With the opening of the Cape Cod Baseball League season less than 24 hours away, there was simply no better way to get it all started than with the annual Wareham Gatemen First Pitch Dinner.
For the first time however, the dinner was also used as a fundraiser, featuring a silent auction with multiple top-level prizes, as well as speeches from former Patriot running back Patrick Pass and Red Sox public address announcer Dick Flavin.
Team president Tom Gay said the evening went just about as well as he could have expected it to.
“This year with a new coaching staff coming in, general manager Andrew (Lang) in his first year in really complete control of the team and Jerry (Weinstein) in his first year as head coach we thought we would do something where the public could come in and meet the team while at the same time raise some money,” Gay said. “It’s become more and more expensive obviously to run the team and I’m very happy with how everything turned out.”
First-year head coach Jerry Weinstein introduced himself to those in attendance, as did the entire Gatemen roster.
One the biggest factors that will undoubtedly determine this team’s success, as Gay noted, is how well they can gel together not just on the field but off the field.
Gay said that all indicators so far are that this team is primed for a breakout year in Weinstein’s first season.
“Every year is the same in the beginning on paper you look great,” Gay said. “It all depends on how many guys you lose to injury, to team USA and all the above. A lot depends on how well the team gets along chemistry wise. According to the coaching staff this team has really come together well. I am very hopeful that we have a great season to look forward to.“
The Gatemen open up their season tomorrow evening as they travel to Yarmouth to take on the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. First pitch is at 5:00 p.m.