Troy Clarkson

The unmistakable sound of the crack of a wooden baseball bat is a sure sign of the advent of summer in Falmouth. The unmistakable aroma of Artie’s sausage sizzling on the grill at the Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller Field is a sure sign of our hometown team, the Falmouth Commodores, returning for another season.

The team will take the field on Monday night for its opening game, carrying on a tradition that has endured for nearly a century, with only a short hiatus during World War II. So, for the better part of 100 summers, young men from all over the United States have made the commitment to stay and play in Falmouth, and have woven their stories into the fabric of our hometown team.

The Commodores have become, though, so much more than the Falmouth affiliate of the Cape Cod Baseball League. They have become a true community organization that supports other nonprofits, offers affordable and memorable family fun, and even provide teaching and coaching for young ballplayers. The Commodores are more than Falmouth’s hometown team—they are Falmouth’s hub of summer fun.

This summer, the team will engage with and support more than a dozen local nonprofits and Falmouth-based organizations, inviting partners and new friends into a shared experience of goodness where our national pastime becomes a local tradition of sharing goodwill and good news. From the Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) to the Cotuit Center for the Arts, from the Waquoit Congregational Church to the Falmouth Newcomers Club, from WCAI to Falmouth Youth Baseball, organizations are invited in, so that they can invite their supporters, widening the network of local groups who strengthen their relationships with each other and in turn strengthen our community, all against the backdrop of some of the highest quality collegiate baseball in the world. It’s the best of the best in building a better Falmouth.

Some of Falmouth’s businesses share in the fun, as well. Companies like the Black Dog, Cape Cod 5, and Atria invite their employees to come and share in camaraderie and a night out with their families. The Commodores write a story of Americana each game, and a new story is written that families, friends, and Falmouthites share for generations.

Commodores players stay with local families. In some cases, they forge relationships that last a lifetime. Team president Mark Kaspyrzk noted to me that one of the greatest challenges for the team each year—including this year—is finding families to host a player. It’s an opportunity to live with a potential future Major League all-star and with a present-day world-class athlete and share their experiences up close. There are still opportunities to host; information can be found on the Commodores website.

And as if all of that wasn’t enough, the Commodores will actually host the Red Sox World Series trophy at a home game on July 3. Fans can have their picture taken with the trophy and talk about the prospects of one of the players competing for another one some day.

One of the themes of the Cape Cod Baseball League, the parent organization of the Commodores, where Falmouth’s own Eric Zmuda, former general manager of the Commodores, now serves as league president, is “Where the Stars of Tomorrow Shine Tonight.” That truism repeats itself over and over and over again, as ballplayers who scoot and slide on the Arnie Allen diamond wind up in the big leagues. Just this week, more than 1,000 ballplayers from all over the world were drafted in the annual Major League Baseball draft. The No. 1 pick—the top prospect of well over 1,000 baseball players—was Adley Rutschman. For loyal Commodores fans, that name is familiar. He played for our hometown team just two years ago. Now he’s the top prospect in all of baseball. Tomorrow’s stars indeed shine each night right here in Falmouth. Other household names like Jackie Bradley Jr. and Joe Kelly, who proudly wear Red Sox World Series rings, played in the Cape League. Former Sox fan favorite Jacoby Ellsbury played here in Falmouth.

Starting Monday night, Falmouth’s hometown team will not only shine with tomorrow’s stars, it will bustle with activity and continue to cement its place as one of the community’s most beloved and cherished institutions. Join in the family fun and the history. Information on the team schedule, hosting a player, youth activities, and even the team’s storied history, can be found at: www.falmouthcommodores.com. I’ll be there on opening night—hope to see you there. Play ball!

Mr. Clarkson may be contacted at votetroy99@aol.com and followed on Twitter @TroyClarkson59.

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