story by Steve McCarthy
July 22, 2009
COTUIT – It doesn’t take long after one arrives at Cotuit’s Lowell Park, or any other Cape Cod Baseball League venue for that matter to hear a story about the man they call “Mr. Kettleer”.
Family, Friends, and Kettleers alumni spent Wednesday evening at Lowell Park celebrating Arnold Mycock, the namesake of the Cape League Championship trophy, for 60 years of service to the Cotuit Kettleers baseball club. The Gala 2009 fundraiser was attended by more than 100 people, each donating $200 hundred dollars and bidding on silent auction items.
The evening began with a reception and silent auction of baseball and sports memorabilia. A five course lobster/filet mignon dinner followed, as well as speeches by Kettleers manager Mike Roberts, General Manager Bruce Murphy, team President Paul Logan, and Mycock’s nephew Ron.
“It makes me feel very, very good, very happy,” Mycock said. “For all the speeches and everything, and they’re flavored toward you. Any of your efforts you make in the course of your life, if they’re recognized, it’s pretty special.”
Even former Kettleers and Boston Red Sox star Lou Merloni, and The Boston Globe’s award winning sports writer Tony Massarotti dined under the tent on the left side of the infield, anxious to talk baseball with the man that has volunteered countless hours to the betterment of what has become the elite amateur summer baseball league in the world. The two closed the evening with a Q & A session for the audience on all topics related to baseball.
“Everybody knows the Cape League,” Merloni said. “Not enough people know about Arnold Mycock. Everything he’s done for this league is one of the big reasons why this league is what it is. It’s a great tribute for him and it’s an honor to see him again.”
Merloni was recruited by Mycock to play for the Kettleers in 1992 after playing in Bourne the previous summer. He credits Mycock’s dedication to developing the league to giving him an opportunity to play professionally for nine seasons.
“He took a league, and pretty much did whatever it took to get this thing going,” Merloni said. “So everybody that participates in this league has to look at Arnold, and kind of thank him for everything, the opportunities that they’ve gotten in life. This league gave me an opportunity to play Major League Baseball, and it might as well have been Arnold Mycock who gave me that chance.”
Roberts called Mr. Mycock the most humble man he has ever met, and it was obvious in the emotion shown by the guest of honor the genuine appreciation of each person stopping by to greet him.
“They are like a family,” Mycock said. “The group that came tonight is from the early days when we started recruiting college players, and so we’ve maintained friendships all these years. It’s an emotional time for me.”
According to the Gala’s program, in six decades spent at the serene home of the most successful Cape League franchise, Mycock served as the General Manager for 44 years. He was a founding member of the Cotuit Athletic Association, and the team’s main sponsor in its initial years. He was also a member of the inaugural induction class of the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame in 2001.
“He’s actually ‘Mr. Cape Cod Baseball League’. He’s not just ‘Mr. Cotuit’,” 1975 Kettleers MVP Paul O’Neill said. “There’s so many stories about him. I mean, 60 years doing anything, especially not getting paid for it, something that you absolutely love, what else can you say about somebody?”
O’Neill was the league’s batting champion in 1975, and recalled how proud Mr. Mycock was to present a Kettleer with the trophy. “I couldn’t have asked it from a better guy,” O’Neill said. The quality O’Neill said he admires most in Mr. Mycock is his honesty. “What you see is what you get,” O’Neill said. “He doesn’t put on any façade or anything, and he’s willing to help anybody out at any time.”
The Gala 2009 Committee that made the event a success includes Rod Ames, Kerry Lawson, Paul Logan, Kathy O’Melia, Liz Savoia, Ann Marie Tenaglia, and Kelli Venuti.