The backbone of the Cape Cod Baseball League are the hundreds of volunteers who donate their time and skills to one of the 10 franchises in the premier summer collegiate baseball league in the country. From game day volunteers to fundraising, each franchise depends on these generous and talented individuals to comprise of an organization whose goal is to make our player’s summer on Cape Cod one that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
At the core of this remarkable volunteering effort are our “host families”. Our network of host families represent one of the most important and unique aspects of Cape Cod Baseball League. Families in each of the 10 towns that represent the CCBL and many of the respective surrounding communities open up their homes to young men from across the country in support of their goal of playing on Cape Cod and perhaps one day playing professional baseball.
The bond between many host families and these players often continue well beyond the summer that they spent together on the Cape. The experience is something that the family and player will not soon forget.
The Wareham Gatemen are fortunate to have a number of dedicated host families that reside not only in Wareham but in some of the surrounding communities of Carver, Marion, Rochester, Fairhaven, New Bedford, Dartmouth, Acushnet, Freetown, Plymouth and Mattapoisett. Our players enjoy the hospitality and generosity of their host family in their “home away from home” from mid-June through early August each summer over the course of their 44 game schedule.
Players are required to pay their host family a small fee to cover their basic living expenses while living in your home. Many players work for a portion of the day before reporting to the field for practice and/or the scheduled game. There are very few off-days during their busy summer but also many opportunities to get to know your family and develop lasting memories.
Our host families are some of our most loyal fans. Not only do they open up their homes to our players but they become part of the Gatemen family; cheering on the team from the stands at Spillane Field and actively participating in many events throughout the season such as “meals at the field”, our preseason kick-off dinners and our season ending celebration.
For more information about becoming a host family and learn more about this exciting and rewarding opportunity, please contact Mary Chaplain at [email protected].
Apply to become a host family below!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the general process like to become a host family?
We visit the home of each prospective host family to see the accommodations for the player and conduct an interview. Each host family is given a copy of the Player and Host Family Handbook and must sign a Host Family Responsibility Acknowledgment which outlines the roles of both the player and the host family regarding issues such as, but not limited to curfew and underage drinking. Additionally, each adult in the family must fill out a CORI application.
Are players randomly assigned to families?
Yes and no. Each host family and each player fill out a questionnaire. For the host family, the questions are: How many players would you like to host? Would you prefer a permanent roster player or a non-roster player who is here temporarily? Permanent contract players are with us for the entire season; non- roster players are initially here on a temporary basis. They could be here for a week or a month. Some are given a permanent contract and remain for the entire season.
Other questions for the family include: Do they have pets? What are ages of their children, if any? Would they prefer that the player work?
As for the players, they are asked if they prefer to live with or without a teammate; in a home with small children; Do they want to work? Do they have any allergies regarding pets?
Also entering into the equations are factors such if a player is bringing a car and what position he plays (since pitchers and position players are often on different schedules). We try to place a player with a car at each home or nearby others so that every player has a ride to the field.
What are the minimums required to be able to host a CCBL player?
Each host family is responsible for providing a bed and breakfast. We ask our host families to have foods available for the player(s) to make their own breakfast. The player must have his own bed and we recommend that he has his own room, though it could certainly be shared with another teammate if hosting two or more players.
Do the families usually have one or more players? What do the families seem to prefer? Players?
Hosting one or more players depends on the accommodations that the family has. Some families can only take one player while we have a couple of families who host as many as four, though the latter is an unusual circumstance.
As to the players, again, it is personal preference.
What does your team provide for the host families?
The host families receive a stipend as well as moral support. They are also recognized in the media guide each year.
Do most families host a player each summer or is it more of a one and done thing?
We have had very few families who only hosted for one summer. Most of our families host for many years. We have one family who recently “retired” from hosting. They had been hosting players since 1989.
How large of a responsibility is it to host players?
Hosting CCBL players does require a certain level of commitment. Most host families take on the role of the player’s surrogate family by attending as many games as possible to support and cheer for their players. Host parents also make sure that the player follows the rules of the home, the franchise team, the CCBL and the NCAA.
If there is one thing that you would like people to know about hosting a CCBL player, what would it be?
We would like potential host families to hear the reasons shared with us by previous host families as to why they have hosted. Those reasons would be extra bedrooms in the house; giving back to community; the experience of watching players grow, develop & showcase their talents to someday make the majors; to provide a family atmosphere– a home away from home – for the young men. The reasons are as varied as the people who host a player.
The biggest fear for some potential host families is having a stranger in their home. We encourage them to host a non-roster player on a temporary basis to see what the experience is like.
Hosting a CCBL player is extremely rewarding for those who love baseball as one becomes more involved in the game and the team than one would be as simply a spectator.