John Garner Jr., left, poses with Mike Lowell at the Cape League Hall of Fame Museum in 2011.
A 1977 graduate of Plymouth State (N.H.) University, where he majored in history and geography, Garner was a member of the men’s basketball team but became best known for his work publicizing Panther athletics. The Scarborough, Maine, native served as Plymouth State’s sports information director from 1981-86 before joining the ECAC staff, a move that brought him to Cape Cod and the conference’s headquarters in Centerville. In 1994 he was elected to Plymouth State’s athletic hall of fame.
Today, in addition to his varied Cape League duties, he finds time to be a contributing sports writer for the Cape Cod Times, where he also goes to work each day in his “real” job as single-copy circulation manager for the Cape’s only daily newspaper.
This past season, while overseeing five members of the Cape League’s public relations department and working closely with social media director Ashley Crosby, he took on the added assignment of co-editor of Cape League Magazine, the league’s thrice-yearly official publication. When he wasn’t behind a microphone or tapping away on his laptop, he could often be found at games around the league, checking on his corps of broadcast interns.
Established in 2006, the Executive of the Year Award was named for Dick Sullivan, who served in many capacities with the Cape League, including commissioner and president. Before his retirement in 1999, Sullivan spent 44 years in higher education, including 15 years as a professor, dean and vice president at Hofstra University before returning to his native Massachusetts to help open the West Barnstable campus of Cape Cod Community College, where he served as dean of student services for 29 years. He was named dean emeritus upon his retirement.
The award bearing his name recognizes the qualities Sullivan brought to the league, including distinguished service, outstanding leadership, enhancing the reputation and success of the league (or a member team), professionalism, overall performance that exceeds expectations and going “above and beyond.”
“John met and surpassed all those criteria. He came to the CCBL with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in broadcasting and communication," Scarafile said. "He brought his distinguished career in athletics to the CCBL and how lucky we are that he did so. We have all learned from him, and there’s no doubt in our minds that the Cape Cod Baseball League is better and stronger because of him.”