By Brandon Ball
Growing up, I spent most of my summers here in Falmouth. The beach, the sun, the tourists, it all became a part of “the norm” for me. I like to call myself a resident here on the Cape, even though I only live here for 3 months out of the year.
Along with growing up on the Cape, I grew up an avid sports fan. I’ve always known that I had to do something involving sports for the rest of my life. I was never the best at playing sports, so I thought, the next best thing would be to get involved behind the scenes. This, led me to finding the Commodores. I always knew what the ‘Dores were. I went to games, followed their Twitter and knew that they were a big part of Falmouth. So, coming out of my freshman year in college, I decided to try to become a part of the intern program that they offer. So, I anxiously filled out my application and waited. Checking my email, keeping my phone on, even in class, just in case.
Towards the end of the academic year, I got a call as I was getting out my class. When I answered, a deep, raspy voice asked, “Is this Brandon?”
“Yes, sir.” I answered.
“Hey Brandon, this is Pat Loftus from the Falmouth Commodores of the Cape Cod Baseball League. I am calling in regards to your application, and we want to offer you the PA Announcer position for the upcoming summer.”
I was overjoyed. When I graciously accepted, Pat went on to discuss the details and give me the whole spiel on what I’d be doing and what my responsibilities were. The more and more we talked the more excited I became. It was a dream come true to be involved in something so special and professional.
When the summer came, the first person I met was Pat. His firm handshake and welcoming smile set a precedent for how our relationship would grow throughout the season.
During each game, Pat would sit up in the press box and watch over the broadcasting interns. Answering any questions and giving as much advice as he could to people who were still new to the process. As a kid who was so new to PA Announcing, I had a lot of slipups and mistakes at the beginning of the season. Messing up names, forgetting to announce certain things, it was all so overwhelming and scary to me. When I made mistakes, I would kick myself because I would get so embarrassed. And every single time I came off the mic and began to do that, Pat would put his hands on my shoulders and calm me down. He knew that mistakes happen and that this is a learning experience. No matter how much I messed up, or how worked up I got, he was always there at the end of the game to say “Good job.” or “We got the best PA guy around.” He always knew how to put a smile on a person’s face and boy, did he know his baseball.
His knowledge of baseball passed beyond stats and numbers. He could tell you what day a game was played, what the lineup was and what the temperature was on the day. He was a walking baseball encyclopedia and was willing to answer any question you had about any baseball team. He and I got into quite a lot of arguments and discussions about baseball. Being a die-hard Red Sox fan, arguing with a lifetime Yankees fan is the most frustrating thing to experience. But Pat always did it with a smile on his face, whether it be a sarcastic one or not. There was never a dull moment in the broadcast booth.
The last time I spoke with Pat, was when he invited me to rejoin the intern staff for the 2016 season. Our conversation lasted about 15 minutes, with us reviewing what I’ll be doing and opportunities he wanted to give me. He couldn’t wait to get the season started.
It’s fitting that the Commodores name the box “Pat’s Loft”, because he really made the machine work upstairs. He was willing to do anything and everything for the team and wanted nothing more but for the interns to learn and have a good time. A Commodore win here and there wasn’t a bad thing either.
Pat, you inspired me and made me a better person just by knowing you. Your knowledge and respect for the game of baseball was truly remarkable. The time we spent talking and arguing is time I will cherish. We got a pretty big Commodore fan up there watching over us, and your presence will never be forgotten.
The world has lost an amazing man and a true Falmouth Commodore legend.
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