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2014 CBD Journal with Ray Ricker (Jan. 20th)

rayricker_journalsHow is everyone doing? With the Super Bowl lineup set, it means we are only a few short weeks until college baseball starts up. It has been a while since I have written, but it has been an exciting time. Over this past summer, I was fortunate enough to coach in the Cape Cod Baseball League for the Bourne Braves. After three summers managing ball clubs in the New England Collegiate Baseball League, I took the summer of 2012 off and quickly realized how much I missed coaching in the summer and applied for coaching jobs in the Cape Cod League.

Harvey Shapiro, the manager of the Bourne Braves, gave me a call and I interviewed at the ABCA Coaches Convention. I was lucky enough to land the job as the Hitting Coach and Catching instructor for the team. I was beyond excited to be working in the Cape. It is every college baseball players dream to play in the league. The history, tradition, and the scouts make it a special place. This was the best summer I have ever experienced in my coaching career. The coaching staff of Harvey Shapiro, John Slusarz (Assistant at Hartford), and Craig Rodriguez (Assistant at Northwest Florida State College) were great to work with and made every day at the ball park, a fun one. I couldn’t have asked for a better front office. The Bourne Braves won organization of the year which wasn’t the only award we came away with. Max Pentecost, our catcher from Kennesaw State, won the Cape Cod League MVP award; the first time a catcher has won the award since Jason Varitek. The guys on the team made it a great summer…there were no egos, only a ton of characters (too many to name). I hope I helped them get a little better along the way and, come this spring, they will hear their name called in June’s MLB Amateur Draft.

The biggest highlight, besides the friendships and bonds made, had to be throwing Batting Practice at Fenway Park. Even though I am a Yankees fan, nothing compares to walking across the foul line from the home dugout, looking up at the Green Monster and thinking about all of the history that Fenway Park has seen. I cannot even lie, I was nervous! I had 45 minutes to get through our teams BP rounds and had to make sure that everyone got enough swings in front of the 75 MLB scouts in attendance. If that wasn’t pressure enough, right behind the cage, peeking his head out, was legendary baseball scribe Peter Gammons. I have included some pics from my summer at the bottom of this blog.

If you have not been to a Cape Cod Baseball game, I highly suggest penciling it in to your summer travel plans. It is the best amateur summer baseball that you will experience.

Luckily for me, I have the privilege of returning this summer to the Bourne organization. You can find me throwing BP, and most likely arguing calls at 1st. We will also be hosting this year’s All Star Game, which will be a ton of work, but it will be a great experience.

Thanks for reading my latest blog. I will be sharing my thoughts weekly here on The College Baseball Daily so make sure you keep checking back and see what random thoughts are going on.

If you have any ideas for a future blog you can always email me or message me on Twitter: @CoachRix8.

Thanks again, see you all next week


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