July 31, 2023 10:08 am | by Amanda Foster
The sharp crack of a wood bat, words exchanged between dugouts, rounding the bases to celebrate with helmet taps and back slaps. Few other things say baseball quite as well. And who better to generate that situation than the “ultimate baseball player”, Bobby Boser?
Boser, who has been with the Gatemen since Opening Day, has accomplished almost everything he set out to do in the Cape Cod Baseball League. He worked through early batting slumps, fixed his approach at the plate, played any position his coaches asked and was named a Cape League All-Star. As the end of the season approached, there weren’t many things Boser hadn’t checked off. There were, however, a few more feats he wanted to accomplish before leaving Wareham.
One of them was to hit another home run. Boser did just that Sunday night, leading the Gatemen to a 5-3 victory over the Cotuit Kettleers and hitting the baseball hard enough and far enough that it sailed down the left field line and over the home bullpen at Spillane Field.
“It felt great,” Boser said. “I was trying to get a pitch in my zone, preferably the curveball he was throwing, and I ended up hitting it and hitting it far. I really liked that swing.”
Boser liked his swing so much that he stood near home plate to admire his blast, leading to an exchange with Cotuit’s pitcher Cole Mathis as he ran down the first base line. Boser, while one of the Gatemen who always knows when to relax and have fun, is also not a player to take things lying down; many would say he plays baseball the right way because of it.
“To see the energy from him and to kind of get into it a little bit with the pitcher, in a game that for us doesn’t mean anything in the standings, that just goes to show you the type of player he is,” manager Ryan Smyth said. “He just wants to play baseball. For a guy that’s been here all summer from day one, I can’t say enough good things about him.”
Smyth has been witness to Boser’s growth over the course of the summer, even if getting him to Wareham was a difficult task. Playing in the Cape League was a big goal for Boser, and when he got the call to join the Gatemen he was, unsurprisingly, working on his swing in the batting cages. The difficulties came when the South Florida Bull realized he had locked his keys in the trunk of his car and his phone was dead — so he didn’t even know he missed the call.
“I got calls from about eight people that day, and I ended up calling them back at like 10 at night,” Boser said. “A little late, but it worked and now I’m here.”
One could say the baseball gods were on Boser’s side that day, as Smyth was close to moving on from the ultra-utility guy due to the lack of communication. Luckily for both of them, however, Boser has lived up to expectations in the team-leading 35 games he’s played in.
The Florida native had a breakout sophomore season, batting .323 with 28 walks, 41 RBI, 15 home runs and eight stolen bases in 55 games played. It was hard to imagine how much more he could improve in just a little over two months of summer ball, but Boser will leave the Cape a more developed and well-rounded player thanks to largely a shift in his mindset.
“I used to take every at-bat very seriously, and when baseball players do that it kind of goes downhill very quickly if you get in a little slump,” he said. “So I’ve been just trying to have some fun, just hit balls around the field and run around the bases. It’s a simple game, so (I) try to simplify everything.”
Boser’s “simple” approach to baseball has worked exceptionally well, as his ability to stay loose and have fun has garnered him the league lead in walks with 29 alongside his .223 batting average eight doubles and home run total of four.
While Boser is relaxed for the majority of the games he plays — taking practice swings in the outfield in between batters and singing along to music in the dugout — he is not a player who shies away from taking a risk or two.
The speedster hasn’t had too many opportunities to wreak havoc on the basepaths this summer, but when he has he’s made the most of them. Whether it’s playing a part in a rundown to bring a run across the plate or swiping a bag on his own, Boser’s big jumps off the bases have given pitchers pause time and time again.
“I know I have the speed to do it,” Boser said. “I’ve just been very cautious on the bases and I want to start being more aggressive. I think that’s a big part of my game that’s going to come around.”
Before Sunday night’s game, Boser kept up his reputation as a classic baseball player by eating a unique pregame snack: Munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts. After the night he had, the question had to be asked as to whether the snack played any role in his success.
His answer? Absolutely.
“I think they added a few miles an hour on that exit velo,” Boser said. “They definitely help, I’m going to need to start doing that pregame from now on.”
That sums up Bobby Boser: a hard-working ultra-utility guy who is the definition of a team player, powered by donut holes.