By Ben Strober
Friday was supposed to be a special opportunity for many college baseball players in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
The CCBL annual Fenway Day provides players the opportunity to play on a Major League Baseball field in front of MLB scouts.
It’s not just any stadium either — it’s the historic Fenway Park.
An opportunity for a dream come true morphed into an utter nightmare for the Yarmouth Dennis Red Sox’s players, as rain and lightning ended the event before they could take the field.
“It would have been awesome cause this has always been a dream of mine,” Mississippi State DH Hunter Hines said. “It’s unfortunate it ended this way.”
This year marked the second-straight year the CCBL showcased at Fenway Park, as the COVID-19 Pandemic canceled the event after 2019.
Over 10 Major League teams attended the event, surveying the eye-popping Cape League talent.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these players,” Atlanta Braves scout Brian Sankey said.
Sankey said scouts carefully eye all of a player’s five tools — ranging from raw power, fielding, arm talent, speed, and hit tool.
Scouts want to see the players hit at an MLB park because the dimensions are usually much larger than a typical Cape League field, according to Sankey.
“It would have been a tough thing to accomplish, but hitting a ball over the Green Monster would have been awesome,” Hines said.
Hines earned first-team All-SEC honors in the spring, after mashing a team-high 22 homers.
The Red Sox, initially set for a 2:00 p.m. start, were delayed after the Bourne Braves arrived late, according to a Cape League spokesperson.
That delay only increased thanks to a lightning strike in the Boston area.
A major issue for the delay was the laws surrounding lightning and the grounds crew’s ability to cover the field with a tarp.
Whenever lightning is detected within two miles, no one is allowed on the field, according to a grounds crew member.
After two hours with little to no updates, Boston’s grounds crew began removing the equipment from the infield, indicating an end to Fenway Day.
“It’s disappointing for our players,” pitching coach John Raiola said. “This is a really special thing to do each year.”