CodBall Conversation: John Wylde (CCBL Hall of Fame)

by Greg in

Defying a body challenged by inoperable cancer, John Wylde's voice remains absolutely distinguished.  His head for baseball on the Cape is unrivaled.  His spirit is unbowed. WCAI/WGBH and CodBall jointly interviewed John Wylde on Feb. 28th from the NPR studios in Woods Hole.  Eight months earlier, Wareham Gatemen President and Cape league statistician John Wylde provided one of the most captivating CodBall Conversations yet.

In our recent interview, Mr. Wylde reflected on his illness, the growth of baseball on the Cape, the season ahead and even a new strike-out statistic he is inventing.  Here is a brief summary of our interview:

To fans of the Cape Cod Baseball League, the name John Wylde is not as well known as some of the players who have come through the league – names like Carlton Fisk and Nomar Garciaparra. But make no mistake about it, these players – and the league itself – have John Wylde to thank.

Wylde is the President and Treasurer of the league’s Wareham Gatemen, a position he has held since 1983. He also has served as the Cape league statistician. None of those titles do justice to describing the contributions he has made to Cape league baseball over two and half decades.

News this past fall that Wylde has inoperable cancer shook the league and its fans. Cards and flowers flooded into Beth Israel Hospital in Boston where Wylde was undergoing treatment. In an unprecedented move, the Cape League moved immediately to induct Wylde into its Hall of Fame. And the league has declared its season opener this year – June 13th – as John Wylde Day.

Listen to our interview with Mr. Wylde on these topics:

What did it mean to you that the league moved so swiftly to induct you into the Cape league’s Hall of Fame?

While you were in the hospital you heard from some of the players who came through the Cape League? Who did you hear from and what words of encouragement did they offer?

How has the league changed over the past 25 years?

What is your favorite memory – from a game or season?

Look ahead, what is your hope for the Cape league?

CodBall interviewed you last year only days before the start of the 2007 season. You and I both had high hopes for the Wareham Gatemen. In fact I believe I picked them to go all the way. What happened?

We know your favorite ballpark. What is your second favorite?