately the Chicago Cubs have no room right now in their outfield for Fuld. Jeff Frazier had a terrific season at (AAA) Toledo, and made his first Major League appearance with the Detroit Tigers in August in a game at Fenway. He too has a bunch of people in front of him in Detroit with no where to go. After spending 2009 in Independent League ball, Cesar Nicolas returned and had a good season for (AA) Erie, but had to shut it down early due to a knee injury. Tommy Manzella who began the season as the Houston Astros starting shortstop, also struggled at the plate and dealt with injuries. He is now back playing for the Astros. After batting .267 with 15 HR’s at (AAA) Lehigh Valley, John Mayberry is a September call-up with the Philadelphia Phillies, as is Brandon Boggs with the Texas Rangers as they head towards the playoffs.
Jeff Frazier, one of the players we focused on in Touching the Game, The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League has been called up to the Detroit Tigers. He will be in the lineup when they face the Red Sox at Fenway Park tonight. Frazier was a 3rd round pick by the Tigers in 2004 out of Rutgers. In the summer of 2003, he played for the Chatham A’s. In our film, we spent time with Jeff both on the field and with his host family, The Galops of Chatham. It’s been a long haul for Frazier, but this season in AAA Toledo it all came together for him as he had 23 HRs and 68 RBI. Congratulations to Jeff!
Whether your dad is a diehard baseball fan or just a casual follower, our Touching the Game DVDs make a great last-minute gift idea. This Sunday 6/20 is Father’s Day and the timing could not be much better as the summer amateur leagues begin regular season play this week. It is also the weekend of the Summer Solstice which means one thing in Fairbanks, Alaska, the annual Midnight Sun Game. This year, the signature game of the Alaska Baseball League takes place Monday night (6/21). Many know the story - midnight baseball, no lights needed – but if you want to know the history and experience it yourself, our new film, Touching the Game, Alaska has it and the rest of the ABL covered in depth. We also have everything you need to know about the Cape Cod Baseball League in our 2004 documentary Touching the Game, The Story of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
You can go here to purchase either DVD, but the best deal for you (and dad), might be our current special – you get both Touching the Game DVDs at a discounted price of $34.95. Happy Father’s Day!