07/27/2020 11:12 AM
The Wareham Gatemen have been home to many intelligent baseball minds over the years. Two of them will be honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) for their hard work and dedication to the game of baseball. Don Sneddon will be inducted as part of the 2021 ABCA Hall of Fame class; and Jerry Weinstein will receive the prestigious 2021 ABCA/Wilson Lefty Gomez Award.
According to the ABCA Hall of Fame website, the Lefty Gomez award is presented to an individual who has contributed significantly to the game of baseball locally, nationally, and internationally.
Weinstein, the current manager of the Wareham Gatemen has had 50 years of experience in all levels of the game. Weinstein is known for his passion for player development. He was the head coach and faculty member in physical education at Sacramento City College in California (1985-1998), and over the years established a record of 830-209-12 in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA). Weinstein led his team to 16 league championships and 2 CCCAA state titles.
“Jerry has a great reputation in baseball as being very knowledgeable of the game,” said Wareham Gatemen President, Tom Gay. “He runs a very disciplined Team at the same time allowing the players to do what they do best play the game.”
In 2016, Weinstein was the manager of the Wareham Gatemen. He took a break from the Cape League, and returned for the 2019 season to manage the Gatemen.
In 1998,Weinstein transitioned to coaching professionally most notably with the Colorado Rockies. He also worked with the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and Montreal Expos. In 2018, Weinstein was awarded the Baseball America’s Tony Gwynn Award for Lifetime Achievement, and was the special assistant scouting and player development for the Rockies.
His resume extends beyond the MLB additionally, as he was the assistant coach for the USA Olympic Baseball team in 1987, 1992, and 1996. In 2004 as the head coach, Weinstein led the USA team to win Gold at the Macciabah Games.
From 2001-2006 Weinstein was the associate head baseball coach Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and in 2016 he was the manager for team Israel I the World Baseball Classic.
Weinstein was named National and California Community College Coach of the Year in 1988. Weinstein has been inducted into five different Hall of Fame positions; Sacramento City College Athletic Hall of Fame (..), American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2009), Collegiate Baseball Pitching Coach of the Year (2009), and the La Salle Club Coaches Hall of Fame (2012, 2017).
“Jerry is an extremely hard worker and pays great attention to details. Jerry is in it for the right reasons,” said the General Manager of the Wareham Gatemen, Andrew Lang. “Jerry is a "constant learner", so he has so much acquired knowledge through experience, but also updates his software so to speak all the time.”
Among the eight coaches that were selected for the 2021 Hall of Fame class, Don Sneddon, the previous manager of the Wareham Gatemen was one of them inductees. Sneddon began his Cape League work in 2016 as the third base coach under Jerry Weinstein. The following summer Sneddon became the manager of the Gatemen for the summers of 2017 and 2018.
“Don’s approach is very laid-back. He gets to know each player and gets the best out of them by being affirmative, without becoming overly bearing,” said Gay. “I think the key to being a good coach in the CCBL is to be able to relate to the players at the same time providing them with a strong and knowledgeable love of the game.”
Sneddon led the Gatemen to a Cape Cod Baseball League championship in 2018, and decided after that he would not be returning to the Cape.
“The Cape gave me the opportunity to coach some of the best young talent in the nation and mold them into a team in a couple months,” said Sneddon. “I embraced the challenge.”
Sneddon’a has an extensive history with baseball that led to this year’s ABCA Hall of Fame achievement. His career highlights are as follows:
He was the head baseball coach at Santa Ana College in California for 32 years from 1982 to 2013 boasting a career record of 1072-383-3 and included, three California Community College State Championships (1993, 1995, 1996),
He is the all-time winning coach in California Community College Baseball History and, made 9 State Final Four appearances,
He was selected Conference Coach of the Year 16 times,
In 2011 the baseball field at Santa Ana College was renamed: Don Sneddon Field,
In 1992, Sneddon was the USA Baseball assistant coach for the college national team,
In 2012, he participated in a USA Envoy that brought baseball to the Country of Moldova,
In 2014, he was the Manager of the Modesto Nuts: Colorado Rockies Advanced A Ball,
In 2015 he was inducted into the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
When asked what drove one's passion for the game, Sneddon reminisced on Little League days, and reflected on the fact that size was not a huge factor on how one learned the game.
“I was lucky in that I played for some of the best coaches in the game. Coaches like Wally Kincaid, Augie Garrido, Ben Hines and Dave Snow just to mention a few,” said Sneddon. “To join these coaches in the ABCA is a great honor and probably the highest honor a college coach can receive. To enter the Hall with George Horton this year makes it even more special. I coached George in college, and he is one of my best friends. Very special.”
The ABCA induction ceremony will be held on Jan. 8, 2021 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
“Try walking through the ABCA Convention with either Jerry or Don. You average maybe 10 steps before someone comes up to them either to say hello, thank you, or introduce themselves,” said Lang. “It really is something to see. Congratulations to them both and I look forward to being at the award ceremony in January.”