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Out at JFK Museum, Cape Cod Baseball League Exhibit Looks for a New Home

Kat Sampson
The Cape Cod Baseball Hall of Fame is expected to move out of the JFK Hyannis Museum by December. The league will not induct a new class into the Hall of Fame this year.

For the past eight years, the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL) has displayed some of its most treasured memorabilia at the JFK Museum on Main Street in Hyannis. It’s where visitors can go to see some the faces and names of players past – including league Hall of Famers.

The exhibit room is carpeted wall to wall with green and white carpet that mimics a baseball diamond. The walls are lined with plaques of inducted Hall of Fame players. And there are display cases filled with memorabilia – everything from game jerseys, to signed baseballs, and a number of the iconic wooden bats the league still uses.

Credit Kat Sampson
The JFK Hyannis Museum has hosted the Hall of Fame on the lower floor of the building since 2008. Once the lower level is vacant, the museum plans to renovate the building.

But lack of space combined with an expired lease will force the CCBL exhibit out by the end of the year. John Allen is the Director of the JFK Museum. He says the Hall of Fame will need more than the museum’s lower level if it wants to continue inducting Hall of Fame classes.

"They’re at max, and they were looking for the space on the lower level and additional space on the first floor,” Allen said. "The fact of the matter is, the first floor is really tied to the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, and we need all that we have here, plus."

The league’s Hall of Fame committee is currently searching for a new home for its exhibit. The committee has considered leasing a storefront, or perhaps building something. Ultimately, league officials say they’re looking to stay in the Mid-Cape region for accessibility purposes.

Paul Galop is the Commissioner for the league and a part of its Hall of Fame committee. He says 2015 will be the first time in 15 years that the league has not inducted a new class into its hall of fame.

“The recommendation went from our board of directors to our hall of fame committee to take a year off. Let’s step back, revisit the process. See if anything needs to get re-engineered,” Galop said. “So taking that year off turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because we’re not going to be in the museum past the year."

The change also comes at a convenient time for the museum, which will undergo major renovations starting in 2016. The space currently occupied by the Hall of Fame will be used for additional interactive exhibits. Allen says he’s excited about the change, but will miss the league’s presence.

“It’s great when people come out here and say ‘Geez, I really never knew that this league is so important.' I love that," he said.

The league is looking toward the future with hopes of finding a place that can sustain the hall of fame’s growth. Rather than only display photos and memorabilia, the plan is to build a more interactive experience that generations down the road can appreciate.