07/20/2016 9:42 PM
Judy Walden Scarafile thanked her husband, Peter Scarafile, V. P. of the Hyannis Athletic Association, for his support during her 45 years with the CCBL. Photo: Priscilla Merritt
Article By: Priscilla Merritt
For almost 40 years, the Hyannis (Mets) Harbor Hawks have played ball on the field at McKeon Park. Now that field officially has a name: The Judy Walden Scarafile Field, a tribute to the former president of the Cape Cod Baseball League for her 45 years of service.
In a dedication ceremony attended by Cape League and team officials, Town of Barnstable dignitaries, representatives of the Yawkey Foundation, sponsors and supporters of the CCBL, and other members of the community, the Hyannis Athletic Association saluted Judy Walden Scarafile with the ultimate honor: naming the field after her.
The idea to name the field in Judy’s honor came about when Scarafile decided not to run for reelection last August, after 24 years as its president. Judy has been a long time supporter of the Hyannis franchise, and her husband, Peter Scarafile, Vice President of the H.A.A., has been involved with Hyannis for over 20 years.
Former Cape League president, Judy Walden Scarafile, with the poster announcing the naming of the field at McKeon Park. Photo: Priscilla Merritt
Brad Pfeifer, H.A.A. president, said that when Scarafile revealed her plans to retire, it seemed natural to find a way to honor her. “Judy has been a good friend to the Hyannis organization. She means a lot to us,” said Pfeifer.
Pfeifer, along with Hyannis general manager, Tino DiGiovanni, approached town officials about naming the field. Former Barnstable Town Manager Tom Lynch immediately thought it was a terrific idea.
“Judy is someone who has made a lasting contribution to our town,” Lynch said. “She has lived here [in Barnstable] a long time and been involved in so many different issues and projects. She’s got a lifetime of legacy with the Harbor Hawks and with the Cape League and has really achieved recognition for our community. For the contributions she has made for the town, we thought that naming the field after her would be very fitting.”
David Anthony, Director of Property and Risk Management for the Town of Barnstable, researched the history of the field going back to the 1970's, and did not find anything that would prevent the Town Manager from authorizing the naming. In fact, McKeon Park was named by the Hyannis organization in 1977, when they took over the field as the newly formed Hyannis Mets. The park was named after John McKeon, a former member of the Barnstable School Committee and a staunch supporter of the town’s athletic programs.
Congressman Bill Keating, Massachusetts, presented Scarafile with a Congressional Proclamation in honor of the field naming. Photo: Priscilla Merritt
John Garner, CCBL Director of Public Relations and Broadcasting, acted as Master of Ceremony for the dedication. He ran down the history of the Hyannis franchise, highlighting some of their most famous players. He also summarized Judy’s progression through the Cape League ranks. Garner stated, “During her tenure, the Cape League enjoyed a period of tremendous growth and prosperity unparalleled in its history, and for that matter, for any amateur baseball league in the country.”
Congressman William Keating presented Scarafile with a Congressional Proclamation, referring to Judy as “one of the best stewards of this organization”. Keating said, “The naming of the field is a metaphor because Judy worked from the ground up, all the way to every position in this league, and to have that ground named after her is very special.”
Scarafile was visibly touched by the accolades. “It’s not like anything I’ve ever received,” said Scarafile. “I can’t even believe it is happening. I can’t express my gratitude enough to Hyannis for even coming up with the idea.”
The magnitude of this tribute is not lost on Scarafile. “This will always be a reminder to me of how blessed and how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to be as involved as I was for 45 years,” she said. “Particularly as a woman.”
The Hyannis Athletic Association unfurled the temporary banner, officially declaring the fields new name. Photo: Priscilla Merritt
The Hyannis Association is using the name addition as the catalyst to undertake a capital campaign for park improvements. Brad Pfeifer announced the fundraising effort, which looks to raise $750,000 to create a new playing surface, a bathroom facility, and other upgrades. “We have a first class name now and we want to create a first class facility,” said Pfeifer.
Boston Red Sox outfielder, Jackie Bradley Jr, who played for the Hyannis Mets in 2009, is the Honorary Campaign Chair.
The H.A.A. will be working closely with Mark Ells, Barnstable’s new town manager, and other town officials. Ells believes that everyone will benefit from the field improvements.
“McKeon Park and the Hyannis Harbor Hawks have gone through a renaissance in recent years: from the upgraded lighting through a Yawkey Foundation grant to the change in start time of home games. These have added to the increase in attendance at games.” Ells added, “An upgrade to the park and field will help provide the players (both home and visiting) with a first class playing experience. It will also help to attract special events which will further contribute to the economy of downtown Hyannis, the Town of Barnstable and Cape Cod.”