There was a two-game stretch during Max Pentecost’s time on the Cape in the summer of 2013 that always stood out to his former manager Harvey Shapiro.
In the middle of a three-game road trip, the Braves visited Falmouth at Guv Fuller Field on July 9. And though the Braves lost, 5-3, Pentecost had a standout performance at the plate. He went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, two RBI, and a run scored. Less than 24 hours later, the Braves were down Cape visiting Orleans and found themselves in a 12-inning slugfest. Pentecost went 5-for-5 and reached base in all seven plate appearances, recording three runs scored, four RBI, a hit-by-pitch, and a walk. He crushed two more home runs that game, one of which was a two-run blast in the 12th to help Bourne leave with an 8-6 victory.
In that two-game stretch, Pentecost produced eight hits in nine at-bats with two doubles, three homers, six RBI, and four runs scored.
“That’s a pretty good stretch,” Shapiro recalled.
President Nicole Norkevicius also remembered Pentecost’s late-game heroics against the Firebirds.
“I’ll never forget those two home runs in Orleans over the left-field wall,” Norkevicius said.
That stretch served as a microcosm for his summer. He finished that 2013 season with a .346 average, six home runs, 29 RBI, 47 hits, 21 runs scored, and five stolen bases while managing the Braves pitching staff behind the plate—earning him the Pat Sorenti Most Valuable Player award.
Ten years later, Pentecost was invited back to the Cape to be part of the 22nd class of the Cape Cod Baseball League’s Hall of Fame—joining Lance Berkman (Wareham ‘06), Mitchell Jordan (Orleans ‘15), Glenn Davis (Chatham ‘80), Jim Higgins (League Executive), and Mary Henderson (Harwich & League Executive).
With his induction, Pentecost became just the third catcher in Cape League history to win the MVP and be enshrined into the Hall of Fame, joining Jason Varitek (Hyannis ’93) and Josh Paul (Cotuit ‘95).
And while his time spent on the Cape is remembered by spectators for his performance on the field, it’s the lessons he learned and connections he made that Pentecost remembers most.
“My host family and the Braves welcomed me with open arms. It always felt more like a family than a team or organization,” Pentecost said.
He credited that welcoming atmosphere to helping his calm demeanor that summer.
“My main goal was to stay relaxed, get used to everything, make adjustments as quickly as possible, and just try to enjoy everything,” he said. “It was a lot of fun, and it didn’t take as long as I was expecting.”
Coming from Kennesaw State, a mid-major NCAA Division 1 school, Pentecost wanted to test himself against the best talent in the country. He returned back to the Kennesaw state—Cape League MVP trophy in hand—knowing he belonged. Pentecost hit .422 with nine home runs, 61 RBI, 24 doubles, 59 runs scored, and had an OPS of 1.109 his next season at Kennesaw, helping his team reach the NCAA Division 1 college baseball super regional.
“Forcing myself to make those adjustments early on was big because that transitioned over to my next season in college,” he said. “What I learned [in Bourne] carried over to that season and set the tone for my professional career.”
Pentecost took home the Johnny Bench Award, given to college baseball’s top catcher, in 2014 before being drafted 11th overall later that year by the Toronto Blue Jays.
With his playing days behind him, Pentecost lives in his home state of Georgia with his wife, Chandler, and their two children. He holds private lessons for up-and-coming catchers but also serves as an assistant coach for the Bethlehem Christian Academy varsity softball program—where his wife is the head coach.
“I didn’t want to spend too much time away from the family like I used to with baseball. So she convinced me to help out [with the softball program] and I’ve really, really enjoyed that and getting to do it together,” he said.