Continuing with our baseball-laden few weeks, we spent the night at Fenway watching the CCBL All-Star Game...or most of it, at least. The tickets were $10 and it was general admission, so we worked our way down pretty close to the West dugout, about 6-7 rows back, and settled in, despite a little bit of rain just before the Home Run Derby. Unfortunately, we were surrounded on one side by all the Bourne regulars - including host families and actual families of the players - and on the other side by the most obnoxious family on earth, who happen to be the family of a player that grew up just north of Boston. Note to self: in the future, try to sit with fans, not the player's families. Some of them didn't watch a single play of the game - they were turned sideways or with their back to the field chatting with friends. Some of them only paid any attention when their family member was on the field. Some of them cared more about getting on the jumbotron in between innings than cheering on their sibling. Awesome! If we were smart, we would have moved. I would have LOVED to sit directly behind home with the scouts, because I bet you learn a lot and hear some interesting tid bits over there, but it was the only place in the park that was reserved.
I would also have loved to sit directly behind home so I could have heard the chatter from my fav CCBL player, Catcher Pat Cantwell, who was catching for the West team. This kid is a leader and a smart player, which is probably why he was drafted last month by the Baltimore Orioles. I loved watching him at the Bourne game last weekend, and listening to his constant chatter to teammates:
Even if he isn’t the starting catcher that day, Cantwell can be counted on as the most vocal member of the Braves. Although the ambitious biology major is admittedly [quiet] off the field, he sees it as both his duty and part of his “keep it fun” mantra to keep chatter constant.I was bummed that we couldn't hear his chatter at Fenway, and I assume it was because we were too far away from the plate to hear him over the crowd noise and not because he wasn't out there leading his teammates through the game. I like watching this kind of player - someone who you know is having fun and playing for the team and not just themselves. I'm sure there are plenty of pro players out there that are the same way, but it's so much harder to see that and know that when you're only exposure to them is in an environment where you can't hear the chatter and see the leadership first hand.
“He uplifts the team,” Braves pitcher Josh Conway says. “You can hear him from anywhere, he’s always positive, always yelling, always cheering. He brings a great energy to the ballpark.”
I think, in the end, it's exactly that experience that makes me love the CCBL - you get to know these players, even if you only watch them play once, because you are that close to them.