News / USA

Summer Baseball Grooms Players for Majors

Summer Baseball League Grooms Players for Big Timei
|| 0:00:00
X
Dave Grunebaum
August 04, 2012 1:08 PM
Every summer, many of America's best college baseball players travel to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. As VOA's Dave Grunebaum reports, the cape's small communities help players make it to the big leagues.

Summer Baseball League Grooms Players for Big Time

CAPE COD, Massachusetts — As the sun sets on Cape Cod and the swimmers leave the beach, local ball fields light up as top college athletes face off in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
 
“The talent is unbelievable here,” says Jeff McNeil, a second baseman at Long Beach State University in California. He’s spending the summer on the country's opposite coast, playing for the Brewster Whitecaps. “My dream in baseball, like everyone’s, is to go pro and the Cape Cod League is a good starting ground for that.”

Hundreds of current major league players used to compete on these same fields and the top college prospects continue to draw scouts from the major league teams.

During batting practice before a recent Brewster Whitecaps game, the players were watched by scouts from the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs.

“They’re here at every game, they’re here to watch batting practice," says McNeil. "They’re watching your every move.  Basically everything you do on the field, you’re being evaluated for.”
Fans gather to watch the Orleans Firebirds during the Cape Cod Baseball League's summer season. (VOA/D. Gruenbaum)Fans gather to watch the Orleans Firebirds during the Cape Cod Baseball League's summer season. (VOA/D. Gruenbaum)
x
Fans gather to watch the Orleans Firebirds during the Cape Cod Baseball League's summer season. (VOA/D. Gruenbaum)
Fans gather to watch the Orleans Firebirds during the Cape Cod Baseball League's summer season. (VOA/D. Gruenbaum)

For fans, though, the atmosphere is laid back. There’s no admission fee and spectators line the field, filling the bleachers, settling in their own beach chairs or sitting in the grass like Max Finocchio, 9, and his father, Mark.
 
“Oh it’s great. We love baseball, it’s a great sport to watch, a good chance you’re going to catch a foul ball down here," says Mark. "Maybe [we'll] actually catch someone that’s up and coming in this league who's going to become a major league baseball player.”

But this summer experience goes beyond baseball.

Each player lives with a host family. McNeil and one of his teammates are staying with Julia and Bob Tulloch and their two children. Julia Tulloch considers the players adopted sons for the summer.
 
“Having the boys around has been fantastic, absolutely fantastic," she says. "They’re great kids.”
 
“I feel like I’m actually a part of the family," says McNeil. "They’ll do anything for me.”
 
One morning, the Tullochs treated the players to a boat ride and a chance to engage in a classic coastal activity: clamming. While standing on a wet sandbar, McNeil used a rake to dig down a bit to look for the shellfish.
 
“It’s been real fun, real fun so far, trying new things," says McNeil.

That's Julia Tulloch's goal.  

“I want them to leave knowing there are so many different things to do on the Cape. You know, the fishing, the clamming, the tubing, the quaintness of it all.”
 
The Cape Cod Baseball League has 10 teams and when the Brewster Whitecaps are on the field, McNeil says the Tullochs are in the stands.
 
“We’re just proud of them just like we would be of our own kids,” Julia Tulloch says.

It’s a two-month stay on the Cape, but the players and families say they’re creating memories that will last a lifetime.

You May Like

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

Iraqi Kurdish Leader: Protect Syrian City

Islamic State fighters are besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, after seizing at least 21 surrounding villages in a major assault against city on Syria's northern border with Turkey More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid