On Friday, Summer Catch, starring Freddie Prinze Jr. (right) as a Cape Cod League pitcher, opens in theaters nationwide. We asked former big leaguer Mike Pagliarulo, who played third for the league's Chatham A's in 1980, for his thoughts on the film. The Cape League is a great place to be seen. When I played, the studs were guys like Glenn Davis and Ron Darling, but there were also guys from small schools and even local players—like the guy Prinze plays—who made their mark. In the film Prinze mows lawns to earn money, and I can relate. During my summer in Chatham I cleaned sewers. There were days I'd be so tired I'd just head home from work and sleep in a hammock in the backyard. I slumped for the first month of the season, but at least Chatham's sewers were clean.
The players in the movie party a lot. We got together pretty often, but I don't think we were that crazy. We'd go out for a beer or two, but things were very competitive and we had a game almost every day. Still, we had fun—just hanging out, grabbing a clam plate and heading down to the beach. That's what I remember best: the camaraderie. The movie does a good job of capturing that.
As for the girls, well, it's summer, and the town is packed with bikinis. One kid in the film is seduced by a 40-year-old woman. Guys used to talk about experiences like that ("So-and-so's wife is a real knockout"), but it was mostly talk. The weirdest thing that happened to me was losing two homers when games were called due to fog.