Link to Official Website

This site is a fan site, not affiliated with the Cape Cod Baseball League. Here is a link to the official website of the Bourne Braves.

Congratulations!

Congratulations to the Bourne Braves for winning the CCBL title in 2009. The Braves swept the Cotuit Kettleers decisively in the best-of-three finals.

Why was Bourne playing another team in their own division in the finals? Because in 2009 the league experimented with a playoff format which included two "wildcard" teams in addition to the top two teams in each division, resulting in cross-divisional play in the semi-finals. We did not like this format and hope the experiment is not repeated next year.

Pictures

Here are some Pictures of Doran Park. These were taken in 2008. You can click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos, and you can click through the pictures or run a slideshow using the navigation buttons on the image pages. These photos will give you an idea of what the view is like from the different parts of the seating area.

Seating and Field Visibility

The Bourne Braves have played since 2007 at a new location, Doran Park, located on the Upper Cape Technical School campus. The field features a roomy grandstand on the first base (visitors') side, and smaller grandstands and a moderate amount of lawn chair space on the third base side. However, as nice as the new park is for the players, as a spectator park it is a disappointment. Almost every inch of the spectator area is shielded with screens or chain link fences. There are also additional obstructions. There are big, wide ship's masts holding up the screens, and in 2008 when lights were added, additional big poles went up creating cones of invisibility radiating back into the spectator areas.

Both dugouts have roofs that slope up and away from the field, thus creating more obstructions for fans who sit behind them. We're sure that some of the students from the tech school could do the trigonometry problem that tells how much potential seating area is wiped out by these sloping roofs.

The ironic thing was that the team did take down a section of the mesh screen in order to enable a contest, in which spectators "bought" baseballs and tried to toss them from the sideline at a target at the third base coach's box. This resulted in the screen being removed in the only area in the park where fans are frequently standing with their back to the plate -- because they're in line at the refreshments building.

Which brings us to the refreshments building. It is badly located just past third base, in a location that would have been prime seating if the building wasn't there. The placement of this building has wiped out a major portion of the seating the park could have had.

The press box behind home plate is the biggest in the league, covering up a big swath of what could have been seating space. There are a few rows of seats in front of the press box behind the backstop, but those seats are reserved for scouts. As fans, we get an uncomfortable feeling from that pressbox, that the scouts were being catered to in this field design, while the needs of the fans were considered secondary.

We noticed in the 2008 season that the Bourne Braves had the lowest attendance in the league. Both Falmouth and Wareham, relatively close to Bourne, had better attendance, and they also have much better spectator parks. We think there's a connection.

We favor the first base grandstand as the best place to sit, but make sure you're not sitting behind one of those big poles.

In 2009 the team added some more grandstands along the left field foul line, past the refreshments building, where one can see without looking through a fence. These metal grandstands, last time we checked, were rickety and not very level, so they wouldn't be anybody's choice of the best place to sit, but they do add some extra seating capacity for big games. We don't have a picture of them, but we will try to add one in 2010.

History of the Wandering Braves

The new Doran Park at the Upper Cape Tech School opened in the 2007 season. It was built with help from the students at the Tech School and with the support of the administration of the school.

After coming back into the league in the late 1980s, the Bourne team played for a few years on the mainland side of the Canal at Mass. Maritime Academy. That park had the most scenic surroundings in the Cape League -- gorgeous views of the Canal and the Railroad Bridge -- but it was always very windy. Then the team moved over onto the Cape side to Coady Field at the Bourne High School, which had the charming defect that it was built backwards. Instead of home plate facing west, the outfield faced west, so that late in the afternoon occasionally the bright sun in the eyes of the batters would force a "sun delay" while the sun went down below the trees. That location had one insurmountable problem, which is it's right on a well-traveled road, Trowbridge Road, thus creating the danger that a child might run out into the street after a foul ball. But it was actually a better spectator park than Doran, as there was a pretty good amount of good lawn chair seating along the third base side where you could get a good view of the game as well as a moderate amount of good grandstand seating on the first base side.

The town didn't field a team for about fifteen years, roughly during the decade of the 1970s and early '80s. But before then, in the 1960s, the town franchise called themselves the Sagamore Canalmen. (Sagamore is a "village" -- a geographical segment -- of the Town of Bourne.) At that time they played at Keith Field, which is right by the Sagamore Bridge at the east end of the Cape Cod Canal. (The current field is relatively near the Bourne Bridge, at the west end of the Canal.) Keith Field is crammed in between Sandwich Road and the railroad tracks that run along the canal, and as a result the right field is very short. In addition to the right field fence being very tall, somewhat reminiscent of Fenway's Green Monster, if you hit the ball over the fence there you only get a double.

Team Nickname and Uniforms

We think the team could do better than "Braves." There has been a great deal of debate in recent years about whether it is appropriate to use Native American references -- Native American stereotypes, that is -- for team nicknames. Some folks of Native American ancestry have expressed an objection to the use of such names. The argument for keeping the Native American references in team nicknames for schools and major league teams is that they are established names and have been in use for decades. However, the Bourne Braves came into existence in the late 1980s, and it seems insensitive at best and stupid at worst to have chosen the name "the Braves." There are so many other names that would have been better, including the traditional Canalmen and ranging from there to the Blues, the Steamers, and literally hundreds of better ideas. At least the Braves use a tasteful feather as their logo.

During the 2009 playoffs, we found the racial insensitivity shown by the team and the fans to be very disturbing. People in the stands were wearing fake feathers, an insult to the cultural symbols of the indigenous people of this country. They were doing a hand gesture familiar to Atlanta Braves fans known as the "tomahawk chop," another insult to Native American culture. The public address system played some music that was obviously intended as "the Indian war dance music," which was completely unrelated to any real Native American music. We found this racially insensitive presentation to be particularly disturbing since there is a thriving Wampanoag (Native American) community on Cape Cod.

As the 2008 season began, Major League Baseball threatened to suspend its subsidies to the Cape League teams if the teams who share a nickname with a major league team didn't start buying their team logo gear from MLB-approved vendors. Two Cape League teams changed their names in 2009 in response to this pressure, the Chatham Anglers (formerly Athletics) and the Orleans Firebirds (formerly Cardinals). We think the Braves should follow suit and change their name. It would solve the copyright infringement issue and also correct the insult to the Native American community.

Bourne's home uniforms are among several in the CCBL that are similar to the Boston Red Sox's uniforms, with white jerseys and pants, a red stripe down the side of the leg, and red piping on the jersey. A bit of fashion flare is the caps, which are blue with a red brim, similar to the Cleveland Indians' caps. Away uniforms feature gray pants, blue jerseys, and the same two-toned cap.

Parking

There is plenty of parking at the tech school for most games. If it's all-star or playoffs, the cars are going to be over on the other side of the school and parked up and down the access road to the field. Because there is only one road in and out, and it's a heavily trafficked road (Sandwich Road, running along the Canal), a police officer will usually be on duty helping the traffic move along before and after the game. Just don't expect to get out of the parking lot in a speedy fashion if you leave in the fifth inning. (But you wouldn't leave in the fifth inning anyway, would you? It's an insult to the game, you know.)

Because the parking lot is safely away from the field, there is very little or no windshield smashing potential. At the old Coady Field we saw a windshield or two smashed during games.

Team Culture

There is no playground for kids. There are other athletic fields on the site but we're not sure if kids use them during the games. There is plenty of room for kids to run around and chase foul balls on the first base side, and it's not a location where the little ones will get lost or wander off.

The park now has lights and therefore games can be played at night. During the first season of the lights (2008), the Bourne Braves continued the very pleasant tradition of playing their Sunday games -- and an annual July 4th matchup with the Wareham Gatemen -- at 2:00 pm. But we were disappointed in 2009 when they discontinued this practice and scheduled Sunday games for late in the afternoon.

You can get a freshly grilled burger at the games, and if you're sitting on the third base side and the breeze is blowing in, we dare you not to be at least tempted. The rest of the menu is the usual ballpark fare.

The quality of the musical entertainment varies greatly from one park to another, but in one department Bourne has them all beat. We have occasionally heard them play the swingin' Dr. John version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch.

Weather

One feature of the Upper Cape Tech campus that you can't miss is their wind turbine. Where do people put wind turbines? Ummm ... in windy places. Which means, it'll be windy at Duran Park, so if it's a night game be prepared. It's not as windy as it used to be over at Mass. Maritime (see history above); interestingly enough, Mass. Maritime also has a wind turbine. We enjoy telling the tourists that they plug it in when the wind is calm to generate a wind along the Canal.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our website and if you have any comments or questions go ahead and mail us at capeleaguefan@yahoo.com.

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