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It’s been 70 great years for the Cotuit Kettleers

It’s been 70 great years for the Cotuit Kettleers, Annual 2017 Cape Cod Life | capecodlife.com

Arnold Mycock was a longtime Kettleer volunteer. He passed away in April of 2016. Photo by Paul Rifkin

A journalist for the Cape Cod Times for 43 years, Bill Higgins has attended, written about, and edited articles covering many Cape League games. “Cotuit was always one of my favorite ballparks,” he says. “For me it was the quintessential baseball experience. It’s kind of a Norman Rockwell type of experience. You pull up your lawn chair behind the backstop. And, like at all of the Cape League fields, you’re just 30 feet from the action.”

Growing up in Harwich, Higgins followed the Mariners, but he has supported many teams over the years. “Cotuit has always had strong teams,” he says, pointing out the great Kettleer squads of the 1970s that won five of six titles from 1972-1977. Citing a few individual players, Higgins remembers Jeff Reardon, who later starred for the Red Sox, and a “blue chip” catcher named Danny Goodwin. He also recalls Ron Darling, who hit, pitched, played the outfield, and won league MVP honors in 1980 before eventually joining the New York Mets.

Darling still works with the Mets today, as a TV commentator. “Playing for the Cotuit Kettleers, and Arnold Mycock, and [coach] George Greer was the greatest summer I ever had playing baseball,” Darling writes in an email. “Sounds like hyperbole, but it was the last summer that I played a position and only pitched sparingly. I will never forget the summer of 1980.”

Another former pro who is now in broadcasting is Tim Salmon, who hit 299 home runs during a lengthy career with the California Angels. Salmon says he enjoyed his time on Cape Cod in 1988, but it took him some time to adjust. A native of Arizona, Salmon arrived in Cotuit following his sophomore year at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. “It was my first time being away from home,” he recalls, adding that Massachusetts was a different world from what he knew growing up. “It was really intriguing as a youngster trying to get my bearings straight,” he says. “The East Coast lifestyle, the Boston Red Sox—everyone lived and died with everything the Red Sox did.”

Salmon also had to adjust to the wooden bats used in the Cape League, and to the stiff competition. In his first few games, the outfielder struggled at the plate. After a few games, though, he strung some hits together, then a few more, and he ended up having a successful season, leading the squad in both hits and runs. “It’s high-talent baseball,” he says, “and there are lots of players who are looking to get there. It was a big adjustment—but I made the adjustment, and that was huge. Looking back on it, I had so much fun playing, and for my career, it was very instrumental.”



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