BOSTON – Monday might have been a scheduled off day for the whole Cape League, but in reality, it was far from it. From the historic confines of Fenway Park, all 10 teams in the Cape Cod Baseball League took part in a workout in front of an abundance of scouts.
“For the kids, they dream about the big leagues. To me, Fenway and Wrigley are in a class by themselves. For the kids to see these before they get to the show someday is legendary,” Gatemen pitching coach Jim Lawler said.
Some of the Gatemen pose for a photo before beginning the workout (via Caroline O'Connor).
The day for the Gatemen players went something like this. They arrived at the field around noon and had a chance to soak in the atmosphere and stretch before the testing began. The 60-yard dash was the first activity the players did, and they followed it up by taking infield-outfield.
To conclude, the Gatemen hitters got the chance of a lifetime and took batting practice on the same field the greats in MLB history have played at.
“It continues to give them the exposure that they are all looking for. MLB is here, they are all here and they are grading every part of their delivery as a pitcher, as a hitter, their personalities. They are watching everything they do,” Lawler said. “What a great stage for them to do it at.”
Members of the Gatemen added their John Hancock to Pesky's Pole (via Caroline O'Connor).
On the day, four different Gatemen would home runs into the Green Monster. Drew Millas was the first Gateman hitter to do so and he hit it on the last pitch of his BP round. Cade Cavalli hit the most impressive homer into the monster as his was a towering shot that would have cleared the park entirely if not for one of the billboards atop the wall. Skyler Hunter also hit one as did Gian Martellini, a local kid from Johnston, RI.
Playing at Fenway is nothing new to Martellini who has played with BC Eagles at Fenway before against for the ALS Awareness Game in addition to playing games for the Beanpot, a tournament that takes place between BC, UMass, Harvard, and Northeastern.
“Even though I am a Yankees fan, Fenway Park is so historic with all the great players that have played on this field. Being an overall big baseball fan, you have to respect what has gone on in this stadium,” Martellini told the Gatemen Baseball Network.
One Gatemen who is a local kid and actually happens to be a Red Sox fan is reliever Nathan Florence. Florence is from Wilbraham, Mass., about a two-hour drive west from Fenway Park.
“It’s pretty unbelievable to come here and play with these guys. It’s great competition out here,” Florence said. “Just to get on a field that I’ve dreamed of playing on is pretty cool.”
Gatemen fielders get ready prior to infield-outfield (via Caroline O'Connor).
From the coaching perspective, Monday’s workout is just as cool. Gatemen manager Don Sneddon is always excited to return to the 106-year old ballpark, but he gets a different thrill than they players do.
“It’s like Disneyland. I’ve been there and done that,” Sneddon said. “The excitement for me comes from taking the guys who haven’t gone.”