July 2013

Stepping up to Bat with Trent Garrison

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Name: Trent Garrison

Position: Catcher

Bat: Left     Throws: Right

Height: 6’     Weight: 192 lbs.    

Date of Birth: 5/24/1990

Hometown: Murrieta, CA

High School: Vista Murrieta High School

College: Fresno State

What is your most memorable moment in baseball as a player?

Winning 4 WAC Championships

Besides your on the field accomplishments, what would you consider your greatest triumph and why?

Getting a college degree with a 3.0 GPA because I always dreamed about college and baseball.

What are your goals as a minor league baseball player?

To play to the best of my ability and do everything I can to help the team win.

What family member are you closest with? Why?

Twin brother because he is my twin and we both play baseball.

If you could play catch with anyone (alive or deceased), who would it be and why?

Mickey Mantle, because he was a phenomenal player.

What was your first job?

Pizza maker at a restaurant

What’s the worst physical pain you’ve ever endured?

Tearing my ACL

What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

“Red” by Taylor Swift

What would you do if you weren’t playing baseball?

Join Sheriff Academy to become a deputy

Do you have any superstitions? What are they?

Sticking with the same batting gloves when succeeding.

What is your favorite…

Food? Chinese/Sushi

Movie? Bull Durham

TV Show? SportsCenter

Video Game? MLB The Show

Athlete? Shaun White

Thing you take on the road? iPad & headphones

Stepping up to Bat with Kale Sumner

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Name: Chaunsey “Kale” Sumner

Position: Catcher

Bat: Right     Throws: Right

Height: 5’11″     Weight: 211 lbs.    

Date of Birth: 6/16/1991

Hometown: Kailua, HI

High School: Kailua High School

College: Hawaii Pacific University

What is your biggest career highlight?

Winning a batting title for my conference.

How do you feel about being a part of the New York Yankees organization?

It’s always been a dream of mine to play for the Yankees.

How/why did you start playing baseball?

I started playing baseball because my family is a sports family. My grandpa is the softball coach at Hawaii Pacific University so I grew up around the game.

In your career thus far, have you been coached by or received advice from any famous athletes? If so, what advice did they give you?

Benny Agbayani. To stay focused and know what your goals are.

Who is your favorite major league baseball player?

David Eckstein was always one of the smallest players but played the game with heart and passion.

What family member are you closest with? Why?

My sister. She is only three years older than me. Growing up, we spent a lot of time together playing baseball in the back yard.

What is the most played song on your iPod?

“Sky is the Limit” by Rebelution

What special talents do you have, if any?

Know how to body board waves.

What’s the worst physical pain you’ve ever endured?

Getting hit in the head from a bad hop ground ball.

Do you have any superstitions? What are they?

Clear the dirt in the batter’s box and make it neat.

What is your favorite…

Food? Kalua pig and poi

Movie? Final Season

TV Show? ESPN

Video Game? Madden

Athlete? Robinson Cano

On the Mound with Rookie Davis

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Name: William “Rookie” Davis

Position: Right-handed pitcher

Bat: Right     Throws: Right

Height: 6’5″     Weight: 245 lbs.    

Date of Birth: 4/29/1993

Hometown: Sneads Ferry, NC

High School: Dixon High School

Previous Team (Affiliation): GCL Yankees

Twitter: @rookdavis24

How/why did you start playing baseball?

Started throwing the ball in the living room at age 3 and just never stopped.

What is your most memorable moment in baseball as a player? As a spectator?

Playing in the Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley Field – and playing in the high school state championship series. As a spectator, being able to be in attendance for Cal Ripken’s 2131 game.

Who is your favorite major league baseball player of all time?

My favorite player of all time is probably Roger Clemens. He attacked hitters and competed.

What was your greatest struggle for you as a child?

Being able to overcome being shy and be myself around new people.

If you could play catch with anyone (alive or deceased), who would it be and why?

Nolan Ryan. Pick his brain about baseball and experience.

What kind of music do you like?

Rap mostly. Meek Mill, Eminem, Jay-Z. I throw in different genres sometimes.

Besides your on the field accomplishments, what would you consider your greatest triumph?

Having a 4.3 GPA throughout high school.

What special talents do you have, if any?

I can play piano and took gymnastics growing up.

What family member(s) are you closest with? Why?

My mom, dad, and sister [Ayrien, 21, attends ECU]. They’ve always been there for me and always will.

Do you have any superstitions? What are they?

Never step on the chalk line and always talk to my grandma after warm-ups.

What is your favorite…

Food? Chicken

Movie? For Love of the Game or Field of Dreams

Book? “Mind Gym” by Gary Mack and David Casstevens

TV Show? Baseball Tonight

Video Game? Call of Duty

Athlete? Lebron James

Thing you take on the road? Beats by Dre, Macbook, phone, Mind Gym, and baseball gear

On the Mound with Andy Beresford

SIY_AndyBeresford_CarouselName: Andy Beresford

Position:  Right handed pitcher

Bat: Right     Throws: Right

Height: 6’7″     Weight: 200 lbs.    

Date of Birth: 2/26/1990

Hometown: Corona, California

High School: Santiago High School

College: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

What is your most memorable moment in baseball as a player?

Getting my first win after coming back from two UCL tears.

What is your biggest career highlight?

Throwing my high school’s first no-hitter.

Who is your favorite major league baseball player?

Mariano Rivera. He has been baseball’s most consistent closer for years. His attitude is admirable.

How do you feel about being a part of the New York Yankees organization?

It is a blessing to be representing the most storied franchise in baseball history.

What kind of music do you like?

I love electronic dance music. Hardwell, Calvin Harris, Tiesto

What special talents do you have, if any?

Recently picked up DJing and got pretty good at it.

While growing up, who was the most influential person in your life and why?

My Dad. Playing baseball, he was always my coach, and he pushed me to be the best that I could ever be.

What was the biggest challenge/obstacle you’ve ever faced and how did you overcome it?

Tearing my UCL twice in college. I had to become mentally tough to accomplish anything I set my mind to.

What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

“Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry

Do you have any superstitions? What are they?

Whenever I have a successful outing, I match identically what I did to what I wear to what I eat.

What is your favorite…

Food? Burritos

Book? Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

Video Game? NBA 2K13

Athlete? Lebron James

Yanks Go Yard with Ricky Keeler

ImageWhen I got the opportunity to cover the games and recap my experience this season for YanksGoYard.com, Fansided’s Yankees’ website, it was a great opportunity to not only learn more about the minor league game, but to get a unique experience first-hand of being a media member at a baseball game. It has allowed me to get a different perspective from other media members who are well-credentialed in the field as well as getting a chance to ask Coach Pope and the players about how the season is going.

Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George has always given a good plethora of memories to me. My family has been season-ticket holders for the past 5+ seasons. There have been good pros that have made their way to the Bronx through Staten Island such as Brett Gardner, Robinson Cano, Chien Ming-Wang, and lately, Zoilo Almonte. In fact, I used to go to games when the team played at the College of Staten Island in their early years. 

One of the most unique experiences I have had this season was sitting behind the plate on a Thursday night in June when Staten Island was taking on the Hudson Valley Renegades. It wasn’t just a typical Thursday night. During this game, Staten Island’s own Dillon McNamarra made his professional baseball debut in front of the home fans. He got a standing ovation from the crowd that has seemed to embrace this group of players so far this season. It was interesting to be in attendance to watch a player who told us at media day that he grew up going to the ballpark that he was now pitching in. 

This year’s team is different from the past because it features a lot of promising players that were drafted out of college. It was interesting to see the Yankees’ first round pick , 3B Eric Jagielo, get some time here in Staten Island. So far, he has not disappointed, with a .412 average and 7 RBI’s in his first four games. Yeicok Calderon has been the main power cog for the team with 5 home runs and 17 RBI’s. 

The pitching has also been a nice surprise from some of the Yankees that pitched in the Gulf Coast League last season. Giovanny Gallegos and Jairo Heredia have shown high 90+ fastballs, great control with not giving up walks (2 walks combined), and the ability to eat innings when the team has needed it the most. 

However, the one thing that stands this team apart from past seasons is their mental toughness late in games. This season, the team has played numerous extra-inning games, had a rain shortened game, and seen dramatic comebacks, such as the Bubba Jones’ walk-off single on Monday night. 

Overall, these games have helped the prospects grow as players and truly show that the team is never out of a ballgame. Plus, the team is very versatile. As Pope told us after the opener, the team has three center fielders, which allows the prospects to develop at other positions and prepare to play at the Major League level someday. 

Staten Island has shown some great promise, and while Hudson Valley seems to be dominating the division so far, I expect the Baby Bombers to be back in the postseason this year due to their bats being 4th in the league in hitting (.259 batting average) and a solid pitching staff heading by Gallegos and Heredia will get them to the postseason. Michael O’Neill, Paul’s nephew, and Jagielo are solid run-producers in the middle of the lineup as well. It will be fun to watch how this team develops this season as they push for yet another New York-Penn League Championship. 

As the season goes on, I hope to gain more experience and insight into the life of a media member in professional baseball. As a college student, this is an unique opportunity that does not come around too often. Being up close to the action, it helps me grow not only as a writer, but as a sports journalist. 

Finally, this experience is showing me so far that the sacrifice fly or the great defensive play to save a run might not show up in the box score or in the newspaper, but it is important to watch every play because every moment in a game is a learning experience for both a player and a journalist. You never know what you will see when you go to a baseball diamond, so being prepared for anything is a lesson I will take from this experience. 

I thank the Staten Island Yankees for giving us at Yanks Go Yard this unique opportunity this season! 

Thank you Thursday – 7.11.13

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It’s been a little over a month since our last Thank you Thursday post. After 22 games, the Staten Island Yankees are 11-11 and 1.5 games behind Aberdeen for 1st place. Summer is in full swing and plenty of fans have had some fun at Richmond County Bank Ballpark!

With that said, Staten Island and the NYC Metro Area are still in recovery mode from Hurricane Sandy. The Staten Island Yankees have donated $11,167 to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The Staten Island Yankees also donated $10,000 in Shop Rite gift cards to families in Staten Island affected by Hurricane Sandy and an additional $324 to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation due to the Staten Island Yankees fans support of the 2013 season with plan sales in past 12 weeks. The grand total to date donated to helping make a difference in the lives of many Staten Island families affected by Hurricane Sandy by the Staten Island Yankees is $21,491.

In other news, Sales Executive, Joe Mola accepted a certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Staten Island Yankees two days ago from the Knights of Columbus Menresa Council #2147. The certificate read “In grateful recognition of your support in efforts to rebuild following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, that we might better serve the community.” 

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THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your support of the Staten Island Yankees and helping make a difference in the lives of many affected by Hurricane Sandy.

 

 

On the Mound with Philip Walby

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Name: Philip Walby Jr.

Position: Pitcher    

Bat: Left     Throws: Right

Height: 6’3″     Weight: 215 lbs.    

Date of Birth: 7/24/1992

Hometown: San Diego, California

High School: Scripps Ranch High School

College: San Diego State University

Who is your favorite major league baseball player? Currently? All time? Why?

Addison Reed because he went to SDSU, and Tony Gwynn because he was my idol growing up.

How do you feel about being a part of the New York Yankees organization?

It is a blessing and an honor to be part of the Yankees organization.

What are your hobbies?

Surfing, movies

Why did you start playing baseball?

My parents wanted me to make some friends because I was an only child.

What is your most memorable moment in baseball as a player?

Winning the Mountain West Conference Championship Tournament.

In your career thus far, have you ever been coached by or received advice from any famous athletes?

Tony Gwynn was my head coach for three years, and it helped a tremendous amount.

While growing up, who was the most influential person in your life and why?

My dad because he helped me grow up and become a responsible man.

What family member are you closest with?

Both my parents because they have supported me every step of the way.

If you could play catch with anyone (alive or deceased), who would it be and why?

Randy Johnson. To see his slider.

What is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?

“Call Me Maybe”

What is your favorite…

Food? Anything!

Movie? Superbad, Happy Gilmore

Book? 1984

TV Show? South Park

Video Game? FIFA

Athlete? Addison Reed

Thing you take on the road? Phone

Live from St. George with Russell Steinberg

ImageGive me a hotdog, a ballgame and some fireworks and I’m a happy guy. Throw in the chance to watch the stars of tomorrow with the Manhattan skyline in the background, and it’s all pretty tough to beat.

Baseball and the 4th of July go perfectly together, and this year it was no different at Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island. Sure, the Yankees fell in this one 9-1 against the first-place Hudson Valley Renegades, but the great part about baseball is that there’s always tomorrow.

Yankees starter Jairo Heredia didn’t have his best stuff. Through his first three starts he had thrown 13.1 innings giving up just one run, but Ariel Soriano touched him up early on Thursday with a home run to right center on the first pitch of the game.

“He battled,” manager Justin Pope said of his starter. “He could have easily caved in at any time during the game, but he didn’t.”

Heredia settled down from there, keeping the Renegades off the board until the fourth inning, but the Yankees’ bats could not take advantage. The silver lining for fans, though, was their first glimpse of first-round pick Eric Jagielo. The third baseman made his Staten Island debut on Thursday, going 1 for 4.  Jagielo is coming from a rehab stint in Tampa where he worked his way back from a hamstring injury while soaking up advice from big leaguers like Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson.

“I know the first year is the toughest,” Jagielo said, adding that Rodriguez told him getting into a daily routine will help him manage the grind of playing every day.

Fans will expect more success from Jagielo as he continues to adjust to pro ball. It’s just a question of how long he will be in Staten Island. Higher levels of the minors surely await him, as he seems to be fundamentally sound, especially in the field.

“A lot of young players are kinda looking in to have you tell him what to do,” Pope said. “Whereas you look over and he’s already where he needs to be.”

Pope added that though it’s always tough to lose a game, Heredia kept the Yankees in a position to win throughout. Heredia gave up four runs on eight hits in six innings, striking out five.

While the Yankees continued to struggle to push a run across, the crowd of 4,703 remained hopeful, making its “Let’s Go Yankees” cheers heard for much of the night. Assistant director of entertainment Michael Katz also helped elevate the crowd’s energy, as he does every night. His cheers, dances, jokes and contests provide plenty of entertainment between each inning (and if you’re lucky, a flying t-shirt could be coming your way as well).

Unfortunately for the Yankees, no amount of extra fan energy was able to counteract an explosive top of the ninth for the Renegades. Already leading 4-0, they tacked on five more runs to put the game out of reach. A home run from Yeicok Calderon in the bottom of the ninth did little to help. It was Calderon’s team-leading fifth home run of the year and he accounts for half of the team’s long balls so far.

Tickets are still available for Tuesday night’s game against the Connecticut Defenders. There’s no better time to visit the ballpark and see the Baby Bombers in action then right now!

Russell Steinberg runs the blog “Live from St. George,” which covers the 2013 Staten Island Yankees. He graduated from NYU in 2012 and writes part-time for SBNation.com.

Stepping up to Bat with Derek Toadvine

SIY_DerekToadvine_CarouselName: Derek Toadvine

Position: Infielder

Bat: Right     Throws: Right

Height: 5’10”     Weight: 175 lbs.    

Date of Birth: 3/20/1992

Hometown: Springfield, OH

High School: Kenton Ridge High School

College: Kent State University

Twitter: @dtoad2KSU

What is your biggest career highlight?

Scoring the winning run to advance to the College World Series.

Who is your favorite major league baseball player? Why?

Ken Griffey Jr. I liked the way he played in all aspects.

Have you played any other sports besides baseball?

Football – 5 years. Basketball – 7 years.

What are your hobbies?

Golf, hanging with friends, sports

What kind of music do you like?

All music. Rap, R&B, pop, country…

While growing up, who was the most influential person in your life and why?

Mom, because she raised me by herself.

Besides your on the field accomplishments, what would you consider your greatest triumph?

Becoming the first person in my family to attend college.

How did you start playing baseball?

I just always played wiffle ball with my grandfather.

If you could play catch with anyone (alive or deceased), who would it be and why?

Derek Jeter. Just to chat and pick his brain.

What would you do if you weren’t playing baseball?

Finishing my business degree.

What is your favorite…

Food? Bacon

Movie? Wedding Crashers

TV Show? Prison Break, Weeds

Video Game? MLB The Show

Athlete? Lebron James

Thing you take on the road? iPod & headphones

Stepping up to Bat with John Murphy

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Name: John Murphy

Position: Shortstop  

Bat: Left     Throws: Right

Height: 5’11”     Weight: 180 lbs.    

Date of Birth: 4/2/1991

Hometown: Seymour, Connecticut

Twitter: @John_Murphy4

College: Sacred Heart University

How do you feel about being a part of the New York Yankees organization?

It’s been my dream, and I couldn’t be happier.

Have you played any other sports besides baseball?

Basketball up until senior year of high school.

What is your most memorable moment in baseball as a player?

Becoming a Cape Cod All-Star.

What family member(s) are you closest with?

Mother and sister (Shannon, 25). We have incredible bonds, and they have supported and helped me my whole life.

What are your hobbies?

Bike riding, working out, listening to music

While growing up, who was the most influential person in your life and why?

My late father. He gave me the drive and will to play pro baseball.

What was the biggest challenge/obstacle you’ve ever faced and how did you overcome it?

Losing my father in high school. Stay mentally tough and know he’s still watching.

Besides your on the field accomplishments, what would you consider your greatest triumph and why?

Graduating college. It was hard with classes and sports to be able to finish in four years.

Who is your favorite major league baseball player and why?

Derek Jeter because of the way he handles himself. He’s a true winner.

What is the most played song on your iPod?

“Bad Habits” by Mike Stud

What is your favorite…

Food? Breaded chicken

Movie? Ocean’s Eleven, Pineapple Express

Book? Cage Rat

TV Show? Breaking Bad

Video Game? Halo 3

Athlete? Derek Jeter

Thing you take on the road? Beats by Dre headphones