KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — It was a big night for minority voters.
Bryce Harper was playing a major league game, giving the hometown crowd a taste of the powerful talent that has prompted the Washington Nationals to select him with the No. 2 pick in the 2009 amateur draft. Then the New Hampshire Major League Baseball League released its debut squad of 32 players, including its first black player.
Andrew Cain, 25, a third baseman from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, received the most votes on the league’s draft advisory committee. The league had originally agreed to reserve a spot for him, but he told the Washington Post he “didn’t really give it much thought.”
The former Concord High School standout hit .283 with five home runs and 29 RBIs during the independent Atlantic League season.
“There was so much camaraderie with my teammates. They were like my brothers. It was an incredible experience,” Cain said.
In May, New Hampshire Major League Baseball League President James Baddeley made the first call to recruit a black player.
“It was almost too easy to get him on the team. He’s already signed. And when the teams came to visit, they had no problem taking him,” Baddeley said, recalling that he received only one negative response.
“There are still opportunities for this kind of player to come and have a significant role,” he said.