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Pro Tips for Kids: with former Expos reliever, Don DeMola

Don DeMola is a former pitcher for the Montreal Expos in the mid 1970’s. He was drafted by the Yankees in the seventh round of the 1970 Amateur Draft out of South High School in Commack, New York.

“I was 18 years old when the Yankees invited me to Spring Training in 1971,” he said. Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Thurman Munson and Bobby Murcer were there. I felt like I was in heaven!”

DeMola signed as a free agent with the Montreal Expos in January of 1973. The New York native referenced former 20-game winner, Mike Torrez as a mentor. Torrez was pitching for the Expos at the time of DeMola’s signing.

DeMola pitched one season in the minors before making his major league debut. He appeared in 25 games in 1974, 24 of which came in relief. The hard throwing righty went 1-0 and posted a 3.12 ERA, striking out 47 batters in 57.2 innings.

“Montreal is a great city and they really loved their Expos,” said DeMola. “They’re very passionate people and I enjoyed my time there very much. I hope they do get another team.”

The Expos reliever pitched two seasons in the major leagues. He owns… Continue reading

A Good Group of Kids – Diamond Pros: CDP 2016

An indomitable spirit has no boundaries and knows no limits. We are blessed to know one, and we stand in awe to see one. Although one emerges only so often, amazement and heart pounding expectation always define the moment each time it does.

Kerri Strug – Olympian Courage(Courtesy of pinterest.com)

Witness the courage of a Kerri Strug, who executed a winning Olympic vault despite a hobbling ankle sprain. Watch the fortitude of an injured Willis Reed as he inspired his New York Knicks to victory against the mighty Los Angeles Lakers. Recall the unrelenting passion of a Jimmy Valvano who, while battling cancer, exhorted all who heard his famous ESPY speech to “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”

We do not often have the privilege to witness courage of the moment, courage on display. When we do we remember it forever. Jimmy Valvano reminded us, though, that we all have the capacity for courage. Whatever sports we play, whatever paths in life we choose, whatever challenges we face, each of us has within us the power to rise to meet head-on whatever confronts us.

Win or lose, we do not have to lose heart. Win or lose, we should… Continue reading

Freeport native Justin Dunn drafted by the New York Mets

Boston College ace, Justin Dunn is latest player drafted to hail from Long Island. He was ranked as one of the top pitchers in the nation when the New York Mets drafted him as the 19th overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.

Justin Dunn pitching for the Boston College Eagles (Courtesy of baseballamerica.com)

Dunn, 20, began his baseball journey in Freeport, Long Island as a six-year-old before playing competitively at the age of eight. He stated that he’s thrilled to see his big league aspirations coming to fruition.

“It’s awesome,” Dunn said. “It’s awesome to see that all the hard work, late nights, and training sessions are paying off.”

Dunn was drafted in the 2013 MLB First-Year Players Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 37th round. He chose to attend Boston College instead, stating that he wasn’t quite ready to play for a big league organization.

“Major League Baseball is a grind,” Dunn said. “At the time, physically and mentally I wasn’t ready for this.”

Dunn and BC Eagles have enjoyed a historical season for their program in 2016, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years and advancing to the Super Regionals… Continue reading

CBP and the GNYSAA Have Agreed on a Partnership

Long Island Baseball Magazine has an announcement that we’ve longed to make for quite some time. County Baseball Publications and the Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance have agreed to partner in pursuit of jointly held organizational goals, promoting youth baseball in the greater NY/tri-state region (NY-NJ-CT).

Other goals that our new company has include the following:

• Recruiting interns to build their careers in sports publishing and sports marketing

• Earn Top Commissions in one-fourth the time

• Connecting with top coaches and training programs at all age levels

Don’t wait to connect with us! CALL OR EMAIL US FOR MORE DETAILS TODAY!!!

Daniel Corona Shines Light on Brooklyn’s Top Baseball Players

When opportunity comes knocking at your door, you have to be willing to step up and answer that calling. Brooklyn native Daniel Corona has answered his calling and then some. How many kids can say they got to close out a World Cup game for USA Baseball’s 12 and under team?

Daniel Corona pitching for Team USA’s 12U team (Courtesy of bluestormbaseball.com)

Daniel secured Team USA’s gold medal victory in the 2015 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Cup. He is a 12-year-old shortstop/pitcher who plays travel team baseball for the Brooklyn Blue Storm. He is the first amateur player from the Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance (GNYSAA) to play for Team USA’s National Team. GNYSAA president Victor Feld expressed his gratitude to Daniel for the accomplishments that he and his team have made.

“Incredible gratification to see a young man who’s got ability progress and take it to another level and make a national team like the USA team,” said Victor. “I think that’s phenomenal.”

World Baseball Softball Confederation logo (Courtesy of isfsoftball.org)

This is an outstanding achievement, considering the fact that former professional ballplayers like John Franco and Willie Randolph grew up playing baseball in this organization.… Continue reading

Griffey and Piazza are heading to Cooperstown

The National Baseball Hall of Fame has unveiled its newest members! Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) for the 2016 Hall of Fame class. Griffey made history by receiving 99.3% of the votes, the most for any Hall of Famer. Piazza was elected with 83% of the votes during his fourth year on the ballot. Griffey and Piazza were trailblazers at their respective positions throughout their careers. Here’s a list of their accomplishments and what they each meant to the game.

Mike Piazza (left) and Ken Griffey Jr. (right) (Courtesy of newyork.cbslocal.com)

Ken Griffey Jr. was destined for greatness. He was drafted as the #1 overall pick by the Seattle Mariners in 1987 at the age of 18. Griffey played an exciting brand of baseball at the plate and in centerfield and was a fixture on sports highlight reels. He was undoubtedly the best player in the 1990s and he had the numbers to prove it. He’s sixth all-time on the HR list with 630, he has 2,781 hits, and he was elected to 13 All-Star games. Defensively, he won 10 Golden Glove Awards as a centerfielder by taking away… Continue reading

The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center

It’ll Never Be Over, Yogi, Because You’ll Live in Our Hearts Forever!!

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In tribute to Yogi Berra, we reprint the following article which first posted on the NJ Baseball website in 2011

The Yogi Berra Museum has been host to many historic figures in baseball since the doors opened in 1998. With an average of 25,000 visitors a year the museum has become a unique, pinnacle attraction for the Montclair community.

The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center (Courtesy of baristanet.typepad.com)

Since its opening in December 1998, the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center has been an asset to the community of Montclair, NJ, and a source of fun and information for its visitors. The museum operates independently, as a not-for-profit organization, located on the campus of Montclair State University.

Dave Kaplan, the museum’s director, does a little bit of everything, overseeing exhibits, running informational programs, and serving as a connection to the local community. He worked as a sports journalist for the New York Daily News and the Associated Press before going to the museum. He manages four full-time employees, a few part-timers and a host of volunteers.

Art Berke, who holds a seat on the museum’s board… Continue reading

Yankees Legend, Yogi Berra Passes Away at the age of 90

Today, the baseball world says farewell to New York Yankees legend, Yogi Berra who passed away late Tuesday night due to natural causes at the age of 90. Coincidentally, he passed away on the same day that he made his MLB debut 69 year ago. Yogi played catcher for the Yankees for 18 seasons and he amassed a litany of accolades during his magnificent career: 3x American League MVP, 18x All-Star and a record 10 World Series championships.

Baseball icon, Yogi Berra (Courtesy of trendingtoplists.com)

Yogi’s legacy in baseball was cemented decades ago when he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame back in 1972. His number 8 jersey is retired by the Yankees, he has his own museum named, The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center and he has plaques and statues at Monument Park in Yankee Stadium to commemorate him.

Beyond the statistical numbers and achievements, Yogi will likely be remembered mostly for his radiant, upbeat personality. Yogi always seemed to have a smile on his face and there was no question that he truly cherished the game of baseball. No one will ever forget Yogi’s witty quotes which has been dubbed, “Yogiisms”.

Here are some… Continue reading

How to Beat the Shift

In this day and age, the shift is used on a regular basis in baseball. For those unfamiliar with the term, a defensive shift is where a team moves their players towards one side of the field. It has become a vital defensive strategy in the game today based on a hitter’s tendencies as to where they frequently hit the ball. On some occasions, it’s just used to psyche hitters out. Here are some tips on how young hitters can learn to beat the shift.

Hall of Fame hitter, Willie McCovey (Courtesy of britannica.com)

Every now and then, try bunting for a hit. In situations where you need to get on base, bunting is a great way to overcome the shift.

Hall of Fame slugger Willie McCovey frequently saw the shift during his MLB career to the point that it was dubbed, “the McCovey Shift”. Rumor has it that McCovey once bunted the ball down the third base line in a game which scored his teammate, Willie Mays from first base thanks to the extreme shift. McCovey ended up getting a rare bunt double.

Faking a bunt could also cause the defense to think twice about their defensive alignment. It… Continue reading

Johnny’s Interview with MLB Blogger, Sterling Myhre

Sterling Myhre is a 16 year old Junior at St. Albans High School in Washington, DC. Sterling started his blog, “The First Week Of Summer” in October of 2013 with the goal of chronicling his annual baseball trips with his dad that take place during the first week of summer vacation. In July of 2014, Sterling’s blog became a MLB Pro Blog and one of only four “youth pro blogs.” Since then, Sterling’s blog has evolved to also focus on various other baseball subjects like the MLB Draft, his stories of acquiring MLB players’ autographs and his favorite team, the Washington Nationals. You can find Sterling’s blog at www.thefirstweekofsummer.mlblogs.com, follow it on Twitter @1stWeekOfSummer and like it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thefirstweekofsummer.

Sterling (left) with Nationals catcher, Jose Lobaton (right) (Courtesy of thefirstweekofsummer.mlblogs.com)

As we head into the interview, I would just like to say a huge thank you to Sterling for his cooperation and his insight.

1: Now let me ask you, how many MLB games have you attended?

So far this season I have seen 30 games if you include the two spring training games and the one exhibition game that I saw before the season. In… Continue reading

Zack Hample: The Ballhawk

Now how, out of all the people, did ballhawk, Zack Hample catch Alex Rodriguez’s 3000th hit which was a home run? This is a question that I have been asking myself as Hample seems to be a magnet for baseballs.

Zack Hample, a baseball enthusiast, caught A-Rod’s 3000th hit at Yankee Stadium on June 19th. Initially, he declined to give it back.

“I have never sold a ball in my life and I’m not prepared to give one up now,” Hample stated in an interview.

After two weeks of negotiating, Hample agreed to give A-Rod his 3,000th hit baseball during a press conference at Yankee Stadium. In return, the Yankees donated $150,000 to Pitch In For Baseball, a charity that Hample has supported for quite sometime for their services to underprivileged communities. On top of that, he received several other perks from the Yankees organization.

If you don’t know Hample, get to know him as you will be hearing a lot about this guy in the future. Hample is what we call, in the modern day, a “ballhawk.” This is a person who attends ballgames and does whatever it takes to get a souvenir baseball. Helping his cause to support… Continue reading

The Amazin’ Steven Matz

Have a day, Steven Matz!

The Mets’ stud rookie proved last Sunday that the Mets have a new potential star in their starting rotation. The 24-year old lefty was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas last week to make his MLB debut for New York. Mat’z entire family was present to see him take on the Cincinnati Reds. This was a special day for the Matz family but later on, it would become a historic and monumental day as well.

Rookie left-hander, Steven Matz showing his fastball grip (Courtesy of nydailynews.com)

Matz, pitching against the Reds, gave up two solo home runs, one to Brandon Phillips and the other to Todd Frazier early in the game. Matz responded to the early home runs by pitching seven innings and striking out six batters for the hard-earned win.

Not only did he get the “W,” but Matz proved he could hit as well. The rookie went 3-3 in his debut with four RBIs, doubling in his first at-bat after hitting a long ball over Billy Hamilton’s head, a feat not many can accomplish.

Matz’s family was speechless as this was a big-time performance for an up-and-coming star. However, let’s remind ourselves of… Continue reading

2015 Prospects Shine in the Early Going

The MLB’s top prospects in 2015 have fueled their respective teams through the early portion of the season. All of them have added a new flare to the game at the plate, in the field and on the mound.

Chicago Cubs phenom, Kris Bryant(Courtesy of usatoday.com)

Chicago Cubs outfielder, Kris Bryant had a huge splash on the major league scene, batting .318 in his first month at the MLB level. Bryant’s first big league homer was one of the deepest home runs hit by any player this season, measuring at 477 feet. The third baseman slugged seven homers in the month of May and earned the NL Rookie of the Month award.

Another rookie who has provided power in the middle of his team’s lineup is Joc Pederson for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pederson earned the starting centerfielder job on Opening Day after having a great Spring Training. He tied a Dodgers franchise record by homering in five straight games and he currently leads all rookies in home runs this season with 17.

Noah “Thor” Syndergaard on the mound (Courtesy of usatoday.com)

Noah Syndergaard has been one of the most exciting rookie pitchers in 2015. Nicknamed “Thor”, the young right-hander… Continue reading

Life and Baseball with Ed Randall

Renaissance painter Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Being willing is not enough, we must do.” We have to apply ourselves and take action, especially when it’s for a good cause. Sports broadcaster, TV/radio personality, renowned author and prostate cancer survivor, Ed Randall has taken this quote to heart applying it to his everyday life.

TV/Radio personality, Ed Randall (Courtesy of blog.bluecaws.com)

Ed Randall is the founder of Ed Randall’s Fans for the Cure, a non-profit organization that raises awareness to prostate cancer for men over the age of 40. His organization has partnered with Minor League Baseball and big league teams like the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox to help spread the message around the baseball community.

“We need to create an army, that’s one of our main goals,” Randall said. He also mentioned that men need to break the cycle of thinking that they shouldn’t worry about getting tested.

When Randall was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999, he didn’t truly realize the severity of this illness. It wasn’t until he was in remission during Christmas and during his birthday that the reality of this… Continue reading

Q & A with New York Gotham Base Ball Club manager, Charles Klasman

Charles Klasman is the manager of the New York Gotham Base Ball Club, a club that originated back in 1865! Fun fact: The Civil War was coming to a conclusion when the Gotham Base Ball Club was founded. I had the pleasure of conducting a Q & A interview with the gracious Mr. Klasman! If you enjoy what you’ve read, please help the club by visiting their website and potentially making a donation or to read MORE about the fascinating history of the “Pioneer” baseball club. Big thanks to Mr. Klasman for participating in this interview!

Vintage Base Ball NY Gothams (Courtesy of Brooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com)

Johnny: Can you please tell me a little history about the Gotham Base Ball Club?

Charles: The Gotham Club started as the Washington Base Ball Club in the 1840s and later became the Gotham Base Ball Club. Members of the team were also part of the New York Nine which played the first recorded game in 1845. In those days, they played for fun and for “health.” But it became a passion for many and the popularity of the game grew. The Gothams had several homes in New York, one notable site was the St. George… Continue reading

The Bergenfield Baseball Program

America’s classic sport of baseball is still alive in the town of Bergenfield, NJ. Sign-ups have begun for recreational baseball and already kids are getting ready for the upcoming season. The Bergenfield program is split into three divisions with junior league covering kids ages 13 and 14, senior league for kids 15 through 16, and finally big league for 17 and 18 year olds. Every year, the junior league tends to draw in the most players.

Bergenfield Little League logo (Courtesy of Bergenfield Baseball)

“I want to get the seniors strong again, we once had three teams and now we struggle for one. I would also love for the big league to catch on in Bergenfield; the town of Dumont has a team this year,” said Vinny Malley, vice president of the Bergenfield Baseball Program. “The junior program is strong but the senior program is getting weaker and weaker trying to compete with club baseball and video games. The big league is a struggle just trying to find teams to play.”

Although there is a need to fill spots on older age group teams, the program continues to support a range of talented and dedicated coaches who work with kids… Continue reading

Rebuilding Red Sox Sign Cuban Star

The Boston Red Sox made more noise in the offseason when they signed the switch-hitting Cuban powerhouse, Yoan Moncada two weeks ago. Boston just continues to retool their team after finishing last in the AL East in 2014. The 19-year-old Cuban outfielder will have the largest signing bonus in MLB history pending his physical exams. Moncada agreed to a deal that is worth $31.5 million which is by far the biggest bonus among any international free agent.

Cuban phenom, Yoan Moncada(Courtesy of nj.com)

If Moncada can land a spot on Boston’s Opening Day roster, he will join a superior lineup that already consists of David “Big Papi” Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. However, some beat reporters now claim that with all the offensive tools that the Red Sox have compiled, they have yet to address their weak, young pitching staff. However, the Red Sox’s chances of reclaiming the AL East title have vastly improved compared to last year.

The 2015 edition of the Boston Red Sox(Courtesy of bostonglobe.com)

Yoan Moncada has been described as one of the more powerful, young outfielders with great speed, an exceptional throwing arm and a fantastic swing. For his first showcase, about… Continue reading

Rags to Riches? The New-and-Improved San Diego Padres in Review

Out of all 30 MLB teams, hundreds of thousands of baseball fans are ecstatic to catch a glimpse of the new-and-improved San Diego Padres. Multiple sources reported that the Padres have been, “hyperactive” ever since the arrival of new general manager, A.J. Preller.

San Diego Padres logo(Courtesy of pinterest.com)

The Padres have now played the ‘do-or-die’ card (win or lose) with the additions of Will Middlebrooks, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and recent signee, James Shields. Although the Padres have been able to fulfill the positions at which they were initially weak, they have to make sure that they don’t limit themselves financially and continue to spread the wealth. Kemp, Myers, Upton and Middlebrooks have all had their ups and downs between efficient and non-efficient seasons but the Padres are hoping that they can put it all together in 2015.

(Left to right) Justin Upton, Bud Norris, Will Middlebrooks and Wil Myers(Courtesy of padres.mlb.com)

This season can go one of two ways for the Padres: They can have a disappointing season like the 2014 New York Yankees (no disrespect, it’s just that they did not seem to play as well as sources had predicted due to injuries). On the… Continue reading

Minnie “Mr. White Sox” Miñoso, Gone at the Age of 90

The city of Chicago has lost another sports legend this year. Former MLB left fielder, Minnie Miñoso passed away Sunday at the age of 90. Miñoso played with four different MLB teams but he spent 12 seasons with the Chicago White Sox and earned the nickname, “Mr. White Sox.”

Minnie “Mr. White Sox” Miñoso (Courtesy of hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)

Miñoso was a Cuban-American who became the first black player to play for the White Sox franchise when he was traded from the Cleveland Indians to Chicago in 1951. He emerged as a household name that year earning his first All-Star game selection, finishing as the runner-up for the American League Rookie of the Year award and fourth in the American League MVP race.

When you think of the premier baseball players of the 1950s, Minnie Miñoso a.k.a. “The Cuban Comet” was right up there with the likes of Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Willie Mays. Miñoso was a multitalented player during his glory years in the majors. He was a career .298 hitter, an excellent run producer and was regarded as one of the top base-stealers of his generation. Miñoso’s defense was also a strong part of his game as he won… Continue reading

Bruno Franco: The Truth About Youth Baseball

When Bruno Franco, President of the Westchester Baseball Association, speaks about youth baseball, you can believe every word he says. For the past half century he has watched how the landscape and attitudes that define youth baseball have transformed a serene, national pastime into a callous, national industry. He despairs most about how youth travel teams have brought a 21st century focus on in-your-face, profits-motivated competition to what used to be a widely held enchantment with peaceful, fun days at the ballpark.

Mr. Franco is not a happy man.

In addition to his efforts on behalf of kids and baseball in Westchester, Bruno has also served as President of the New York City Baseball Federation (NYCBF) for ten years. “The Federation consists of all sandlot organizations in the city, on Long Island, in Westchester, and in Rockland County. Many travel organizations went independent because they don’t want to follow rules. They’re killing youth baseball by taking the best kids off their local teams in order to form super teams that play as much as 140 games a year all over the country.”

As a staunch supporter of sandlot baseball, Bruno also supports the Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance (GNYSAA).… Continue reading

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