HYANNIS, Mass. -- On Saturday evening, August 4, the Cape Cod Baseball League made history and this time it was not, but off the field. It was an extension of the stunning CCBL Hall of Fame and Museum located on Main Street, in Hyannis. A ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the new Hall of Fame Patio that sits on Main Street embedded on the lawn of the JFK Hyannis Museum.
Before a crowd of approximately 50 Town of Barnstable dignitaries, league officials, sponsors and Hyannis Harbor Hawks players, master of ceremonies Peter Ford, detailed the history of the Cape League Hall of Fame and Museum, inaugurated in 2002 when it debuted in the Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich. Five years later, a new location was moved to the more centrally-located, mid-Cape area.
It was originally the brainchild of Peter Scarafile, then VP of the JFK Hyannis Museum Foundation Board, to move the Hall of Fame into the lower level of the JFK Hyannis Museum. At that time, the lower lever was a typical old, cluttered, unappealing basement in the old Town Hall building. It was hard to imagine this could ever be renovated.
But with a vision and expertise and talent of Gary Ellis, Diane Troy, Jim Martin and Dan Dunn, the basement was magically transformed into a stunning museum, often called the Jewel on Main Street.
Fast forward to 2010 when Dunn, curator for the Hall of Fame, had a brilliant idea putting two pairs of ballpark seats in front of the JFK Museum. Inspired by that, Ellis, designer of our museum, took it one step further and designed a brick patio. He envisioned Fenway bleacher seats on a patio and came up with the idea of a giant, wood bat. And so the plan was born.
At the ribbon-cutting, Barnstable Town Manager Tom Lynch praised the plan of the patio and explained the process that took place with the town committees and entities all on board. So in just eight months, the patio went from a sketch to a reality.
A special thank-you went to the Hyannis Area Chamber Board, Town of Barnstable officials, Downtown Business Improvement District and Hyannis Historic District.
In constructing the patio, part of the plan was to keep it local. In doing so, the following local people made significant contributions to be a part of this patio. Gary Ellis, Northside Designin Yarmouthport created the design and layout, Lou McKnight of Drywall Masonry in South Yarmouth donated bricks, Sign A- Rama of South Yarmouth created signage, On Deck Sports of Brockton donated an authentic Major League home plate, Earth+ Stone of Harwich laid bricks Dick Bresciani, VP of the Boston Red Sox and Harwich donated two bleacher seats from Fenway Park and Tom and Christine Bednark of Barnstable Bat and Centerville designed and developed the 8- foot wooden bat.
After Bednark talked about the giant, hand crafted eight- foot wood bat he created, Judy Walden Scarafile made a presentation to Gary Ellis.
"We’d like to thank Gary for his incredible talent in taking an idea and making this patio a reality. On behalf of the entire Cape League, we want to present you with the very first engraved brick to go into the patio. It says ‘Thank You, Gary Ellis’”
The ceremony concluded with Ellis, Troy and Martin cutting the wide blue ribbon that encircled the perimeter. A loud cheer went up as giant scissors snipped it in half. Everyone then clamored to stand by the wooden bat or sit in the Fenway seats and have their photo taken.