After contributing his numerous talents to the Cape Cod Baseball League over a remarkable 62-year span, Arnold Mycock, former general manager of the Cotuit Kettleers, was recently named recipient of the American Baseball Coaches Association's Meritorious Service Award.
His reaction to the national honor? "How that came about, I'm not certain," he said quietly. "I don't like to claim too much credit."
He doesn't have to; others are all too glad to do it for him.
"Arnold Mycock is as fine a human being as I have ever met," said Cape League Commissioner Paul Galop.
Moving to Cotuit from Somerset in 1950, Arnold quickly immersed himself in the Kettleers organization with his lifelong love of baseball and desire to volunteer.
A title examiner by profession, Mycock helped form the Cotuit Athletic Association in the early years as the club's main sponsor, and the fledgling organization quickly became a fabric of the community. He became the team's general manager later in 1950 and continued in that position until 1994, helping to lead the Kettleers to 14 championships along the way. He did his scouting by taking his vacations in March and April, said Arnold, "so I could go to California and see the players in tournaments."
Today he serves as Cotuit's general manager emeritus and still plays an active role in the league. Whether it's fundraising, bookkeeping, assessing a ballplayer's talent, building a new fence, documenting hitting and fielding statistics, or cutting the grass, Arnold has done it all.
He was selected to the Cape League's inaugural Hall of Fame in 2000, and the League Championship Trophy is named after him.
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi remembers Mycock well, and sent along his personal appreciation in 2009, when Mycock celebrated his 60th year with the Cape League.
"I was there in 1984 and you were there for me when my mom passed away," said Girardi. "And who was there for our (Cotuit) club all the time? Arnold Mycock. You put us all to work and you made us better players.
"And I don't know if I'd be here today -- after 15 years as a player and now manager of the New York Yankees -- if it wasn't for you and the Cotuit Kettleers. Thanks again, and thank you for your dedication."
Mycock, says Galop, "has been the fatherly influence for thousands of college student-athletes for over half a century."
One of those athletes is Millbury, Mass., native and former major league pitcher Ron Darling, who also sent his appreciation to Mycock three years ago.
"I remember having a lot of anxiety when I came to play for Cotuit," said Darling, who went on to compile a 136-116 record during 13 seasons with the Mets, Athletics and Expos. "Arnold Mycock, from Day One, made me feel special and wanted. I always call my summer in Cotuit (1980) the best, and it would not have been that way without the support and guidance from Arnold."
And his contributions have extended well beyond Cotuit, to assisting the entire league. In the 1960s, Mycock was instrumental in two major advancements: obtaining nonprofit status, and combining the Upper and Lower Cape Leagues into today's unified body.
"That set the tone for the international success that the Cape Cod Baseball League enjoys," said Galop.
Former Governor of New Mexico and Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson pitched for the Kettleers in 1967 and, in 2009, described his season in Cotuit as "the best summer I ever had. Ever since that summer, Arnold has dropped me a line whenever I had a peak or a valley in my political career," said Richardson. "Arnold Mycock is what makes this country great, makes the American dream great and makes baseball great."
After celebrating his 88th birthday in February, Arnold continues to work on the league’s Hall of Fame and Scheduling Committees while holding the title of director at large.
"His contributions have been endless and legendary," said Galop. "He has never looked for anything in return."
It's only proper that Mycock should receive this latest award from the nation's baseball coaches: It was his close ties with them that helped propel the Cape League to the next level.
"In 1962, the men that I befriended helped build up the league," said Mycock. "The coaches didn't have the feeling that players needed to rest in the summer; they wanted them to improve."
What nicer venue to hone your skills than Cape Cod?
"I've thanked the (college) coaches for the part they played in the furtherance of the league," Arnold said.
And now they're thanking him.
Kettleers team president Paul Logan and Cape League Magazine Staff Writer Joe Sherman contributed to this report.