25 years and some things never change: view of alumni returning to the Cape

On Wednesday, July 15th, I had the pleasure of meeting CCBL and Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox alumni, Brad Stuart. Stuart played for Y-D in the summers of 1989 and 1990. Stuart currently resides in Alabama with his wife and two children, one of which is attending Samford University in the fall and will be pitching for the Samford Bulldogs.

Stuart threw out the first pitch on Wednesday for Y-D’s game against the Falmouth Commodores. Afterwards, he visited the press box and was able to talk to general manager, Steve Faucher, and other Y-D personnel, including myself, about his experience on the Cape nearly 25 years ago, and his experience coming back now.

CCBL: So how has Red Wilson changed since the last time you played here?

Stuart: There are many great additions since I played there like the dugouts, concession stand, and pressbox.  Also, the new fences…. they are further back and taller.  Had they been that way when I pitched there, my ERA would probably be 1/2 a point lower.  There is a real sense of professionalism that has been added to the entire program that is very impressive.  From the web broadcast team of Anthony and Mark, to the PA Ryan, yourself, the Cape Cod League blogs, interns everywhere…. the league and YD in particular has done a great job of utilizing new and relevant avenues to market the team in a professional manner.

CCBL: What were your teams (since I hear you played for 2 summers) like when you played?

Stuart: Great teams made up of great guys that were winners. We won the league championship both years, which is still a source of pride for me.  Several guys were supremely talented and several were supremely gifted leaders.  The two years were different in the general make up of the team with many different players, but there was a core group of players that returned, played both seasons, and were able to enjoy winning back to back championships together.  Mark Sweeney, Bo Loftin, and me.  Several of my team mates made it to the Big Leagues… Mark Sweeney, Scott Ruffcorn, Larry White?, Mark Piscoita, Mike Zimmerman?

CCBL: To continue that question, what are some of your best memories from the Cape League?

Stuart: The best baseball memories would certainly be winning back to back league championships, the first 2 in the modern era at YD, Being selected and pitching in the All Star game in 89′, pitching in the first game of the playoffs in 89′ and going 12 or 13 innings (and winning the game).  Very easily, those were the two best seasons of baseball I ever played in my career and speaking with some of my teammates, they felt the same way.  It is baseball heaven for the best players in the country.

CCBL: I also overheard that you met your wife here and she was a CCBL intern. Can you give me the story?

Stuart: My wife and I met on the Cape as she worked for the lady that was my host family (sorry, she wasn’t an intern).  My host person suggested that Denise come meet the Louisiana “bumkin”.  So, she agreed to show me how to get to the field my first practice day.  25 years later and 4 beautiful, accomplished kids later.  She is a great mother.  God has blessed me with all along my journey through life, and looking back He certainly led me to Denise as she was a significant part of the blessing as she is an incredible mother.  It is really funny to watch the movie “Summer Catch” and see the similarities.  Except, my wife is much more attractive than Jessica Biel.

CCBL: Finally, If you could do it all over again and play for the CCBL, which team would you want to play for? Or would you even want to work a different position for the team/league now that you have gone through school and a career?

Stuart: If I could do it all over again, there is no question I could only be a YD Red Sox player.  It was the most fun I ever had playing baseball.  The team supporters, the competition, the success I had against the best competition, my host family (Ms. Marta Sheehan was so nice and hospitable to me and my parents when they visited), the weather, the setting (Cape Cod), the exposure to MLB scouts…just the whole thing was almost magical.  I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

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-Tori Cotnoir, Contributor and CCBL intern

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