Gatemen, Kool Kone to give out 300 plastic baseball bats
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The Cape Cod Baseball League won’t be able to host any games this summer due to the coronavirus, but that hasn’t stopped organizers of the Wareham Gatemen from thinking of a new way to keep the game alive for kids in town.
The Gatemen have teamed up with Kool Kone to give out 300 plastic baseball bats to kids on Father’s Day, June 21.
The Gatemen are one of ten teams in the league, which consists of collegiate players from around the country who often move in with host families while they compete. Over the years, many athletes in the league have gone on to play in Major League Baseball.
Kool Kone, owned by Tom and Gail Strom of Marion, will give out the free bats to kids under ten-years-old, complimentary with their first ice cream. Tom Strom said that the giveaway will start at noon, and continue until all 250 of the restaurant’s bats are gone. The other 50 bats will be given to other kids in Wareham by the Gatemen staff.
The brightly colored bats come in red, green, orange, and blue, and all display the Gatemen’s logo. They each come with a plastic ball as well.
The Gatemen’s Senior Vice President Glen Hannington said that giving out the bats might be a small token, but “we want to at least keep baseball alive with the kids,” since they won’t be able to attend Gatemen Games or participate in clinics this summer.
Hannington normally allows kids who catch foul balls to take them home as part of his sponsorship. He said that he got the idea of giving out the plastic bats after talking to his wife Louise about how to do something for kids this summer without Gatemen games.
Strom said that “it feels great” to be able to do something to keep kids engaged this summer, especially since his restaurant’s mini-golf course will not be open. He added that he used to love playing ball as a kid.
On Wednesday, June 10, Gatemen bat boys Kyle Hoffman, and Nathan and Nolan Blackwell were each given their own plastic bat at Spillane Field.
The boys agreed that while it might not compare to helping out at Gatemen games, the bats were definitely a kind gesture.
Gordon MacKay, the team’s Director of Marketing and Sponsorships, helped Hannington organize the plastic bat giveaway. He said it was nice to be able to give kids something they can do outside, considering many have been stuck indoors during the quarantine.
Others at Spillane Field spoke highly of Hannington and MacKay’s project.
“It’s awesome,” said Cape Cod Baseball League intern Kenzie Carbone, who explained that the project may inspire other teams in the league to consider what they can do to keep the game alive this summer as well.
“Gordon and Glen have done a fantastic job on [the bat giveaway]” said Gatemen President Tom Gay.
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