BY DAN RUBIN / JAR Pride
One of my favorite movies of all time is Swingers.? It?s about 20 years old now, and in order to watch it, you?ll need to get past the shock of watching Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau in their 20s.? You?ll also need to get past the NHL 94 references for Sega Genesis, and you?ll need to remember that there was a time in life before cell phones and constant communication.
But one of my favorite scenes is when Trent (Vaughn) and Mikey (Favreau) are in the casino in the early part of the film, talking to women.? Trent introduced Mikey by saying, ?Remember this face.? This is the guy behind the guy behind the guy.?
It?s probably my favorite scene because everyone hears the term ?guy behind the guy behind the guy? and automatically assumes one of two things: 1) that this guy is a nobody or 2) you have no idea what this guy does, but it?s something important.
In the Cape Cod Baseball League, every single ?guy behind the guy? is #2. They all have love for the game, love for the industry, and love for the players. While the most important part of the Cape League is the players, how they mesh and how they react to playing in the short-season summer league, the most essential part is the group of individuals who relay everything on a nightly basis to the fans, families, and baseball aficionados.
At parks across the Cape, the teams are, quite literally, a family affair. The Bussieres in Hyannis are prime examples, where father and son teamed up for years in the background.? There are the husband and wife teams volunteering across almost every single organization.? Heck, I got involved with the league, and I was the second of all five Rubins to volunteer with the Y-D Red Sox.
My older brother, Joe, is the Vice-President of the Y-D squad.? He started as an intern before he was 21 years old.? At the time, he was the only intern; he did the job of what is now 20 people by himself.? He would drive to the field, fill up ice buckets for the trainers, get the scoreboard situated, and work in concessions or merchandise.? That was all while holding down a job slicing cold cuts in a supermarket deli.? He did it because he loved the team and he loved being around on game day.
Gradually, Joe elevated through the organization.? He became the public address announcer, took over game day operations in the press box in terms of atmosphere and music, eventually became a member of the executive committee until he was elected VP.? In 2005, in the midst of this rise through the Red Sox, he got me involved as the team?s radio broadcaster.? I was there through 2007 continuously, eventually coming back in some capacity until returning pretty much full time in 2010.? Even now, since you?re reading the article on the Y-D home page, I?m still involved.
For we Rubins, we?re all involved.? My dad works the gate handing out stat sheets and accepting donations; my mother?s volunteered in the merchandise booth, where you?ll understand that saints do exist on this planet if you ever run into her.? And my brother Mike, the patriarch of the Rubin Media Dynasty by virtue of being the first to get into media, has filled in when there was nobody else for a broadcast here and there.
We do it because we love it, and we love the League and team.? Sure, there?s an element like anyone else who wants to work with the team; anyone who volunteers does so because they want to have a hand in advancing the career of the next Major League Baseball legend.? They want to be able to wear a Y-D hat to a Red Sox-Astros game and walk up to the bullpen to see Jason Castro with that connection.? They want to develop personal relationships that they can remember when they see Buster Posey winning two World Series championships.? They want to taste that intoxicating drink that can only come by working in those scenarios.
But beyond all of that, after years of doing it, they find a genuine love for baseball at its purest form.? There?s a hunger that comes with raw, untapped, natural talent, and with it comes a love for the organizations working to cultivate it.? There?s a discovery of the game itself, and from that form relationships that last years into the future.? Last summer, I mentioned the Y-D Red Sox in a toast at my brother?s wedding, with members of the organization sitting to my left.? And it was understood when I spoke lovingly of our conversations that we all knew the same thing ? we all shared a bond formed by a love of the game played against the backdrop of a Cape Cod summer.
What?s the point of all of this?? It?s to cultivate an understanding of what goes into making this league so great.? There are so many working so thanklessly behind the scenes.? There are people like Josh Throckmorton, who went from a teenager flipping burgers to a baseball analyst and player for Occidental College.? There are people like in-house all-everything Ryan Gallant, the man responsible for posting content on this very web site, all while producing Twitter updates, Facebook updates, and audio/video production.? He?s barely done with his freshman year at UMass, yet he?s probably more indicative of the heart and soul of this team than anyone.? And there are people like Linden Wood organizing the men at the gate, collecting donations while reflecting an old tyme feel about showing up to the game with a quick wit and a friendly demeanor.? It?s all very thankless, but without all of them, there would be no Cape Cod Baseball League.
Baseball players come through the league and chase down professional dreams.? Announcers come through the league and chase down professional dreams.? But the true backbone of the Cape Cod Baseball League dream comes from the sweat and blood of people making each game the best they can, bonded by a love of the game and a devotion to the organization.? It?s something I learned and hold dear to me, and it?s something that became extremely important in my future broadcasting endeavors.? And it?s something many more will learn when they pass through the gates of baseball towns on the tiny peninsula of eastern Massachusetts.
Dan Rubin is a former Y-D Red Sox Internet Broadcaster, calling games from 2005 to 2010 (including the ?06, ?07, and ?10 CCBL Championships). Currently, he is the play-by-play announcer for men?s hockey at Bentley University, and maintains his own Bentley Hockey blog, JAR Pride (formerly Excalibur Sports).