Update: June 4 – Tonight’s game has been cancelled due to rain.
The COVID-19 vaccination clinic from the Lifespan Community Health Institute and @RIHEALTH is still on! Happening at the Newport Marriott across from Cardines Field from 2 to 5pm! Anyone who gets vaccinated will receive a free ticket good for any future game. No sign-up needed.— Newport Gulls (@NewportGulls) June 4, 2021
NEWPORT, R.I. – The Newport Gulls begin their 22-game home schedule at Cardines Field on Friday, June 4, with Newport Hospital Opening Night 2021.
Opening Night will be the first home game the Newport Gulls will have played in 669 days, unfortunately having to cancel the 2020 season. Newport Hospital, which is presenting Opening Night and has been a longtime supporter of the Gulls, will host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in partnership with the Lifespan Community Health Institute and the R.I. Department of Health. Prior to the game, Pfizer vaccine will be offered to those ages 12 and up, with free admission offered to those who receive a shot.
“Once a vaccine for COVID-19 became available, Newport Hospital quickly took a lead role in offering doses to our community to hasten the end of this pandemic,” said Crista F. Durand, president of Newport Hospital. “Our unwavering mission is not only to care for people when they come to our hospital, but to do everything we can to keep them healthy and out of the hospital. We are so grateful to partner with the Gulls and the Lifespan Community Health Institute and the R.I. Department of Health to provide vaccines to Gulls fans of all ages in an easy and fun way. What better way to spend an evening than to enjoy a night at the ballfield and protect the health of our families, friends, and neighbors.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., after the conclusion of what is sure to be an emotional pre-game ceremony that will include the presence of Jeanne- Marine Napolitano, Mayor of the City of Newport, and many other local officials. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the Gulls will be handing out 2021 magnet schedules to the first 1,000 fans to enter the ballpark, courtesy of Domino’s Pizza. Newport is set to take on the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, a rematch of the 2019 Southern Division Championship Series.
No advance registration is required for the clinic, which will be offering doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer has been approved by the FDA for those ages 12 and up. The clinic will run from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Cardines Field picnic area located behind the Gulls Nest on the 1st base side. Each person vaccinated will receive a free ticket to the game and be scheduled to return for their second Pfizer dose at the Gulls game on June 25. They will be offered free admission at that game as well.
The Gulls, who officially open the season on the road Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Mackenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Mass. vs. the Valley Blue Sox, will play home games this season at historic Cardines Field every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night in June and July. All home games begin at 6:35 p.m. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic the Gulls will only face Southern Division Opponents for the regular season. The Gulls will face the Keene Swamps Bats of the NECBL Northern Division in an exhibition style matchup at home on July 9 for Red Sox Recovery & Rebirth Night sponsored by the Red Sox Foundation. The Gulls also travel to Keene on July 22.
The regular season wraps up at away on Sunday, Aug. 1, before the NECBL playoffs begin on Aug. 3 (the postseason runs through, at the latest, mid-August). The Gulls will also host the 2021 NECBL All-Star Game on Sunday, July 18 at Cardines Field, including a home run derby and skills competition in the early afternoon. The Gulls previously hosted the prestigious league event in 2005, 2010, and 2016.
For Friday’s Opening Night contest presented by Newport Hospital, tickets go on sale at the Cardines Field Ticket Office at 5 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults; $2 for seniors, military and teens 13-18; and $1 for children 12 and under. Parking is just $2 with a game ticket at the Newport Visitors Center located across America’s Cup Avenue from the field.
Friday’s Opening Night game will also be broadcast live by Gulls play-by-play broadcaster Zach Letson, on the NECBL Broadcast Network via www.newportgulls.com via the NECBL’s streaming partner Blue Frame, with extended pregame show coverage beginning at 6:10 p.m. Starting a new partnership with Cox Cable’s YurView Channel, the broadcast will also be simulcasted live on YurView New England starting at 6:30 p.m. The games will also be rebroadcast on EBTV-18 throughout the East Bay and Fall River Community TV. All 22 home games will be broadcast and produced by the award-winning Gulls media staff with Gulls Director of Media Tom Lima serving as the Television Director.
Returning manager Kevin Winterrowd will be at the helm as Newport seeks their league-leading seventh NECBL championship. Fellow NECBL veteran Greg Zackrison returns as Pitching Coach along with James Sauro .
The Newport Gulls, members of the 14-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 youth 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.