Ending an affiliation with the Gatemen
To the Editor:
It is with a profound sense of disappointment my husband and I bring our decade-long affiliation with the Wareham Gatemen to an end. After my husband received a surprising phone call from the GM/President disguised as discussion and really just an ultimatum, we are left with no choice. Hundreds of volunteer hours later, we are left disillusioned and completely bewildered by the direction the franchise is headed.
It is particularly sad for me. I grew up with my cousin John N. Decas as President of the Gatemen then – his pride and joy. I worked alongside Gatemen players during summers at my first job in Wareham at one of our family companies. I became involved again as John H. Wylde took the franchise to new heights of professionalism and showed gracious respect to all involved.
For both men, it was always all about the players. It was about teaching young men the fundamentals and preparing them for their future lives in baseball and baseball-related fields.
We are baffled by decisions being made that clearly are not in the best interest of the organization as a whole – dumping a large sponsor that provided year round field maintenance for free; not protecting longtime sponsors that are getting taken by the league; treating host families and organization members disrespectfully. It all defies understanding.
This is not a decision we take lightly, but after the last couple of years, we feel there are no other options. Our decision also ends a history of generous giving -- annual grants, personal donations for field maintenance, donation of 50-50 raffle items, supporting meals on the field for the team, game ball sponsorship. Roughly $25,000 over the last decade. Additionally, I personally brought the team many sponsors over the years through my connections.
Someone once told me that when it’s no longer fun, it’s time to move on. The leadership of this organization hasn’t made it fun for anyone lately. So reluctantly and with heavy hearts, we move on. We didn’t want to write this letter, but sometimes things just can’t be left unsaid.
Cindy and Michael Parola
Maple Springs Road