My Baseball Journey
I have attended over 150 Baseball games and accumulated over 27 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.
TD BANK Ballpark-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.
Owen T. Carroll Field-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.
RIChmond Count Ballpark- 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.
George Stienbrenner Field (Yankees Spring Training & Tampa Yankees)
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 . 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.
I also got to go to a few Tampa Yankee games on a trip I took down to Florida in August of 2017. I was able to interview a lot of guys on the team, hang around the stadium, go in the clubhouse and more. I spent a lot of time with the Tampa Yankees team and met a lot of players and personnel. It was very cool to take in that stadium from an angle I've never seen before. I spent a lot of time on the field and in the dugouts, where many great players have been before.
MCU Park-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).
Florida Auto Exchange Stadium-Duneden Blue Jays (Florida State League)
On my trip to Florida in August of 2017, I was able to go to a game at Florida Auto Exchange in Dunedin. I was able to see the Blue Jays face the Cardinals, and do interviews in the ballpark which is one of the most unique I have seen before. The ballpark had a very quiet, small, old atmosphere which I had never experienced before. One of the most unique features, was where the clubhouses were. They were both all the way down the line for each team. The Blue Jays clubhouse was about 400 feet from home plate, which you don't see very often. It was in a whole separate building. The stadium was very cool in many different ways. I got to do many interviews in Dunedin, and had a great time at there ballpark. I also got to see many of baseballs top prospects, there were 4 big time prospects with the Blue Jays when I saw them, so that was pretty cool to see.
New York yankees minor league training facility
During 2017 Spring Training and in August when I took a trip down to Tampa, I got to go to the Yankees minor league training facility. As you can guess, the entire complex is very nice, and very well manicured. During the summer, the Gulf Coast League Yankees play at the complex. I got to see them, as well as when the all the Minor League Yankees trained at the complex in the spring for spring training.
Yogi Berra Stadium-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.