Gatemen celebrate new season at Fan Fest
Before stepping back onto Spillane Field for a new season, the Gatemen took time to celebrate with fans at the team’s first ever Fan Fest at Stone Path Malt.
So many fans showed up that Stone Path’s parking lot was completely full, as were several adjacent lots.
Players and fans competed in games of cornhole, ping pong, and jenga, and ballpark staples — cotton candy, hotdogs, and beer — were on offer.
“We have some real talent here this year,” said Gatemen President Tom Gay.
However, he said that raw talent isn’t the only factor to consider when putting together a team.
“The secret of having a winning season in this league is getting the team to gel in the beginning,” Gay said. “That’s what happened last year [when the Gatemen won the championships].”
One challenge for Cape League players, Gay noted, is that virtually every player in the league is the top player in that position at their college.
“You get the talent from all across the country,” Gay said. “They’re the best of the best.”
Gay also encouraged residents of Wareham and surrounding towns to get out to games this season, and noted that it’s likely that some of this year’s players could end up on the Red Sox or other major league teams.
Current Red Sox pitchers Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman are Gatemen alums. Nineteen other former Gatemen are playing on MLB teams this season, and the Red Sox has 11 other former Cape League players on its roster.
Joe Andruzzi, a former New England Patriot who now leads multiple charities to help cancer patients, also spoke to the crowd and encouraged the players to work hard this season.
Originally drafted as a rookie free agent following injuries, Andruzzi is now the proud owner of four Superbowl rings. He said that players should learn from the past, but keep focused on the present and “leave it all on the field.” Worrying about yesterday’s mistakes is a waste of time, Andruzzi said.
The Gatemen’s season opener will be at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, June 10, against Brewster at Spillane Field.