On Thursday, July 23 Bourne Braves’ General Manager Chuck Sturtevant was honored for his remarkable 29 years spent in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Formerly the GM of the Falmouth Commodores, the ceremony was deliberately held at Doran Park when the Braves hosted Falmouth. Scheduled to throw out the first pitch of the night, Sturtevant took the mound but without a ball to throw. Much to his surprise, Darin Erstad came out of left field to present him with that first-pitch ball. Erstad, arguably the best player to have played under Sturtevant, was asked to come back to the Cape and surprise Sturtevant with his appearance. A former Los Angeles Angel, Erstad now sits as the head coach of the University of Nebraska baseball team. After the incredible moment on the field and Sturtevant’s strike right down the middle, I had the opportunity to catch up with Darin Erstad.
Kayla Krasnoo: Can you tell me about your relationship with Chuck when you played for him as a member of the Falmouth Commodores?
Darin Erstad: (I was) a kid from North Dakota and the University of Nebraska (who) had no clue what (I was) doing (on the Cape) but somehow Chuck just brings you in and makes you feel like this is your family. (I was) thousands of miles away from home but it’s such a comforting feeling to come here and outside of knowing you’re going to develop as a baseball player, (also) knowing that (the people I meet) will become an extension of family instantly. To this day, my dad and Chuck still email and stay in touch. It’s a special connection.
Krasnoo: What is your most fond moment with Chuck?
Erstad: When you come to a ballpark, at the time it was Falmouth, and you see Arnie and Chuck there. You can have a great setting, you can have great weather, great competition, (but) it’s the people that are involved, the structure and the place that makes you want to come to the ballpark. That’s what I always remember about them. I couldn’t wait to get to the ballpark to be around those (type) of guys.
Krasnoo: What did it mean to you to be asked to come back here to hand Chuck his first-pitch ball?
Erstad: It was a tremendous honor. As soon as Jenabeth asked me, I just wiped everything clean and said I’m going. I wouldn’t miss this for the world.
-Kayla Krasnoo, CCBL Intern