Trundy Takes It In

Commodores Head Coach Jeff Trundy led the team to the best record in the regular season this year, was named Manager of the Year and eclipsed 450 career victories.

In my eyes, summer is officially over.

I know, I know, the Falmouth Road Race hasn’t even taken place just yet—although that unofficial end to the summer is upon us this coming weekend—but when the Cape League season ends, it just seems like the summer’s done to me. It’s sad. There really is nothing quite like sitting on a lawn chair on the hill above the first base line at Fuller Field a warm evening and watching big league hopefuls give their all.

Watching the Falmouth Commodores’ season come to a close on August 7 at Lowell Park in Cotuit was heartbreaking, and not just because the team lost and was knocked out of the playoffs without a championship for the 39th straight year. It was somber because the collection of players and coaches knew that they would not be seeing one another the next day.

They weren’t ready for it to end. In Falmouth, they never really are.

Some of them arrived before the season began, back in early June. Others right around the start time, and a few more in the weeks that followed.

For second baseman, and all-star, Hayden Cantrelle it was his second summer as a Commodore. Austin Langworthy didn’t expect to be playing summer ball again, but he suited up here for the third summer in a row.

No one knows just yet which of the 2019 Dores will wear the uniform in 2020, but if they’re coming back, they’ll be looking forward to it.

Manager Jeff Trundy, who was named Manager of the Year for 2019 after the Commodores posted the league’s best record—which included an 11-game win streak—is probably not the best in-game manager in the Cape League. He’s very good, but he might not be the No. 1 Xs and Os guy.

What he probably is the best at is building a culture where the players enjoy being around one another. One does not have to look hard on social media to find a litany of summer league ballplayers that cannot wait to get out of wherever they are for the hot months. Who wouldn’t want to get home for a few weeks before heading back to school and doing it all again?

Trundy’s players, though, really do seem to build a familial relationship with one another. It’s a roster full of brothers. They pull pranks on one another, make video interviews a challenge for each other, and just generally seem to love being around one another.

It’s not an act.

Cantrelle said on Twitter that he treasures his time in Falmouth. “{span class=”css-901oao css-16my406 r-1qd0xha r-ad9z0x r-bcqeeo r-qvutc0”}These last two summers in Falmouth have exceeded my expectations beyond measure. Playing up here taught me to be a kid again, and to have fun regardless of success or failure. I’m forever grateful for the amazing experience. I loved every second.{/span}”

“The Falmouth Commmodores organization, for anybody that doesn’t know, is like one big family,” Cantrelle said. “From all of the interns, to the coaches, and all of the players. Everybody is in it together ... this is a group that has fun. It’s not like this a group that’s just trying to get by, we’re having fun out here.”

Langworthy felt similarly.

“Many of these guys will keep in touch for the rest of their lives. It’s just been an absolute pleasure, a blast, to be out there with these guys. It couldn’t have worked out better,” he said.

Steven Moretto, the team’s third baseman, was supposed to have left early to get back to Sacramento State per his coach’s orders. Moretto did not want to abandon his summer family and “begged” to stay. “I did everything I could with my coach to just let me stay,” Moretto said. “I wouldn’t change what happened this summer for anything.”

Coach Trundy has been through the painful last game huddle 21 times. You’d think at this point of his career that he’d be used to the farewell hugs and departures. It was written on his face that that’s just not the case.

The players lined up to speak to the skipper. Franco Aleman, one of the best pitchers in the league, towered over his coach by a good 10 inches, but fell into a hug like little boy saying goodbye to a parent. It was touching, and a little comical.

Trundy hates saying goodbye to his players. He didn’t allow tears to flow, though it was clear that they were close to getting out, as he talked about this year’s team.

“It’s beyond words how they feel about each other, and the friendships that they developed. I don’t think everyone is able to experience that all the time, and for these guys to do what they did with the season, winning 11 in a row, winning the regular season, playing every single day, it was an absolute grind. All they did was become tighter. They never complained, always had a smile on their face, had a blast. It was just a really special group. I love them to death, and for me, that’s what I’m focused on right now,” Trundy said. “I’m not going to worry about that thing. I know everyone wants to know what you did wrong, or what did the team do, but right now my heart’s filled with these kids.”

In a little over nine months Coach Trundy will be back on the Cape with his assistant coaches, greeting a mostly new crop of players. Two months later they’ll be playing playoff games and trying to end the Dores drought. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t. They’ll sure have fun trying.

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