Wareham Gatemen summer league players housed at UMass Dartmouth

WAREHAM — After a skipped season during the pandemic, the Wareham Gatemen are back with a bit of a different housing situation this year.

Traditionally, the collegiate Cape Cod Baseball League players are welcomed into the homes of host families in the SouthCoast region. Recognizing that some families may not feel comfortable inviting players from all over the country into their homes right as COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift, the team worked out a partnership with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to house its players for the summer season.

Wareham Gatemen general manager Andrew Lang was the brains of the operation, pitching the idea to UMass Dartmouth baseball team head coach Bob Prince through a connection, John Quinn, at UMass Law. When they first talked, in the fall of 2020, vaccinations hadn’t been released yet. Lang was nervous about the upcoming season since he didn’t know where his players would stay, but when the college agreed to his idea, he said it was a “giant sigh of relief.”

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A coach looks on as Miami of Ohio University pitcher, Jonathan Brand, throws during the Wareham Gatemen first practice session in preparation for the upcoming Cape Cod Baseball League season.

“If not, I’m not sure if we would be able to participate in the summer season,” Lang said. “There wasn’t enough movement on the host side.”

Previously, one to two players would stay with each host family in the area, with 20 to 25 families participating. Now, all 30 players will be staying at UMass Dartmouth in apartment-style housing, which works out to their benefit with campus security and an on-campus fitness center.