23 July 2008
Cotuit Shows its True Feelings
For Longtime Rival John Wylde
COTUIT, Mass. -- A moving tribute to an opposing team’s ailing leader clearly demonstrated that the Cape Cod Baseball League’s franchises, though fierce competitors on the field, remain a close family, united by their devotion to the game and the friendships which that devotion has generated over the years.
Prior to the Wareham-Cotuit game on Monday, July 21, at Lowell Park, Cotuit Athletic Association President Martha Johnston took the microphone and made the following announcement:
“Usually at this time we announce the sponsors for today's bats, ball, and uniforms. Today, however, the Cotuit Athletic Association is the sponsor, and we dedicate this occasion to a man, without whose wisdom, service, grace and example, the league would not be number one in the country.
“He has been honored by a special day of tribute and by entrance into the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame. We do not presume here to add to his laurels. We do take this moment to note his massive contributions to our common cause and say with deepest feeling:
“Thank you, John Wylde, for all you have given to us!
“Today John is here to watch the game, relaxing in the VIP suite. Please join in saying thank you to him with your grateful applause.”
The crowd responded with a heartfelt ovation for Wareham’s “Mr. Baseball.”
Wylde, the longtime president of the Wareham Gatemen, is in the midst of a determined, inspirational battle against cancer as he continues to fulfill his duties with his team and with the league.
In an e-mail to Johnston on Tuesday, he expressed his thanks for the previous evening’s tribute:
“Martha - Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the courtesy that you all showed to me yesterday evening. I am quite deaf, it therefore took me some time to register the meaning of the ceremony!
“In any case, it was handled in a very professional manner and is something that I will remember for the balance of my time on Earth! Thanks to all of you at Cotuit -- it was very special.
“Thank you once again. Warmest regards, John”
Joe Sherman, CCBL Public Relations Staff (firstname.lastname@example.org)
John Garner, Jr.
Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
Interns: Chris Blake, James Chandley, Ashley Crosby, Phil Garceau, Stefanie Marini, Laura Rasmussen