The 133rd season of the Cape Cod Baseball League – the premiere amateur summer league that is lauded by coaches and scouts across the country – has begun, and we caught up with its long term executive Bill Bussiere. Bill is currently the deputy commissioner and corporate development director of the League, but he has had a long term love and passion for one of the hallmarks of summer on Cape Cod.
Can you tell us a little bit about your connection to the Cape, and how you got involved with the Cape Cod Baseball League?
I moved to the Cape as a freshman in high school. It was a great time to move here as there was a building boom and there were a ton of other new kids. I graduated from Barnstable High School and was involved in sports as an athlete and as the sports editor of our school paper.
I got involved with the Cape League through my family. My son Will loved going to Hyannis Mets Baseball Clinics and became a batboy. My wife Maura became the batboy coordinator and a couple of years later she ran the merchandise booth; she did this for over 20 years. I would come to games after work and Peter Scarafile (President of the Hyannis Mets) would ask if I wanted to assist with the 50/50. Soon I was on the board and eventually was the franchise president and GM.
I was on the Cape League’s executive committee for years. Five years ago I was elected a vice-president and took over the role of director of corporate development the next year as well.
How is the 2018 season going so far? Any interesting insights to share?
The season is going great. It is amazing how close all the teams are in talent. Each year it goes to the last game to see who will make the playoffs.
The first week of the season, Major League Baseball held its first year player draft. The Cape League did amazing. In the first round of the draft, the first 3 players played in the league. We had 16 former players chosen in the first round, our best draft ever. Last season we had over 300 players who played in the MLB, and over 1100 in professional baseball.
When did the League start offering clinics with the teams for kids, and why?
We have been offering clinics for well over 30 years. Clinics are a way for our players to give back to the community and to teach the kids some baseball skills.
Can you share with us your favorite story about CCBL over the years?
We had a player, who was from Oklahoma, stay at our house with us. He told us he was in college for the baseball and had tutors in all of his subjects. One day he shared with us that the first 2 weeks he was here he thought he was in Maryland because of the state abbreviation MA. The same player was in Orleans when the fog rolled in, he came home and told us about the smoke.
CCBL has been around for 133 seasons – what impact do you hope the Cape Cod Baseball League has had on the Cape community?
We have the best players in the country come here each summer. Our games are free (we do ask for donations) and is great for people of all ages. We are so much more than baseball.
Each year our ten franchises give back to their communities in many ways. They visit schools, hospitals, libraries, and senior centers. This year we are joining with Strike Out for Cancer and each team is hosting a special night to honor our first responders. We had a special pin made to honor Sgt. Sean Gannon to be sold at each of our parks with the proceeds going to the Yarmouth Police Foundation.
Describe your perfect Cape Cod day?
Spending time with my family at the beach, walking, shopping and eating on Main Street, Hyannis and then ending up at a Cape League game.
To find out more about the CCBL, including information about their regular season, the All-Star game and their clinics for kids head to their website at capecodbaseball.org