Before the Falmouth Commodores took on the Bourne Braves in game two of the postseason, the club honored Chuck Sturtevant, president of the Commodores and the Cape Cod Baseball League. The team held a pregame ceremony to recognize his 36-year career in the league, as he will be retiring from both roles at the end of the 2022 season.
During the ceremony, Sturtevant was presented with a signed team photo by Commodores’ physician Dr. Don O’ Malley. Manager Jeff Trundy then gave Sturtevant a baseball signed by the team’s coaching staff, which he threw out the ceremonial first pitch with. He also gave a brief speech at the ceremony, expressing his appreciation for those that have been a part of his tenure in the league.
“It’s been a great 36-year run,” Sturtevant said during the ceremony. “I can’t thank my wife and my family [enough] for all the support they gave me all these years. But, I’d also like to thank all the board members from the league that are here [and the Commodores’] board. I know you all contribute hundreds of hours, year in and year out, to make this the best summer league in the country.”
Sturtevant first got involved with the ’Dores in 1986, when he donated $100 for game baseballs and bats. He then became the president and general manager of the club in 1987. In 1989, he took on the role of treasurer for the team and was no longer the president, but he served as the general manager through the 2006 season.
Sturtevant then worked as the treasurer of the Bourne Braves for two years, and as the general manager for the club from 2012-2015. He was named president of the CCBL before the 2016 season and has been at the helm of the league ever since. Sturtevant has worked in various roles in the CCBL during his 36 years, including being its vice president and a member of the executive board, the finance committee and the Hall of Fame committee. He also began his second stint as Commodores’ president after the end of the 2019 season.
Commodores’ manager Jeff Trundy said he is proud to have worked with Sturtevant for over two decades and is grateful for his contributions to the organization and the league.
“I’ve always really respected what he stood for,” Trundy said. “He’s put the kids first and foremost and I think that’s what’s really important. And that’s always been his perspective, and always his vision was that he’s going to do everything that he can do to help make this experience the best it possibly can be for the kids, regardless of the position that he held.”
As the general manager in Falmouth, Sturtevant helped recruit several future MLB players, including Darin Erstad, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 MLB draft; Tino Martinez four-time World Series champion; Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Rays manager and many others. Sturtevant said helping many players fulfill their dreams of reaching the major leagues is one of his favorite parts of being involved with the league.
“The number of tremendous players that have come through the organization and have ended up doing very well, up to Major League Baseball,” Sturtevant said about his favorite memories with the organization. “I always felt if a good kid makes it to the big show, wonderful, I was thrilled for him.”
Chris Fitzgerald, current Commodores’ general manager, is in his fourth season working in the role for Falmouth and said he has learned a great deal from Sturtevant during his time with the organization.
“Not too many people have been involved with the league for this long,” Fitzgerald said. “So, he’s just been a wealth of knowledge for newcomers, like myself. … He’s basically done it all.”
Sturtevant hired three managers for the Commodores during his tenure as general manager – Arthur “Ace” Adams, 2018 CCBL Hall of Fame inductee; Harvey Shapiro, current Wareham Gateman manager and 2020 CCBL Hall of Fame inductee and Trundy. Sturtevant said the relationships he has made in the league over the years are what he will remember most about his time on the Cape.
“[That’s what the] Commodores and the league mean to me, it’s all the acquaintances I’ve had over the years,” Sturtevant said. “Two out of the three [coaches I’ve hired] are now in the Hall of Fame. I’m hoping that I can see Jeff Trundy make it next year … because that to me, would be like the frosting on the cake, to have all three of the coaches I hired into our Hall of Fame.”
Trundy was hired as the manager by Sturtevant in 1999, and he is currently in fourth place on the all-time wins list for CCBL managers. Earlier this season, the coach recorded his 500th career victory, including both the regular season and postseason. Trundy said he is grateful to have worked with Sturtevant during his time with the club.
“He’s just been such a great, loyal and supportive friend and I think the world of Chuck,” Trundy said. “I can’t imagine having made this journey without him to be honest with you, because it’s been so many years now. But, I feel very fortunate that our paths crossed years ago and we’re still, like I said, great friends and that’s never going to change.”
Along with making a significant impact on the club itself, Sturtevant has been instrumental in helping the organization complete renovations on Arnie Allen Diamond at Guv Fuller Field. He said he helped raise approximately $500,000 for new lights at the ballpark in 2007.
Sturtevant also played a key role in the ballpark’s upgrades before the 2022 season, which included new dugouts and a new backstop. Assistant coach Brett Becker said he appreciates Sturtevant’s efforts to improve the facility.
“Chuck has been the absolute backbone behind all of that progress that’s been made,” Becker said. “And [he’s] kind of been the driver and the visionary [for that]. So, he gets a lot of credit for all the improvements and everything that’s taking place at Guv Fuller Field.”
Eric Zmuda, the CCBL commissioner, said he has enjoyed running the league alongside Sturtevant and he is grateful for his contributions over the years.
“Working with Chuck has always been a joy,” Zmuda said. “Certainly to see his love of the game and of the Cape League has been a pleasure to be a part of with him and to just work with him and keep this league a strong one, for now, and for the future.”
Note: Featured image by Mark Kasprzyk.
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Tommy Mumau can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @tommymumau13.