Newport, RI – Seven Newport Gulls Alumnus will enter the Newport Gulls Hall of Fame on February 2, 2019, according to a press release published by the Newport Gulls earlier today.
The Fifth Newport Gulls Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at Gurney’s Newport Resort from 6:00 PM- 10:00 PM and will include a cocktail reception, dinner, music, video tributes, and a silent auction.
The Fifth Hall of Fame Class includes five players: Ryan Chambers(Brigham- Young), Paul Nardozzi(Pittsburgh), Andrew Kittredge(Washington), Daniel Wright (Arkansas St.) and Jeff Melillo(Rutgers) as well as two longtime volunteers: Kristine Hendrickson(Gulls Director of Public Relations) and Robert Capodilupo(Gulls On-Field MC).
“Every two years, the entire Gulls family gets together to honor contributors to the storied history of our organization, which makes this event special not only for me but for everyone involved,” said Newport Gulls General Manager Chuck Paiva. “Our host families, fans, sponsors, coaches, volunteers, and countless former players have made each of our past four Hall of Fame inductions feel like true family reunions, and we look forward to seeing so many familiar faces again next February when we induct six more outstanding gentlemen and the Hall’s first woman.”
Ryan Chambers spent the summers of 2003 & 2004 in Newport while he was attending Brigham-Young University (Provo, Utah). Chambers finished his career with a regular season batting average of .298, 14 home runs and 14 doubles. The New England Collegiate Baseball League named Chambers to the All-NECBL First Team in 2004 and he was ultimately drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 2005 MLB Draft.
In 2005, Paul Nardozzi set the Newport Gulls single-season strikeout record by fanning 66 opposing batters- a record that still exists. He won 11 games over the course of two seasons (2005 & 2006) in Newport and helped capture the Gulls’ third championship in 2005. On July 21, 2006, Paul and two other Gulls combined to throw a no-hitter against the North Adams SteepleCats- one of only two combined no-hitters throughout Newport Gulls history. Nardozzi pitched collegiately for the University of Pittsburgh and was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 31stRound of the 2007 MLB Draft.
Andrew Kittredge was a 2009 NECBL All-Star, All- NECBL Second Team Performer, member of the 2009 NECBL Top 10 Prospect List, and Pitcher of the Week in Week 8 of the 2009 NECBL Season. The Spokane, WA native attended the University of Washington and won a total of six games in his one summer in Newport. Kittredge hurled a stellar seven innings of work in Game 1 of the NECBL Championship Series where he struck out 12 batters en route to the Gulls capturing their fourth Fay Vincent Cup. Kittredge was drafted in Round 45 of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners and he made his Major League Debut in July of 2017 for the Tampa Bay Rays.
A member of both the 2011 & 2012 roster, Daniel Wright was named to the 2012 All- NECBL First Team and was the 2012 NECBL All-Star Game’s Starting Pitcher, all while leading the NECBL in wins (6) that summer. Wright had a perfect 2-0 record in the 2012 playoffs as the Gulls took home the NECBL Championship and were given the #1 Overall Ranking in Summer Collegiate Baseball. The Cincinnati Reds selected Wright in the 10thRound of the 2013 MLB Draft and in May of 2016 he made his Major League debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jeff Melillo played collegiately in his home state of New Jersey at Rutgers University and spent two summers with the Newport Gulls- 2011 & 2012. He was the captain of the 2012 NECBL Championship and #1 Overall team in the Country, a 2012 All- NECBL First Team performer, the NECBL’s 2012 Most Improved Player, a member of the 2012 NECBL All- Star Game team, a Perfect Game Summer Collegiate All- American and the nation’s Top Rising Senior. Jeff still holds the NECBL and Newport Gulls record for on-base percentage (.548), aided by a .404 batting average which took home the 2012 NECBL Batting Title.
Director of Public Relations Kristine Hendrickson began assisting the Gulls in 2001. Hendrickson helped create and administer the many community programs in which the Gulls still run today, facilitated the Gulls internship program, led the team’s marketing efforts, and has planned and executed many team events including the previous four Hall of Fame Ceremonies. Kristine is the first woman inducted into the Newport Gulls Hall of Fame.
Robert Capodilupo, the Gulls On-Field Announcer from 2005-2010 is currently finishing his undergraduate degree at Harvard University. The On-Field Voice of the Gulls excited and entertained Gulls fans with help from his father Ted. On- Field games and antics are a staple at Newport Gulls games and Robert demonstrated unparalleled professionalism at a young age, setting the precedent for all Gulls On- Field Announcers since leaving his post.
The Newport Gulls are honored to induct these outstanding members of their family into the Hall of Fame on February 2, 2019. It is sure to be a truly special night at Gurney’s Newport Resort. Tickets will be available in the coming days. If unavailable to attend, please consider sending a donation or item for the Silent Auction to support the event and Newport Gulls mission.
The Newport Gulls, members of the 13-team New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL), are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded as the Rhode Island Gulls in 1998 in Cranston, R.I., before moving to Newport in 2001. In addition to recruiting, fielding, and developing a team of the nation’s top collegiate baseball athletes and attracting 50,000 fans annually to Cardines Field, the predominantly volunteer organization strives to benefit the community of Newport County via summer camps, reading programs, fundraisers, scholarships, and charitable donations – totaling over $1 million since 2001. The Gulls are six-time champions of the NECBL – the winningest franchise in league history – and were ranked as the overall No. 1 summer collegiate baseball team in the country by Perfect Game USA in 2012.
For more information about the Newport Gulls, visit facebook.com/newportgulls, follow the Gulls on Twitter @NewportGulls or visit www.newportgulls.com