Wareham Gatemen connect with kids at library Lego event

Jul 17, 2018

Eight Wareham Gatemen showed up at Mattapoisett Library Tuesday morning, July 17, not to show the children how to swing a bat, but rather how to connect in another way.

For the past ten years, players from the minor league Cape Cod League team have been coming to the town library to build relationships with the communities that support them and to give back to some of their youngest supporters.

"The Gatemen come here during summer on different days to help at the library," Mattapoisett Library Children's Librarian Jeanne McCullough said. "They'll read with the kids and do crafts with them. Sometimes they'll go outside and throw ball with them. We found over the years that they (Gatemen) are particularly good at building at Lego creations. The kids had such a good time doing it that we decided to make it an annual event."

"That's one of my many talents," Gatemen outfielder Jakob Goldfarb said. "I used to go to Legoland a lot as a kid.

"I'm more of a Lincoln Logs guy," second baseman Oliver Dunn said, as he worked with the plastic Legos.

"I was more of a Thomas the Tank Engine guy," joked third basemen Austin Shenton, who confesses to not really being into Legos. "I just remember my mom telling me not to eat them."

The time with the kids building things was not lost on the players.

"Obviously, they look up to us," Shenton said. "It's cool to be with the kids so they can see we're humans and not just baseball players."

Teammate and third baseman Pavin Parks agreed.

"I think its good they see us here instead of just on the field. They look up to us so its good for them to know we're people like them," Pavin said.

"I think (the kids) have a good time," pitcher Will Proctor said, as he tinkered with some of the plastic blocks with Graham, 5. "They have a good time and they meet people from all over the country," Proctor said. "If I were a little kid, I'd like meeting baseball players from all over."

Proctor said he didn't grow up playing Legos but he received a "care package" recently from his mother in which she randomly placed a Legos kit.

"It's a good thing," Proctor said of the interconnecting blocks. "It teaches them how to be creative and build things. Maybe they'll become interested in architecture. You never know."

Pitcher Jack Ralston confessed to rarely playing Legos as a child but he sees the value in it.

"It's fun for me, and its fun for the kids," Ralston said. "I like seeing how this new generation does it. "