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Wareham Gatemen

Link to Official Website

This site is a fan site, not affiliated with the Cape Cod Baseball League. Here is a link to the official website of the Wareham Gatemen.

Pictures

Here are some Pictures of Spillane Field taken in 2008. You can click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos, and you can click through the pictures using the navigation buttons on the image pages. These pictures include a few taken at John Wylde Day, June 13, 2008, Opening Day. On this date long-time general manager and announcer John Wylde was honored for 25 years of service to the Cape League and the Gatemen. We'll say more about Mr. Wylde later on.

Seating and Field Visibility

The Wareham Gatemen have played at Clem Spillane Field since at least the 1960s. As a spectator park it is excellent, one of the two best spectator parks in the league along with McKeon Field in Hyannis. There is good seating capacity for several thousand people. There is a large wooden raised grandstand on the first base side that can seat quite a lot of fans. It's divided into two sections and there are stairs up into the grandstand from each end and also in the middle. If you want to be very close to home plate and don't mind looking through a mesh screen, choose the left hand side of this grandstand (the section closest to the plate). If you'd rather not look through a mesh screen, it ends about two-thirds of the way down this first section of grandstand, so you'll have no screen at all in the second grandstand section, and you're still very close to the infield. The view from this grandstand is excellent. It is raised above the field level and you can see very well from just about everywhere in this grandstand. Just avoid sitting behind the light pole, but there is only one that is in the way of the seats.

There is a roomy grandstand on the third base side (visitors' side) also, although the view isn't quite as good from there because it's angled facing the field and therefore facing the plate requires some turning. Not a big problem. The team also installed a screen in front of this grandstand in 2009, which further diminishes the quality of the view from there.

A good alternative is a good-sized bleacher in the outfield, facing the field for a very good view. Out there you're also close to the bullpens so you can keep an eye on who's warming up. You pay eighty bucks for a view like this at Fenway Park. Here at Spillane Field that view is free.

The only drawback to this park is there isn't much lawn chair space. If you have a lawn chair you can sit underneath the third base grandstand, and a few spectators with chairs can fit beyond the outfield fence right in front of the bullpen, but with the abundant seating capacity in the grandstands it's a good idea to leave the chair in the trunk of the car when going to Wareham.

The combined press box and refreshment building are behind home plate. The press box, like the stands, is quite tall. The press box has been named, starting in the 2008 season, after long-time general manager John Wylde, whose efforts over the years were instrumental in building the Wareham team into a first-class operation.

Mr. Wylde passed away on February 23, 2009 at age 70. We mourn his passing and celebrate his life. For many years he was a true star in this league.

It is not our intention on this website to comment on the team personnel, the players, coaches, etc. However, we will make an exception to praise the estimable Mr. John Wylde, who was honored on Opening Day of 2008 for 25 years of service to the team. There were quite a few newspaper articles about Mr. Wylde, but for the most part they missed one fact about him: how very good he was as a public address announcer. When he read the lineup before the game, he enunciated so that you could actually hear the name, and repeated the name and position of the player. For us traditionalists who wouldn't dream of going to a ballgame without a scoresheet, this is invaluable. He was also one of the few announcers in the league to give a line score at the end of each half inning. He had an affable demeaner at the microphone, sounding like your favorite uncle, the one you really WANT to come to the family cookout, and it is our opinion that every public address announcer in the league should make an effort to be more like John Wylde behind the microphone.

Team Nickname and Uniforms

Although the Wareham team is in the Cape Cod Baseball League, the Town of Wareham is not on Cape Cod. Where does the Cape start? As residents of the Cape, we are certain that it starts where Barnstable County starts, which is the Bourne town line. (The Cape does not begin at the Cape Cod Canal, which is an artificial construction.) Wareham borders Bourne to the west, and Plymouth borders it to the north. So Plymouth and Wareham (as well as other towns like Marion and Mattapoisett), while being Cape-like in many ways, are not on the Cape. But Wareham accurately claims to be the "Gateway" to the Cape. If you are coming down via the "old road," Route 28 from Middleborough, there is a pair of stone pillars as you come into Wareham Village, right past the Police Department, marking the official "Gateway" itself. Thus, the nickname. We like it, it's got a ring to it.

The Gatemen are one of several teams whose home uniforms resemble those of the Boston Red Sox -- white with red lettering and red piping. They have blue socks, so that's a difference. Their road gear features white pants and red jerseys.

Parking

The field is located next to the Wareham Middle School and in front of the Wareham High School, although the field predates the current High School by quite a few years. There is a good sized parking lot in front of the field (along Marion Road, aka Rte. 6 -- have you out-of-staters noticed that all of our roads have at least two names?). If that lot is full, one can drive behind the field and park in the lots for the school. But be careful if you go down that road to park; cars parked along that road behind the field are the only cars with any risk of getting their windshields smashed by a foul ball.

As a last resort there is the lot for the former town library and for medical offices across Marion Road nearby that can be used if it's an overflow parking situation, usually only true of playoffs or all-star game.

Team Culture

There are no amenities for kids like a playground, but because the park is well off the road it's a good place for them to run wild and free chasing loose balls. It's also a good park for the kids to actually watch the game, since you get such a good view from just about anywhere.

A couple of years ago the Wareham lights went out a couple of times during games, the electrician was called, he came along, scaled the poles, fixed the problem, and got a big hand afterwards. I don't think electricians usually get an ovation ... but we all deserve a pat on the back when we do our job well. The lights have been brought up to date since then.

Although this park is fabulous for getting a great seat and watching the game, it's not much in the way of scenic surroundings, with a typically ugly brick middle school next door. So if you like your baseball surrounded by trees, this park might not be your favorite. Occasionally a foul ball will bounce off the side of the school or even the roof with a thud.

Refreshments are in the bottom of the press box building, featuring the usual ballpark fare. If you plan on ordering a chili dog, ask for a fork -- those things are messy.

This park usually has good prizes in the 50-50 raffle. They often have tickets to the Pawtucket Red Sox, who play in Rhode Island less than an hour drive from Wareham.

They do well in the restroom department, too. Most games there is a group of three portajohns along the third base line, conveniently located near the entrance/exit. Usually the Middle School is open, and if you are delicate enough to wish for an indoor comfort station, a fairly short route through the intestines of the school will lead you to your destination.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our website and if you have any comments or questions go ahead and mail us at capeleaguefan@yahoo.com.

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