Alumni Give Back To Their Baseball Program

Patricia Passwaters, Editor in Chief

Baseball players from as early as the 1990’s returned to their alma mater on December 15, 2012 for a reunion game of the sport they love. Bertha Lowell, former Gablette coach, and current baseball coach, Mr. Wisser, organized an alumni baseball challenge where alumni were able to reminisce on their high school days while playing against each other. They were not only able to see their old teammates again, but were also treated with t-shirts and a luncheon. However, what began as a simple get together, led to current plans for the baseball field’s renovation.

“During the game last year, several alumni found the dugout to be in worse shape than when they left it, and thought that the locker room was ready for an upgrade. These realizations triggered the idea of building a new locker room,” Mr. Wisser said.

Fortunately, Gables has a very strong alumni connection which includes five major league baseball players. Since that game, they have began meeting regularly to discuss the renovation plans ahead of them. These alumni include Mike Lowell, Alex Garcia, Eli Marrero, Juan Alvarez, Ronnie Yacoub, Mike Fiore, Harold Cole, Eddy Garcia, Ross Atkins, and Mr. Wisser himself.

“The Cavaliers’ baseball program has had a long tradition of success. With the help of several alumni, we hope to bring the facility up-to-date and continue the school’s great tradition of winning. I look forward to seeing my first Cavaliers game in the new facility,” Lowell said.

The renovations, which are expected to take place during the summer consists of a 30 by 50 feet structure. The structure is expected to have a locker room, concession stand, an office, a meeting room, a bathroom, and a possible shower. The cost of this project ranges between $175,000 – $225,000 and, is expected to take about three months to complete.

The first step the team had to take in order  to move forward with this project, was getting it approved by the district. This meant that the plans had to meet all school board regulations, and then they had to find an architect that would also adhere to those codes. This architect, Julio Webel, is a parent of a current baseball player.

“At the end of the day, it’s just a group of guys giving back to a program they love at a minimal cost,” Mr. Wisser said.

If there are enough funds, the alumni also want to make improvements to the batting cages and the current locker room. They hope to make the batting cages bigger, better, and state of the art, and even renovating the current locker room by turning it into a weight room. To raise funds, baseball team sponsors will be able to personalize bricks which will be showcased in the new stadium.

“This is a great step forward in the Cavalier baseball program. I’m sure my boys will be excited for their new clubhouse. As for me, of course I’m sad I won’t be part of it, but one thing is for sure, I’ll be back to visit,” senior German Reyes said.

As for the players who have yet to graduate, they can’t wait till the renovations begin and are completed.

“It’s great that we are getting a new locker room. It means a lot to me and I know it means a lot of the other players that our alumni are doing this for the program. It makes it even more special because, although they didn’t have this when they were in Gables, the fact that they are able to give it to us to enjoy is really a great thing. We appreciate it,” junior Robert Montes said.

If all goes as planned, renovations will proudly stand in the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year for the hard working team to enjoy.