Former Wareham Gatemen compete in World Series

By Matthew Bernat | Oct 30, 2017
Photo by: Andrew W. Griffith Houston Astros centerfielder George Springer, left, and Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel are former Gatemen who are competing in this year's World Series.

As a Wareham Gatemen host family, Bob and Jane Gleason have welcomed a few Major League Baseball players into their home. On Oct. 31, two of them will be in Game 6 of the World Series – one is a Houston Astros centerfielder and the other is a Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher.

“No matter which team comes out on top, we’ve got a winner,” said Bob Gleason.

Over the course of nine years, the Gleasons hosted 20 Gatemen players, including major leaguers George Springer of the Astros and Brock Stewart, a Dodger. The Gatemen are part of the Cape Cod Baseball League, one of the premier amateur leagues in the country that attracts top college talent every summer.

Stewart played for the Gatemen in 2013 and made his major league debut in 2016. Springer played for the Gatemen in 2009 and 2010 when he stayed with the Gleasons.

Joining Springer at the Gleasons’ home during those seasons was another current major leaguer, Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes.

Springer and Barnes, both University of Connecticut alumns, had excellent seasons while playing as Gatemen, said Gleason, who likened them to a “married couple.”

“They bickered a lot, but in a good-natured way,” joked Gleason. “They were both young kids who were really fun to have around.”

The Gleasons have kept in touch with a few of the players through the years, sending Christmas cards and occasionally catching a game. Two years ago, the family attended an Astros-Red Sox match up and watched the former roommates face each other in Fenway Park.

Gleason said his 23-year-old son Henry is the closest with Springer. The two keep in touch via Facebook.

Mostly, the family is content to watch the former Gatemen’s performance on television, making an already exciting World Series that much more interesting.

Sunday night’s back-and-forth battle between the teams ended in a 13-12 win for the Astros in extra innings. Springer had a hand in the victory, hitting a monster 448-foot home run in Game 5.

“That was really exciting to see,” said Gleason. “The game went back and forth so many times.”

Gleason said the family started hosting 11 years ago after a Gatemen representative contacted him. He said the idea appealed to him and his wife.

“We thought it would be a good thing for our kids to look up to guys who have a passion for something,” said Gleason. “And that passion happened to be baseball.”

Springer and Stewart aren’t the only Gatemen in this World Series, either. Current Houston Astros players Dallas Keuchel and Max Stassi, a pitcher and catcher, respectively, are competing, too.

First pitch for Game 5 is at 8:20 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Fox.

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