(Editor’s Note: Jonathon is a 2012 graduate of Massapequa HS. He pitched four seasons at Adelphi University, where he was named to our All-Long Island team in 2015. He participated in our Battle of the Border in 2016, and he was drafted later that week by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 34th round. Over two seasons, he has compiled a 3.59 ERA. The following words are his own.)
For the first time in four years, I wasn’t at Long Island Storm Academy giving ready for the beginning of the Adelphi season with my teammates. Even though I miss playing at Adelphi, I finally was preparing for my first spring training. Baseball was finally back and it was time to grind out the hot dog days of Florida spring training. Walking into the facility seeing Yadier “Yadi” Molina catching bullpens and thousands of Cardinals fans watching practice everyday is something you dream about through your childhood. Being able to face big leaguers like Daniel Murphy, Jose Martinez and Jhonny Peralta in rehab games and watching how they go about there business was eye opener for me.
After spring training/extended spring training completed, I was place on the short season State College Spikes Cardinals affiliate. Fortunately, the affiliate was located in downtown Happy Valley where Penn State University is located. Each night the ball park was filled with a few thousand people cheering you on, or playing on the road hearing fans yelling out negative comments while on the mound was pretty awesome. My favorite memory during the year, was starting against the Brooklyn Cyclones and having family an friends come support me at the park. Not only having people supporting me, but being back in New York was exhilarating competing on the mound. Picking up the win, along with beating the organization that passed up on me two years straight during the draft was icing on the cake.
Looking forward to what the 2018 season and hopefully continue to be promoted in the organization and some day reach the SHOW.