New Bedford’s Lang Wants Wareham Gatemen to Become SouthCoast’s Team
Andrew Lang, the new president of the Cape Cod Baseball League's Wareham Gatemen, grew up in New Bedford and knows just how much the SouthCoast loves baseball. Now, he wants to get the SouthCoast to love the Gatemen.
He has fond memories of playing ball in the South End Youth Athletic Association and beyond, and knows the passion for the game.
"The most fun I had was the year we won the Legion's state championship with Coach Manny Lima," he said. "My first two years in college was the same thing, where we were number one in the country for most of the season, even though we lost the World Series. Those were great times."
Lang is stepping into his first year as the Gatemen president, after previously serving as general manager. He replaces Tom Gay, who he called "a really good president," following Gay's retirement.
While the Gatemen have always had a fanbase in Wareham, Lang is hoping to grow that reach.
"What I'm going to focus on is getting more people from New Bedford, Dartmouth, Fairhaven and Middleboro involved this year," he said. "Our organization needs to refill the ranks, and with New Bedford's rich baseball history, I know there are people around here who'd like to be involved, especially now that New Bedford doesn't have a team anymore. That's my number one goal, to get more people interested, as long as they're willing to drive to a game, come to meetings and participate."
While New Bedford didn't get the kind of response city officials – including former Mayor Scott Lang, Andrew's father – expected when the New England Collegiate Baseball League brought the Bay Sox to the Whaling City, the Cape Cod Baseball League brings an entirely different level of play. A large contingent of Cape League players go on to the big leagues.
"Baseball is a team sport made up of individuals, so you have to let the individual shine. That's what we do in the Cape League," he said.
Local youth leagues have something valuable to look forward to as well.
"We're making some changes to our youth clinic, and I'd love for all the area little leagues to get in touch with me because I plan to have a traveling clinic for a day, where we go from the South End to Whaling City, Greater New Bedford, Dartmouth, Rochester and other little leagues for a free clinic," he said. "I also want to try and reach as many young people as possible to get them interested in baseball, because the easiest way to get into college is through sports."
Lang's pitch is simple.
"Come to a Gatemen game. They're fun and they're free," Lang said. "Don't waste your time going up to a Red Sox game, paying a bunch of money to see players and owners who have an issue about splitting money between them and figuring out how they're going to do that. Come to a Gatemen game, where you only have to pay for a little gas. Buy a hat – they're cheap – sit, relax and watch a game. I promise, it will be a good time."
Opening Day is June 12, 2022, at Spillane Field in Wareham, located on Viking Drive next to Wareham Middle School with parking right in Town Hall parking lot.
To get involved, reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (508) 992-1270.