It’s been 70 great years for the Cotuit Kettleers
“It was very difficult for the league and the organization to lose somebody who had done the things Arnold had done,” Logan says. “This was our 70th season in 2016—and Arnold was a part of 66 of them. In my opinion he was one of the finest gentlemen I’ve ever met in my life.”
The Cotuit squad was formed in 1946, but baseball on Cape Cod dates back to at least the late 19th century. Paul Galop, the Cape League’s commissioner, says there are records of a game played at the Barnstable County Fair between two town teams, circa 1885. During the early years of the 20th century, a number of towns fielded their own baseball teams, but play fizzled out during World War II. After the war, with young men returned to the Cape, the league was reinvigorated in 1946 and that’s when a Cotuit team was founded. The next year, the Kettleers played their first official season.
Stewart Goodwin has been a fan since the very beginning, attending his first Cotuit game in 1946. He was 7. At that time, the roster consisted of local players from Cotuit and Mashpee, and though located in the same spot as it is today, the Cotuit ball field lacked modern frills, like fences.
In that era, Goodwin says the best of the town teams was the Sagamore Clouters, and he recalls watching a game in Bourne where slugger Jim Perkins hit a ball into the canal on one bounce. During a game at Falmouth’s field in Falmouth Heights, Perkins blasted a ball into Vineyard Sound. “He couldn’t run very well,” Goodwin says of Perkins, “but he was a formidable power hitter.”
Goodwin says cheering on, and volunteering for the Kettleers over the years has been a wonderful experience for both him and his family. “I always thought of it as the way baseball should be, on grass, in the daylight. It’s a family sport. It’s just a great environment. The field is just one of the most beautiful little fields that you’d ever want to see.”
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