06/19/2008 10:08 AM
Lights Shine Once Again in Hyannis;
Ceremony Set for Saturday at McKeon Park
HYANNIS, Mass. -- On Dec. 7, members of the Hyannis Athletic Association and other Mets supporters gathered at McKeon Park for something that for many had been just a dream since 1994. Then, with the flip of a switch, that dream became reality. There were real, operable lights at the ball field for the first time since the summer of ’94.
The Mets played their first game under their new lights on June 11 against Team Cape Cod. Although just an exhibition, it kicked off a celebration that will last through the season’s final regular-season game in early August.
On Saturday night, June 21, prior to the Mets’ home game against the Wareham Gateman, a lengthy ceremony will honor all those who had a hand in getting the lights up. “The saying goes, something good takes a whole village,” said team president Tino DiGiovanni. “Well, this project actually took a whole village.”
DiGiovanni pointed out that more than 1,000 invitations have been sent to people who donated their time and/or money for the project.
The effort could not have been completed without strong financial backing, and the Mets received that in a grant of $150,000 from longtime Cape Cod Baseball League supporter, the Yawkey Foundation, and matching funds from Pope John Paul II High School, which sits on a hill overlooking McKeon Park.
Cost of the lighting project came to $400,000 -- $230,000 to purchase the lights and $170,000 to install them.
The Mets had raised enough money in previous years to buy the lights and have them assembled, but had fallen short in attempts to get them up and running. That changed this winter.
The installation process was headed by John Brewer of Brewer Electric and Jeff Maxwell from the Hub Foundation of Harvard, Mass. The two men were brought together by Sam Traywick. “Without those guys we wouldn’t have lights today,” said Bill Bussiere, Mets’ general manager. “They not only answered questions, but gave us solutions and got it done.”
The lights will benefit not only the Mets, but the entire community. McKeon Park is also used by Pope John Paul II High School, St. Francis Xavier Preparatory School, Sturgis Charter High School and Barnstable American Legion Post 206.
Saturday’s ceremony will begin at 6:20 p.m. and will be attended by many league officials, including CCBL President Judy Scarafile, Commissioner Paul Gallop and Public Relations & Broadcasting Director John Garner, who will serve as master of ceremonies.
Night baseball is no longer just a fantasy in Hyannis -- it is now a reality. And on Saturday night, all those who made it possible will be rewarded for their efforts.
By Chris Blake, CCBL Intern ([email protected])