CHATHAM – The smudged sight of red, white and blue could be seen filling the stands at Veterans Park from the parking lot way off in the distance. For the first time since 2019, the home colors were on full display at the home of the Chatham Anglers.
The Chatham and Cape Cod baseball communities met at the park Saturday afternoon to say goodbye to Paul Galop, a longtime Chatham Anglers volunteer and team official who later served as Cape Cod Baseball League commissioner from 2003 until 2018.
Mr. Galop died May 28 at the age of 68 after a short bout with cancer. Saturday’s memorial gave the communities Mr. Galop loved the most the opportunity to show their love for him. It was a celebration complete with thoughtfulness and tears, though laughter also filled the air.
Among Mr. Galop’s close friends who took the field to address the crowd was New York Yankees scout Matt Hyde, who broke the ice and drew one of the loudest laughs of the afternoon when he said, “I can’t believe I didn’t get booed” after he was introduced.
“I always look out at this field and I think of where the stars of tomorrow shine tonight,” Hyde said before rattling off a number of Chatham’s former baseball giants. “You think of those great players here, and I always think about Paul up in that press box. I think about his smile and his storytelling. He was always there with a great joke or a positive word for somebody.”
Although he wasn’t present in person, Mr. Galop’s spirit was felt at the park during the festivities. That’s partly because he played a major role in the preparation.
Before he passed, Mr. Galop wrote a letter to Cape League officials that included many baseball anecdotes he had accumulated during his decades of involvement with the league. A few excerpts were shared on the field, providing the packed crowd with a parting peak inside the mind of one of the Cape’s most influential baseball figures.
One of the more emotional moments came when Cape League president Chuck Sturtevant read a poem that sounded similar to the Serenity Prayer but instead was altered using baseball terms.
“God give us the wisdom to tell a strike from a ball,” began Sturtevant. “To know when to throw and never to fall. Keep us always in the baseline, running straight and through, and we’ll look for your sign to stretch one into two... Let us always hustle so we’ll be at our best, and take pride in ourselves, in sports and the rest.”
At the end, Sturtevant went off script and said, “Until we meet again, Paul – my buddy” before he departed the field.
Mr. Galop’s wife of 43-and-a-half years, Laurie, sat with her family near a memorial that was constructed near home plate. After the ceremony, the family greeted attendees as some of Mr. Galop’s favorite songs played over the PA system.
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