Dan Proto felt he owed it to the kids. Major League Baseball postponed the start of its season and is set up to play a reduced 60-game schedule due to the coronavirus.
With a lot of players testing positive, there are concerns regarding whether the season will have the ability to continue.
The Cape Cod Baseball League canceled its season, as did all college baseball programs.
There was no high school baseball this previous spring, and numerous little league programs have had to cancel this summer season.
In the middle of all of this Proto, manager of Group Cape Cod, an elite Senior Babe Ruth All Star group, was identified to play out the season.
The COVID-19 pandemic may be an unbelievable event that has actually changed almost everything in this nation and worldwide.
Nevertheless, Proto wished to provide the gamers on his group, particularly the high school elders who missed out, an opportunity to play baseball once again this summertime.
“The way I see it is that it’s an unique thing that kids have a senior year,” Proto said.
It took a lot of work and some luck to put things in place.
“We were fortunate. A great deal of other programs ended,” stated Proto.
With assistance from Cape Cod Babe Ruth and Babe Ruth National, Incorporated, the team had the ability to get its own insurance and enabled the gamers to sign waivers.
Then there was the concern of protecting fields to use.
Due to the shutdown of the high school and the Cape League seasons, many fields were not kept.
And Babe Ruth teams in Massachusetts needed to await Phase 3 of the guv’s resuming plan in order to begin.
Though the season started a little later than normal, unlike the pros, Team Cape Cod is managing to play a whole season.
“Baseball was the easy part,” said Proto. “Playing the games was easy. We’re trying to return to some sense of normalcy.”
Team Cape Cod, as it typically does, has actually been playing well. The group is in the middle of a six-game winning streak that consisted of going 4-0 last weekend in the Providence Slugfest in Rhode Island, running its record to 20-5-2.
Last year, the group completed the season prior to heading into the regional competition with a 23-6 record.
After winning the New England Regional Champion, Team Cape Cod went on to the Senior Babe Ruth World Series in Mobile Alabama, where it finished second in the country.
Since 2003, Group Cape Cod has actually won 11 regional titles, thus making 11 World Series appearances.
With solid pitching– the Cape Codders have 10 gamers who can pitch either as beginners or reducers– and excellent striking that has just started to come around just recently, they are playing as well as ever.
Dillon Ryan, who was impressive last season, is the ace of the staff and is pitching much better than he ever has, said Proto.
Magnus Orava got off to a sluggish start due to a sore arm however has actually come around and is really difficult in relief, particularly in the late innings.
“He’s a bull pet dog. We can’t keep him out,” stated Proto.
Ryan Buckler has worked with a 3-1 record.
Two new additions to the group from Mashpee, Jagger Bryant and Zach Rogers, have pitched exceptionally well.
Camera Taubert, from Dennis Yarmouth, won his first video game last weekend.
Casey Proto, Chris Beach, when he isn’t striking the heck out of the ball, Morgan Davis, and Lucas Johnson also have contributed on the mound.
Kevin Carrera, who was exceptional for Team Cape Cod in 2015 on the planet Series competition, is the group’s best hitter, batting.477.
Beach is a consistent player who strikes well in the clutch. Last Sunday, he went 5 for 7 with a crowning achievement and a double while driving in 6 runs.
Beach is batting.451 and leads the team with six homers.
Jackson Reid is batting.397, and Jake Berger has five home runs and 21 RBI.
Andrew Nordman is also striking well, batting over.300.
Joey Morrison, one of the more youthful players on the team, has actually done a terrific task in centerfield, and Proto said he is among the fastest gamers he has ever coached.
However, the pandemic forced the cancellation of all competitions and the Senior Babe Ruth World Series, which would have been played this weekend.
So a few of the function, possibly, has been lost this season and with it, some of the fun.
Due to social distancing, where players often being in the very first rows of the stands instead of in the dugout, and players wearing masks when in the dugout (coaches wear masks all the time), it has been challenging to behave as regular athletics.
The group picture on the website shows all the gamers’ and coaches’ faces covered with protective masks– an indication of the times.
“They’re kids, and sometimes they forget,” said Proto. “Really, it is really various from the way they normally play.”
There are no high fives or chest bumps or hugs after big hits or big plays, and the normal team friendship that forms is rather missing.
“It is difficult for them not to be together. They want to be close, and they can’t,” said Proto. “Typically by the end of July, they end up being very tight. They become buddies. They still do, however it is simply various.”
They still get to play, even if there are no real competitions with tournament champions and so forth.
And Proto is shooting to get in near 40 games, which is what the team would play if there were regionals and the World Series.
This coming weekend, the group will be playing the Shamrock Classic, and over the vacation of Aug. 19 to 23, they’ll will be playing in the Firecracker tournament.
“We’re simply playing games. We have a couple more tournaments, and after that we’ll play a team we always play in the regionals from Worcester,” Proto stated.
One good idea that has come out of this unusual season is that, due to the fact that some teams chose not to play this summer season, Group Cape Cod has actually been able to fill its schedule with some groups it never ever played prior to in the routine season.
“We probably played the most demanding schedule that we have in a very long time,” said Proto. We have actually had some heavy hitters on our schedule. We have actually never played the New England Ruffnecks, and we have actually had the ability to play them 4 times.”
Team Cape Cod beat the Ruffnecks two times, lost once and tied once.
Playing much better competitors makes teams better, so it is ironic, in a way, that this year’s Team Cape Cod might be one of the better groups ever, and that this group will not get a shot at the World Series.
It’s just another casualty of 2020– the year of COVID-19.