The Cape Cod Baseball League prides itself on being the oldest, most successful amateur baseball league in the nation. With roots dating back to 1885, the Cape League has helped foster the careers of thousands of top baseball players, from such stars as Hall of Famer, Mickey Cochrane to Jason Varitek. During the 2005 MLB season, 198 CCBL alumni played in the majors or were on injured reserve. Some 300 ballplayers from colleges and universities across the country are recruited each year to play on the 10 teams of the Cape league. They are hosted by local families, who often enjoy following the career of a young player who ate breakfast at their house for the summer and then made it into the major leagues.
The Cape League season runs from mid-June to mid-August. Each team plays a 44-game schedule. An all-star game is held in mid- to late July, and playoffs are held around the second week of August. The league is also notable for its continuing use of wooden bats. Because it draws top-tier college players, the level of play is often considered the equivalent of high-A Minor League Baseball.
The CCBL Hall of Fame is being housed at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts. The Cape Cod Baseball League is one of eight leagues in the National Alliance of Summer Baseball. The 2003 documentary Touching the Game chronicled the story of the players of the Cape Cod League.
To play in the Cape League, potential players must have NCAA eligibility remaining at the start of each Cape League season. This typically applies to freshmen, sophomore and junior class players from 4-year affiliated institutions, with limited exceptions. High school players, college seniors and college players with no NCAA eligibility remaining are ineligible. The Cape League itself does not recruit players. Player recruitment is left solely to each individual franchise, facilitated through each team's manager.