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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

2013 Massapequa Cyclones: By Paul DeGiovanni

The following is an article submitted to Long Island Baseball Magazine by Coach Paul DeGiovanni; chronicling the Cyclones 2013 season.   

 

The Massapequa Cyclones 12u baseball team, a town team made up of local Massapequa players, continues to have great success playing out of town tournaments.    Recently, they traveled to Florida to compete in an International tournament, the Disney Sun and Surf Baseball Bash.  

 

After beating teams from Illinois, Florida and Massachusetts, they came from behind to beat an Elite team from Kentucky which was actually a Regional All-star team made up of top players from Colorado, Ohio, Kentucky and other Mid-Western states.    

 

That set the stage for the Championship game against Puerto Rico who was heavily favored and ESPN’s highlighted team.   The Cyclones won 3-0 behind a wonderful pitching performance by Nick Collins who tossed a 1 hit shutout.   Many great defensive plays were made as well.    Over the course of the tournament, the Cyclones collectively hit over .419 and had an on base percentage of over .700.    In addition to over 30 base hits, they… Continue reading

Love Your Team

Bob ‘Hondo’ Malandro never intended to become a baseball coach, let alone one of the most successful at the scholastic level; but, that’s what he did. Since 1989 he has led his high school and travel teams to several championships and guided numerous young people to be everything they could be, both as baseball players and as people. Most of all, he has done it with a love for the game and his players that serves as a throw-back model for what coaching in the modern era should mean.

MSG Varsity Says it All!

His 2012 team at Holy Trinity High School, probably his best “on paper,” reflects the best of his philosophy as a coach, as a lover of the game, and as a guiding influence for aspiring, young athletes. Although he likes to talk about the Catholic League Championship that the 2012 team garnered, he enjoys even more talking about his players from that season. “Five guys went on to Division 1 programs: LHP Alex Robinson to Maryland, RHP Anthony Rosati attended St.John’s, 2B Jack Parent to Stony Brook, SS Joey DeVito went to Fordham, and C Chris Hardardt to Hofstra.” A sixth player, RF Patrick Madigan, a… Continue reading

Swing for the Fences (Rob Semple, Contest Winner)

(Publisher’s Note: This article was written by Rob Semple of Ronkonkoma, NY.  He is the winner of Long Island Baseball Magazine’s Spring 2013 writing contest.  Congrats to Rob and the other competitors on a job well done!) 

As a diehard Yankee fan, I’ve been blessed with a lifetime of exhilarating baseball, yet for me, no professional baseball memory compares to what happened in the summer of 1982, down at cozy Hallock Park in Patchogue, N.Y., when I was a twelve year-old little-leaguer. 

Rob Semple is a “diehard yankee fan!” (Courtesy of eyetheticker.com)

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning of a late-season game, a man on first, and the score tied at 12, I stepped into the batter’s box and the umpire, on account of darkness, promptly declared, “Last batter.” My father, also the coach, immediately waved me towards him, and thoroughly understanding the situation, whispered forcefully, “Swing for the fences,” before nudging me back to the plate.

To that point, I’d never hit a home-run in organized baseball (and would finish my career with two), but after the first pitch skidded in the dirt, I swung at the second with everything… Continue reading

Baseball with Matt: Jordan Deitch and Mordecai Brown

Hey baseball fans!

 

Matt Nadel of Baseball with Matt here with some more on baseball history. A couple of days ago, I talked with high school student Jordan Deitch about his pitching career and how important baseball is to him. He was a very interesting guy with a characteristic that is sadly similar to a very prominent Hall of Fame pitcher.

Mordecai Brown (Courtesy of bleedcubbieblue.com )

Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown was one of the best National League pitchers in the early 20th century. He is called “Three Finger” because when he was a kid, a farming accident caused him to lose two fingers on his pitching hand. However, because of this, Brown was able to get a lot of movement on every pitch he threw, therefore able to get more hitters swinging on his erratic pitches. Anyway, from 1903-1916 with the Cardinals, Cubs, Reds, and a couple of teams in the Federal League, the Dead Ball Era ace had 239 victories, meaning Brown’s winning percentage was a lofty .648 during his career, 30th all time. He posted six 20-win seasons and rivaled Christy Mathewson as the best pitcher in the league, defeating Matty on nine consecutive occasions. Brown’s… Continue reading

Two of A Kind

 

As many baseball people on Long Island know by now, the new Long Island Baseball Magazine (LIB) sponsored the first-ever, Coaches Select Top 100 High School Seniors, in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, last December. Each player received a commemorative award and recognition in LIB’s inaugural edition, as well as on libaseballmag.com. Unfortunately, although every school was invited to name its two top senior payers, not all schools participated. As a result, some notable players missed out on the opportunity to join their fellow seniors in what proved to be a precedent setting occasion.

 

LIB Magazine takes this opportunity to give recognition to two of the better players in Suffolk County, who play at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach, and who could have easily qualified as part of the Coaches Select Top 100. We are talking about the Russo twins, Chris and Nick. Both have garnered impressive accolades for their skills and achievements, both on the field and in the classroom.

 

Chris Russo: Catcher (Family Photo)

Nick, for one, has started on varsity at shortstop since his sophomore year, achieving Academic All-League status in sophomore year and All-League recognition in his junior year. Not to be… Continue reading

“How To” Work Hard: with former Minnesota Twins Pitcher Frankie Rodriguez

In the next installment of our “Pro Tips” series, I sat down with former Major League pitcher Frankie Rodriguez to discuss all things baseball.

 

Frankie Rodriguez (Courtesy of baseball-almanac.com )

Frankie is a self determined individual. He told me “ The only person that every really inspired me was the person in my mirror. In the end you will get out what you out in. I my friend, put in some time/blood/sweat and tears, that’s the only reason I reached my goal.”That’s how Frankie was able to reach the big leagues. He worked hard every step of the way.

 

Mr. Rodriguez pitched in the Major Leagues from 1995-2001 with the Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, and Cincinnati Reds. He mostly pitched as a reliever during his seven year big league career, but was used as a starter. In fact in 1996 while with the Twins, Frankie won 13 games and pitched more than 200 innings. As a big leaguer, Frankie was known for his fierce spirit and competitive drive. Even since his retirement in 2001, Frankie has kept his competitive drive as a coach.

 

I asked Mr. Rodriguez about his transition from player to… Continue reading

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