08/12/2010 3:39 PM
BOURNE – As defending Cape Cod Baseball League champions, the Bourne Braves were in a celebratory mood on the evening of Aug. 8. The Braves were about to open their best-of-three first-round playoff series against the Wareham Gatemen and the pre-game ceremonies at Doran Park would include presentations of plaques to pitchers Tony Zych (Louisville) and Grayson Garvin (Vanderbilt), whose regular season performances had earned them three major CCBL awards.
Braves general manager Mike Carrier recalls the moment. He was helping commissioner Paul Galop carry the plaques to a table that had been set up on the field. Glancing at the hardware, he saw that Zych had been named both the Outstanding Pro Prospect and the Relief Pitcher of the Year, while Garvin was chosen Pitcher of the Year.
“Suddenly, Paul produced another award and said, ‘Here, don’t forget this one’,” Carrier recalls. “It was the Commissioner’s Cup!”
The Braves graciously accepted the Cup, making them the only franchise to twice win it outright. The Gatemen, winners in 2007, shared the first Commissioner's Cup in 2004 with the Falmouth Commodores.
“Next to the (Arnold) Mycock Championship Trophy, the Commissioner’s Cup is the most prestigious award given by the league,” Carrier said. “I definitely was not expecting Bourne to win, which made it even sweeter.”
The cup is awarded to the team that “exhibits the highest level of professionalism and integrity both on and off the field.” Galop and his two deputies, Sol Yas and Dick Sullivan, confer to decide on each year’s recipient, based on a number of factors.
The Braves organization was involved in several worthy off-field civic activities, including holding a reading hour for local youngsters at Doran Park in conjunction with the Jonathan Bourne Public Library and hosting a pre-game ballpark barbecue for Special Olympians. They also participated in the town’s Fourth of July parade.
“On the field, the Braves had no ejections and they performed admirably,” Galop said. “From the management perspective, general manager Mike Carrier and field manager Harvey Shapiro did a masterful job meeting all of the paperwork deadlines that are time-consuming but vital to the success of the Cape Cod Baseball League. In the end, it was the Bourne Braves who richly deserved the 2010 Commissioner’s Cup.”
Carrier echoed the commissioner’s words. “As Paul said during his presentation, it was about Harvey and the team, the timeliness of administrative duties on my end, being the executive committee member for the organization and supporting the league and franchise throughout the year. We had no discipline issues concerning ejections of players or coaches during the season.”
The Braves GM credited the entire volunteer organization, but had special words of praise for Darin Weeks, Tony Dingmann and Barry Motta.
“Darin, our PR guy, did a great job with events, and Tony, our housing coordinator, might have had the toughest job during the season,” he said. “Barry, our treasurer, put in countless hours and was a huge proponent of the meetings held by Judy (Walden Scarafile, league president) and the other nine franchises throughout the year to try to get everyone on the same page.”