My Baseball Journey
I have attended over 100 Baseball games and accumulated over 175 Interviews with baseball players across the country. Here are some photos and details about some of the places I've gone and teams I've covered.
Somerset Patriots (Atlantic League)
My favorite place to talk to players that aren't currently at the top of the minors or majors , is the Atlantic League. In this league, the best former major and minor leaguers who need a home, come to play. In the league, they have some amazing MLB vets in the league, and players who show that they are good enough for another shot at the majors, get picked up by MLB teams. The Somerset Patriots, who I go to games of, is as first class as it gets in pro baseball. The team is filled with former and future big leaguers. They have had the most players out of any team in the league to go back to affiliated and major league baseball. The league has had legends like Tim Raines, Jose Canseco, Rafael Palmeiro, and Rickey Henderson play in it. Sparky Lyle who was a Cy Young and World Series winner back in the 1970's was there manager and still goes to games and I get to talk to him about the legendary Yankees team that won the 1977 World Series. The Patriots are similar to the Yankees of the Atlantic League, they have the most championships and make it to the playoffs just about every season. They always manage to have success, no matter what curveballs are thrown at them when players leave them for a major league team.
The Patriots play at TD Bank Ballpark, which is the nicest minor league field I have ever been to. It has everything that would make your typical great stadium. It has been voted the best ballpark in independent baseball and gets a great crowd every time the team plays.
Seton Hall Baseball (NCAA D1 Baseball)
Seton Hall University isn't quite known for baseball, but they do have a high caliber Division 1 baseball program. The Big East team has had 4 College World Series appearances and has had over 150 players play pro baseball after there time at Seton Hall. Some of there alumni include Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, along with All-Stars Mo Vaughn and Rick Cerone. Being not to far from my home, I try to go to all of the teams home games in the spring. Along with the Pirates, I get to see some other great colleges come to play against the Pirates. Every year I get to interview multiple players who go on to get drafted a couple months later. The team and organization is great, and is always very welcoming when they see me come to do interviews.
Staten Island Yankees (New York-Penn League)
My favorite organization to cover is my hometown New York Yankees, and right in Staten Island is the Low-A affiliate of the team, the Staten Island Yankees. I always love the amazing backdrop of Richmond County Ballpark, the Hudson River and the New York City skyline lit up behind the centerfield wall. The stadium is very nice, and so is the interviewing opportunity. In the New York-Penn League, many draft picks from that years MLB Draft come to play, meaning I get to talk to some of the newest members of the team every year before they work there way up to the majors. Not only are the players trying to make it to the majors but so are the coaches, it is always cool to see all the major league voterans who are coaching in the the league and trying to make it to the MLB. The league consists of many other great organizations who's players I get to talk to in addition to Yankees players.
2017 New York Yankees Spring Training
For the past two years, I have been fortunate enough to go down to Spring Training for the New York Yankees, this past year I was fortunate enough to do over a dozen interviews and get press access to the Yankees Major and Minor League Training facilities. At the Major league Complex which was my first time with an MLB Press Pass, I got the opportunity to chat with Goose Gossage and Reggie Jackson (pictured left) along with Yankees first baseman Greg Bird. I got to walk around and get access to George Steinbrenner Field, the Spring home of the Yankees. The stadium was beautiful and was just as jaw dropping as you would expect the Yankees complex to be. I got to meet some great people, sit in my first MLB Press Box, and join John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman in the broadcast booth for half an inning.
At the minor league complex, I got to talk to all the top position players who weren't in MLB camp at the time. I got to do interviews outside on the beautiful fields, and inside the training center where the players where working out and taking batting practice.
2016-17 World Baseball Classic Qualifier
Ive never been to an MLB playoff game, but the most exciting baseball atmosphere I've ever been in was the World Baseball Classic qualifying rounds in Brooklyn. I got to see Team Britain take on Team Isreal in Brooklyn at MCU Park. The energy and feel of the game was amazing, it felt like it was the major leagues at a minor league stadium. Everyone was cheering and ringing cowbells and even a shofar whenever Team Isreal scored. I got to meet some great people and interview some great players. I was only able to get 2 interviews that day, but they were very memorable. One of them was with current White Sox reliever Brad Goldberg, which I did after the game and there was a large group of people there waiting to get his autograph, who watched me do the interview and cheered when I finished which was very cool. Before the game I interviewed current Orioles Prospect Alex Katz (pictured).
New Jersey Jackals (Can-Am League)
Other than the Atlantic League, I also have done some work in another independent baseball league, the Canadian American Baseball League. This league is similar to the Atlantic League, but it doesn't have very many experienced players. Once in a while you will see a guy who played a couple games in the MLB, but usually the guys only made it up to about A ball or are straight out of college. The league doesn't send very many players back to affiliated ball either, so I don't do a ton of interviews there, but love the Jackals atmosphere. They play at Yogi Berra Stadium on the campus of Montclair State University, a nice stadium with the Yogi Berra Museum attached to it.