Red Sox

McAdam: Jason Varitek mourns the cancellation of the 2020 Cape Cod League season

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Like everyone else who heard the news, Jason Varitek was crestfallen when he learned last month that the 2020 Cape Cod League season would not take place.

Like few others, however, Varitek could grasp the significance of the loss.

Nearly 20 years ago, Varitek played two memorable seasons in the Cape League, sandwiched around a stint with Team USA and the 1992 Olympics. He played for the Hyannis Mets (since renamed the Harbor Hawks) in 1991, and again two years later when he was selected league MVP.

"You could kind of see it coming,'' said Varitek, noting the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on the sports world. "But when I heard it on the news, the first thing that came to mind was, they've never had to cancel it. We've had work stoppages and wars and it's been long-standing. It's a shame. It's a necessity for our times right now, but you feel bad for anybody who's going to miss out on some opportunities.

"Hopefully, people find some creative ways to fulfill things they'll miss.''

That won't be easy. Varitek fondly remembers his time on the Cape, and its impact on both his playing career and his life.

"I had a wonderful, wonderful experience,'' said Varitek, who admittedly knew little about the Cape League before being invited to play, "on the ballfield and with (my host) family.''