Wareham Gatemen to kick off season on June 12
The crack of the bat, the smell of fresh-cut grass and chatter of the crowd: The Wareham Gatemen’s return to Spillane Field is a sure sign summer is in full swing.
The team, composed of some of the best college baseball players from across the country, will begin their season this Sunday at a 6 p.m. home opener game against the Hyannis Harbor Hawks.
As always, fans can attend the games for free or tune in for live broadcasts on the Gatemen’s Youtube channel. Concessions and merchandise will be available.
Gatemen President Andy Lang said he’s excited to get the season started. Some players have started to practice and work out, while other team members are still playing championship games with their college teams.
“We’re excited about everybody,” Lang said of the recruited players, who until now have been names on a piece of paper. “We have high expectations, and now we get to see the human beings and see them play.”
The Gatemen are part of the Cape Cod Baseball League. The Cape Cod Baseball League’s teams consist of high-level collegiate players from around the country, allowing Major League scouts to check out prospects.
Over the years, many Gatemen have gone on to play in Major League Baseball. Former Gatemen include Matt Barnes, a current relief pitcher for the Red Sox; George Springer, who was the World Series MVP for the Houston Astros in 2017; and Casey Mize, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers.
This summer, the Gatemen will host a number of special events. The team will host the league’s All-Star Game on July 23. Gates will open at 2 p.m., and a home-run derby will be held at 5 p.m. The first pitch will be at 6:05 p.m. Tickets will be on sale through the league and on the Gatemen’s website.
On July 25, the Gatemen will face off against the Bourne Braves at Polar Park, the home field of the Worcester Red Sox. Tickets for that game, which will start at 6:45 p.m., are available on the Gatemen’s website.
The team will also host two movie-themed events. On Thursday, July 29, the team will host a screening of Angels in the Outfield at 7 p.m.
On Friday, July 29, the team will host a Star Wars night with Lucasfilm. Fans are encouraged to dress up as a favorite character. Some characters will be at the park to meet fans.
“The fans are more than welcome to dress up as their favorite character if they want,” Lang said. He explained that the characters will be staying in character all night, as if they were attending a baseball game “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”
The last game of the regular season will be on Aug. 2 in Orleans. Play-offs will begin later that week, as the top four teams from each division will compete.
The Gatemen also offer clinics each year for boys and girls ages 6 to 17. All players will be divided into groups by age and ability before learning fundamental skills from coaches and Gatemen players. Clinics will be held from July 14 to 16, July 18 to 22, and July 25 to 29.
The team is also hosting a series of free one-day clinics for active players in Little Leagues around the region. On June 25, the Gatemen will lead a clinic for Wareham Little League players.
The Gatemen are still looking for interns — either in high school or college — who would like to work with President Andy Lang. Lang said this internship, for which college students could get academic credit, is perfect for those interested in the operations side of sports or working for a college’s athletic department, for instance.
“You’ll learn basically everything that the president is responsible for, which is everything,” Lang said.
For the Gatemen’s complete schedule or more information on the team, go to www.gatemen.org.