12/16/2007 3:52 PM
House of Representatives' Proclamation is Bitter-Sweet
For Longtime Wareham President/GM John Wylde
CAPE COD, Mass. -- John Wylde has been an integral part of the Wareham Gatemen for a quarter of a century. But in the large scheme of things, his service to the Gatemen is only a small portion of what he has given to mankind.
The accolades for the personable Wylde go on and on. He has spent a good portion of his life being involved in the community. Unfortunately for John, he was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer of the liver on Sept. 14. The shock reverberated through his beloved Cape Cod Baseball League and the Town of Wareham, which he has served so well for so long.
Most people are not celebrated in life, but for Wylde it's been different. This celebration of his life came to an apex Dec. 11 when state Rep. Susan Williams-Gifford presented John with a resolution voted on by the House of Representatives. John's wife, Patty, his family, friends, neighbors and Gatemen boosters were on hand to show their appreciation. As the proclamation was presented, the crowd erupted in a standing ovation.
The proclamation sums up a life of service to the community and his fellow citizens. It sites his dedication not only to the Gatemen, but to other equally important organizations.
Over the years, Wylde served Wareham on the Finance Committee, Personnel Board, Recreation Committee, Grounds Committee and Board of Selectmen. "It is most sincerely deserved," said Rep. Williams-Gifford.
But for Wylde, baseball is his true passion. He not only has served the Gatemen over the years, but also the Cape Cod Baseball League on its Executive Committee and as the league's official statistician. His attention to detail is meticulous and each team gets a phone book size printout of the year's statistics.
During his tenure with Wareham, the Gatemen have won five Cape League championships, no small feat in a 10-team league.
On Nov. 3, he was among nine men inducted into the Cape League Hall of Fame and was announced as winner of the Richard Sullivan Executive of the Year award for 2007. A few months earlier, his Gatemen organization won its second Commissioner's Cup for its exemplary efforts both on and off the playing field. The fact the Gatemen have won the cup in two of the past three years is a direct result of John Wylde's personality. Although friendly and always ready with a smile, there is no doubt that John is in charge and holds not only his team, but himself to a high standard.
Wylde’s desire is to celebrate his 70th birthday on April 2 and to witness the Gatemen's 2008 season. He attributes his good spirits to all the support he constantly gets from friends and well-wishers. "I could never thank all of you enough for all you did to try to pick my spirits up during this difficult time ... Your support has been overwhelming and will always be remembered and cherished by both Patty and me. Being recognized in this way really, truly means a lot," he said.
The league's two top executives, President Judy Walden Scarafile and Commissioner Paul Galop both praised Wylde's dedication and commitment.
"John's contributions to the Cape League and the Wareham franchise are innumerable,” said Scarafile. “His meticulous strive for perfection is seen in every committee and every aspect of the league with which John has been associated. He is a true aficionado of the game, a game he loves beyond explanation.”
Commissioner Galop stated that, "John Wylde has been instrumental in assisting the CCBL to national prominence. His impeccable record-keeping and statistical data has been lauded and embraced by all levels of professional baseball as tools that they use to assess players. His extraordinary level of integrity and ethical behavior is second to none. John's dedication and commitment to his current and former players, the volunteers of the Wareham Gateman and the CCBL Executive Committee have become legendary and profound. John's performance in the CCBL over his 25-year tenure is what many future generations will want to strive to attain and his election to the Hall of Fame is the exclamation point on a flawless and impeccable career."
The league will open its 124th season in a special way. All 10 teams usually participate in opening day games. However, this year there will be only one game to open the season -- "John Wylde Game Day" on June 13 when the Gatemen will host the Falmouth Commodores. Cindy Parola, who serves on the board of directors for the Gatemen, stated, "We are hopeful to have John for next season."