Wareham Gatemen youth clinic aims to hit all the bases this summer

Apr 11, 2018

Every kid that picks up a baseball bat has had the same daydream – take a pitch in the World Series. But former Wareham Gatemen Baseball Youth Clinic instructors have actually lived that dream.

This summer, future major league prospects will again take the field, instructing local youth on the fundamentals of baseball.

Now in its 10th year, the series of pitching and hitting clinics is for players of all skill levels from ages 5 to 18. Held in three-hour sessions, the clinics are taught by Wareham Gatemen coaches and players. The Gatemen is the Wareham-based team in the Cape Cod Baseball League, which attracts top college prospects to the area each summer.

Gatemen General Manager Andrew Lang said the clinic has had its share of world class instructors. They include George Springer, Dallas Keuchel and Brock Stewart. All three competed in the 2017 World Series. Springer was named the series’ MVP.

“The team has players that are not only the best, as seen by us, but the best players as seen by Major League Baseball,” said Lang.

This year, Lang said the cost of one clinic session was dropped from around $80 to $50 in a bid to allow more players a chance to participate. Additionally, the team is accepting donations for clinic “scholarships.” Residents may donate via the team’s website (www.gatemen.org), allowing players from the area to attend at no cost.

Lang noted that all donations will be matched by the Gatemen organization, giving even more kids who can’t afford the clinic an opportunity to learn.

Sessions will be held from July 19 through Aug. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Gatemen’s ball field, adjacent to the Wareham Middle School. Lessons will be tailored for players who have never picked up a bat or thrown a ball to those looking to hone their skills, said Lang.

In the pitching clinic, lessons on arm care, proper throwing mechanics and more will be offered. Lang said the team’s pitching coach has more than 30 years of experience.

“If you want to learn how to pitch, then I can’t think of a better guy than Jim Lawler,” said Lang.

The clinics are part of the team’s broader community outreach efforts, said Lang. Each year, Gatemen players visit area nonprofits, libraries and schools as ambassadors of the game. This year, Lang said he’s hoping to expand those efforts.

He invited coaches from area little leagues to reach out to him and request visits from players this summer. Contact Lang via email: alang.gatemen@gmail.com.