Remembering Ed Lyons
November 7, 2011 - Cape Cod League (Cape Cod) News Release
Cape League Hall of Famer Ed Lyons, who passed last week at 85 in his family home in Livingston, NJ., will be fondly remembered as a terrific baseball coach and motivator.
For 16 summers, the personable Lyons managed Wareham, Hyannis, Falmouth and Chatham, led the A's to the 1982 CCBL Championship and was named CCBL manager of the year in 1980.
"To capture what Eddie Lyons has given and meant to the Cape Cod Baseball League would take volumes," said CCBL Commissioner Paul Galop. "His commitment, enthusiasm, energy, guidance and competitive spirit made players play better and people at all levels wanted to be around him. If you had a thirst for baseball knowledge, Eddie Lyons owned the fountain.
Inducted as an inaugural Hall of Famer in 2000, Lyons was the second winningest manager in CCBL history at the time of his induction and presented into the CCBL Hall by his protge, John Schiffner, current manager of the Chatham Anglers, who served as assistant with the A's under Lyons from 1978-82.
"I fondly remember 1982 when I was a Director with Chatham. Eddie Lyons was our head coach and young John Schiffner was third base coach. That coaches managed to get the A's into the playoffs and proceeded to run the table and capture the CCBL championship. They knew it was Eddie's last year with Chatham and rallied around Eddie on Schiffner's guidance and decided that he was going out on top. They swept two very good Wareham and Hyannis teams.
Lyons was born in Philadelphia, where he played baseball and basketball. He held the City of Brotherly Love's scoring record until the immortal Wilt Chamberlain broke it.
He signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds and played basketball at Temple and served in World War II. After graduation, he pursued both his baseball life and a pro basketball career with the Philadelphia Warriors.
Better known as a baseball mentor, Lyons also served as AD and basketball coach at Upsala (NJ) College for many years.
"When I was a senior on the Whippany Park HS basketball team in 1970, we hosted the Christmas tournament," said Galop. "One unbeaten team was inner city (East Orange, NJ) Clifford Scott HS, coached by Eddie Lyons. When the dust settled, Clifford Scott remained undefeated and easily won this holiday event. His players were focused, well-prepared and dominant. Coach Lyons demanded perfection and always received it. The respect and admiration he attained in coaching was second to none.
Lyons was enshrined was in the first class of the CCBL Hall of Fame with standouts such as Thurman Munson, Mike Flanagan and Jeff Reardon.
"If you knew Eddie, as so many of us did, you were privileged to have had that opportunity. If you never got to know him, you missed out on one of the finest individuals that sports in America has ever known and we are all a little bit empty now without him, but ever so full because of what he gave us," said Galop.
Lyons leaves behind his wife Kay and three daughters Karen, Beverly and Diana
CCBL HALL OF FAME INDUCTION SOLD OUT - The 2011 Cape Cod Baseball Hall of Fame, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Chatham Bars Inn, is already sold out. Boston media personality and Cape League broadcaster Scott Wahle returns as master of ceremonies and longtime Cape League executive Dick Sullivan will lead the procession of inductees into the hall.
This year's class of eight brings total membership in the Cape League Hall of Fame to 116 and five of them used their time in the Cape League as a springboard to the major leagues.
Inductees include former Boston Red Sox third baseman and 2007 World Series MVP Mike Lowell (Chatham, 1994), former Red Sox catcher and current Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge (Yarmouth-Dennis, 1988), former major league hurler Scott Kamieniecki (Harwich, 1984), former MLB outfielder Mark Smith (Wareham, 1990) and pitcher David Bush (Chatham, 2000-01), now under contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Also slated for induction are league batting champion Paul O'Neill (Cotuit, 1974-75), power-hitting first baseman Doug Fisher (Falmouth, 1984-85) and two-time outstanding pitcher Bill Wissler (Bourne, 1990-91).
SPECTACLE OF TREES - The CCBL will again feature a gift tree named " Ticket to Ride," sponsored by Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, Cape Air & Nantucket Airlines, Hy-Line Cruises, Cape Cod Central Railroad and First Student Bus Company. The CCBL tree features several gift certificates including round-trip first class air fare to the islands, a rider's pass on the CCRTA, elegant dinner on the dinner trainand two hours free rental of a school bus. This year's Spectacle of Trees includes 16 decorated trees from 16 non- profit organizations on the Cape, including the Cape League. All trees are on display at the JFK Hyannis Museum from Dec. 2-10. Last year this event raised $77,000 for these 16 non- profit organiozations.
TURKEY PROJECT - The Cape League will again be assisting St Mary's Church in Barnstable and the Community Action Committee providing Thanksgiving dinners to those in need locally.
NEXT EXCOM MEETING - The next CCBL Exec Committee meeting has been moved to Monday, Dec. 5 at the JFK Museum where the Spectacle of Trees will be on display. The meeting will be devoted to upgrades and changes at the Hall of Fame Museum.
CCBL ALUMNI: Where Are They Now' - Jacoby Ellsbury (Falmouth '04) of the Boston Red Sox is pulling down serious hardware during the offseason. The fleet centerfielder from Oregon State was awarded gold glove, silver slugger awards and AL Comeback Player of the Year after hitting .321 with 32 HR, 105 RBI and 39 stolen bases.
DID YOU KNOW - Robert "Red" Rolfe played shortstop for Orleans during 1930 and went on to star at third base for the New York Yankees, which won four straight world series titles from 1936-39. During a 10-year career with the Bronx Bombers, he hit .289 and enjoyed his best season in 1939 when he led the AL in hits (213) doubles (46) and runs (139) while hitting .329. He became coach for the Yankees and served as Detroit Tigers farm director and manager from 1949-51. He left pro baseball in the 1950's for a long and distinguished career as AD at his alma mater, Dartmouth.
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Cape Cod League Stories from November 7, 2011
- Remembering Ed Lyons - Cape Cod