The Cape Cod League regular season starts in mid-June and runs through mid-August. The playoffs determine the East and West Division Champions, who then compete for the League Championship.
At one time, six of the teams in the Cape League shared their names with Major League Baseball (MLB) teams. However, in late 2008 MLB announced that it would enforce its trademarks, and required teams to either change their names or buy their uniforms and merchandise only through licensed vendors. MLB could not enforce the "Mariners" trademark against the Harwich Mariners because that team predated the 1977 American League expansion and the entry of the Seattle Mariners into MLB. Three other teams eventually changed their names. First, in 2009, the Chatham Athletics became the "Anglers", and the Orleans Cardinals became the "Firebirds". In March 2010 the Hyannis Mets joined the Anglers and Firebirds, changing their team name to "Harbor Hawks". The Bourne Braves and Yarmouth–Dennis Red Sox chose to use MLB licensees for their merchandise.
The Cape Cod League was the setting for the 2001 Hollywood film Summer Catch, directed by Michael Tollin and starring Freddie Prinze Jr. The 2003 documentary film Touching the Game by Jim Carroll chronicled the 2003 CCBL season and explored the league's history.
Baseball by the Beach (ISBN 0-9719547-4-7) by Christopher Price was published in 1998 and discusses the league and its history. In 2002, writer Jim Collins followed the Chatham Athletics (now the Chatham Anglers) for the season and wrote The Last Best League (ISBN 0-306-81418-8) about the team and its players. Baseball on Cape Cod (Images of Baseball) (ISBN 0-7385-4508-7) by Dan Crowley has many photos of the early and modern Cape League eras. The 2004 novel Slider (ISBN 0-06-058033-X) by Patrick Robinson takes place in a Maine summer league, but is actually based on the Cape League. In 2005, Beach Chairs and Baseball Bats (ISBN 1-4196-0508-9) by author Steve Weissman and Cape Crusaders (ISBN 1-4137-6232-8) by author Mike Thomas were published. The latter focuses on player interviews, while the former goes behind the scenes of a typical Cape League season.