FIRST PERSON STORIES

JJ McLaughlin Opens Up About Dealing With Life’s Unforeseen Tragedies

(Editor’s Note: JJ is a pitcher for Nassau Community College. He was forced to deal with the tragic loss of both his mother and father just over one year apart) by JJ McLaughlin Baseball has been my therapy through it all. I’ve been playing since I was little and I don’t know if I would be here without it being a major part of my life. I have gone through so much within such a short period of time and at such a young age, many people question how I am still in school and how I am even still playing baseball. I graduated high school in 2011 and went onto play at Monroe College for my freshman year. When I left for school everything was fine, but before I knew it, my whole world started to fall apart. My dad was diagnosed with Melanoma cancer in the fall of 2012. That was when I knew m...

Nick Fanti on His Experience in the World Baseball Classic

by Nick Fanti My experience in the world baseball classic is something that I can’t stop talking about. A moment I want to talk about is the first game vs Mexico. I will never say the Italian team was an underdog in this bracket because we were not. We belonged there because we knew what kind of team we had and we showed that we belonged in that game We were down four going into the bottom of the ninth and we were actually the home team against the host Mexico with one of the best closers in baseball on the mound in Roberto Osuna. We came back to score five runs without Mexico recording a single out. We dog piled, and I got some tv time. You will never see a stadium flip from loud to silent like that stadium did that night. But the significance of this game to me was crazy and differ...

Anthony Fontana: Why I Chose Furman University

by Anthony Fontana It all started in Fort Myers, FL for the Perfect Game tournament. Game 3 under the lights at Terry Park. I stepped up to the plate, I got a first pitch fastball and absolutely crushed a line drive over the center fielder for a double. Standing on second base it was just a regular RBI double to me but little did I know that double would change my life. A few days later when the tournament was over, I received an email from coach Taylor Harbin, assistant coach at Furman University . Once I saw Furman University emailed me, I was excited because of how awesome their conference is. So Coach Harbin and I spoke for a little while about the program and I decided to go on a visit to Furman. A little before my visit i went to a few other schools–one of them being Arizona St...

Chris Cruz: A Story of Power-Hitting, Perserverance and High-Intellect

When Chris Cruz failed the first test of his life he was not pleased. Not that anyone is ever pleased to fail a test–but for Chris, he went through his entire youth without ever experiencing much failure and now a freshman at the prestiguous Cornell University, he was now starting his college career in a way he never could’ve imagined. “It definitely made me revamp the way I was going to go about things,” said the 2010 graduate of Bay Shore HS. Things always came easily for Chris–whether it be in the classroom (he graduated in the top 10% of his class with a 91 GPA), or on the diamond or the basketball and volleyball court. Thus is life for Ivy League student-athletes, who are forced to deal with the added pressure of maintaining strong grades while also honor...

Matt Reistetter On Handling Adversity

(Editor’s Note: Matt is a four-year member of the Washington Nationals minor league system. He is a 2010 graduate of Hauppauge HS and was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Hofstra University in 2013. He has compiled a .272 AVG through four seasons.) by Matt Reistetter When my father passed away when I was 14–baseball saved me. When my girlfriend passed away when I was 16–baseball saved me. My mind is the strongest tool I possess. I can handle adversity. I can handle the grind. A season in the minor leagues is a grind. Especially during August. Every aspect of your life is strictly regimented to a set of routines you’ve established since Spring Training. Except on that day you get the text from the trainer, “No BP, no early work. Report at 6. Show and Go.” These day...

Man Of Steel: How Eric Russo Finds Inspiration To Overcome Life’s Obstacles

Editor’s Note: Eric is a 2017 graduate of Centereach HS. He is uncommitted at the moment, but has put himself on the radar since this past summer when his velocity spiked from the upper 70s to mid 80s. ) By Eric Russo There have been many things that have held me back throughout my life– both on and off of the field. Tryouts will be Jan. 15 at MacArthur HS! The most prominent of which occurred before I could even take the field. My family has had to persevere through some struggles the last few years that no family should ever have to deal with. I was born with two special needs siblings; my sister that has cerebral palsy, and my little brother that has autism. So taking care of them has always been more important and had to come before baseball. This become more prominent w...

Greg Weissert on His Successful 2016 Season

Photo Credit: Fordham University Athletics (Editor’s Note: Greg is a 2013 graduate of Bay Shore HS. He was selected by the New York Yankees in the 18th round of the MLB Draft out of Fordham University.) by Greg Weissert My last season at Fordham was the spring of 2016, and it was one that I will never forget. Although at times it was extremely stressful–with the thought of the draft never far from my mind–I tried not to let that take away from the fun and competiveness that came with playing with my teammates, maybe for the last time. Playing with the draft process in full effect was a new experience for me. I had to focus on my game, working to prepare for every start and keeping my emotions in check. It was fun and exciting, but at the same time, it was absolutely nerve wracking. 2017 tr...

Branden Falco Discusses How He Persevered Through Injuries

(Editor’s Note: Branden is a 2017 graduate of Kings Park HS. Today he announced he has committed to LIU Post. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid 80s.) By Branden Falco My baseball career has been a bumpy flight. When I started playing baseball at 8-years-old, pitching was my first love. When I was 13, I started feeling tingling down my arm when I threw. I went to an orthopedic surgeon Dr. Scott Alpert and he sent me for an MRI. It came back showing a swollen rotator cuff and my labrum was very loose. After hearing that, the beginning of my freshman year I began training with Xceleration sports training. When I went there for my evaluation, the manager, Steve Wilk, stated that if I want to pitch in college, I need to shut it down until 11th grade and just play a position. This was to...

More Than A Dream Come True

(Editor’s Note: Logan is a 2018 graduate of St. John the Baptist. He recently committed to East Carolina University. It was his childhood dream to attend there) by Logan O’Hoppe  In all honesty, I never really thought that being a Pirate was a possibility. I have been around it since I was a toddler and always loved the atmosphere. I went down to ECU for my first camp last November.  In my mind, I was just going down there to play at my dream school for the mere experience. I didn’t think anything would come out of it. I had never really been in serious contact with any other schools at this point since I was only a sophomore.  Fortunately, I played very well at camp and I suppose I left a good impression with Coach Palumbo.  Winter came and went and the school season progresse...

Cam Maron Discusses Life in the Minors

(Editor’s Note: Cam is a 2009 graduate of Hicksville HS, where he was selected by the New York Mets in the 34th round. He just finished his eighth season in the minor leagues. He is a member of the Miami Marlins organization. He has a career .383 OBP in over 1500 at bats) by Cam Maron Baseball is a game of constant adjustments.  Balancing workouts, batting practice, games, down time, family time, and personal time is a constant battle during the season. For those that have not been fortunate enough to play professional baseball, you may not understand how much really goes into it.  Of course you have heard stories of players taking 1200+ swings in the batting cages, or lifting four to five times a week during the offseason.  Yes, what we do as ballplayers during the game is a special...

Jack Ryan Discusses His College Recruiting Process and Why He Chose to Stay on the Island

by Jack Ryan Trust the process, trust the process, trust the process. This three word phrase is constantly echoed from people far and wide. This process was by far one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my entire life and at times I most certainly did not trust it. When my family and I first started  talking about playing in college my goal was initially to get off the island. We started searching around and by my junior year I was drawing some solid interest from a couple schools throughout the Northeast. I visited a few schools that I thought would challenge me academically and I could play baseball at. Between talking to many coaches and friends all arrows looked like there would be some sort of offer. This is where I began to not trust the process. It’s not uncomm...

Brendan Butler on His Terrific 2016 Season

(Editor’s Note: Brendan is a graduate of Dowling College. He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 30th round of the 2015 draft) by Brendan Butler Showing up to Arizona in March for spring training was one of the most surreal feelings in my baseball career. I was finally starting my first full professional season, which I knew was going to be a grind, but I knew I could handle it because I have the best job. On the first day of spring training I was told I was going to remain in the bullpen, which is what I did during my first summer in rookie ball and in instructs. Spring was a great learning experience for me, as I was around guys from higher divisions than myself. I got to watch their sequences to hitters and I took notice of their techniques. Spring training was a lot of fu...

Lost Password

Register