Name: Sam Agnew-Wieland
Birthday: May 31, 1992
Hometown: Marietta, Georgia
College: Appalachian State
Favorite Movie: Lethal Weapon 6
What is your most memorable moment in baseball as a player? The 2013 MLB Draft (Drafted in the 24th Round)
As a spectator? 1995 World Series
What was your favorite baseball team growing up? Atlanta Braves
Who is your favorite MLB player of all time? Andres Galarraga, because he’s the man.
What are your goals as a minor league baseball player? To win a New York-Penn League title!
What special talents do you have? I am a bird-whisperer.
What do you like most about New York City? The New York Yankees
The least? The New York Mets
What was the greatest struggle for you as a child? Dribbling a basketball left-handed.
What was the best advice you ever received? When the tough get going, go and get tough.
What was the first concert you ever saw? Counting Crowes
What was your first job? YMCA Camp Counselor
What was the last book you read? “Bullpen Diaries: Mariano Rivera, Bronx Dreams, Pinstripe Legends, and the Future of the New York Yankees” by Charley Rosen
What would you be doing if you weren’t playing baseball? Working toward my Philosophy degree
Want to follow Sam’s journey in Staten Island and beyond? Follow him on Twitter: @SamHyphen
On June 18 at 7 p.m. the Staten Island Yankees will play host to a true Throwback Thursday. The Baby Bombers welcome ’80s star Tiffany to the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George for a special appearance and live performance! To get you warmed up for the big night, we asked Tiffany herself a few questions so you could get to know her a little better.
- What’s the last sporting event you attended? “Nashville Predators hockey game”
- What are you most excited for when coming to the Staten Island Yankees game? “Being at games is a lot more fun than watching sports on TV for me.”
- Who is your favorite baseball player of all time? “Mickey Mantle”
- What is your favorite sport? “Hockey”
- What is your favorite sports team? “Nashville Predators”
- If you could trade places with one athlete in any sport, who would it be and why? “MMA fighter Ronda Rousey, because she’s a bad ass.”
- What’s the first baseball game you ever attended? “Yankees game when I was on tour with my band in the ’80s!!!”
- What’s your favorite sports moment from the ’80s? “Raiders games in Los Angeles… a lot of fun”
- If you could pick one sporting event in the world to attend, what would it be? “World Cup Final”
- Have you ever thrown out a first pitch at a baseball game? “Yes I have, and I’m terrible.”
By Robert Pimpsner (Pinstriped Prospects)
Since the 2001 season, the Staten Island Yankees and the Brooklyn Cyclones have faced off against each other in what can only be considered one of the top rivalries in all of Minor League Baseball, the Battle of the Boroughs. It is a rivalry that is ingrained in the fabric of the communities themselves and was only natural to extend to the field. Long considered “the forgotten borough”, Staten Island has always sat in the shade to its more famous neighbor across the bridge.
Since 2001, the Brooklyn Cyclones have won the McNamara Division four times and the New York-Penn League wild card four times, while the Staten Island Yankees have won the division title six times and had one wild card berth. In all sense of the game, the two New York City rivals have dominated the New York-Penn League since the year 2000.
Throughout the years there have been many memorable moments between the two teams. Emotions run high in these games, and the fans are always on the edge of their seats. You never know what will happen, whether it is a bench clearing brawl like the one that got eight Staten Island players suspended and fined in 2003 or the switching incident in 2008 when Pat Venditte made his professional debut.
Players like Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Chien-Ming Wang, and Brett Gardner have taken the field against the Cyclones, but one of the most memorable moments came in 2008 when the switch-pitching Pat Venditte made his professional debut. Pat is one of only a few switch-pitchers in professional baseball history. With two outs in his pro debut, the switch-hitting Ralph Henriquez walked up to the plate. The ensuing confusion saw both Venditte and Henriquez switch sides several times before the umpires declared that Henriquez must step in right-handed. Four pitches later Henriquez would strike out and a new rule would have to be created. There are not many players in history who can say a new rule was created because of them.
With this being one of the most intense rivalries in the minors, emotions run high. So high that these teams have faced off in two bench-clearing brawls. The first one taking place in Staten Island on July 17, 2003. In the sixth inning, Yankees pitcher Matt DeSalvo fired a fastball inside that connected with Brooklyn’s Andy Wilson’s helmet. Wilson dropped to the ground immediately, bounced up, took off the helmet, and slammed it to the ground before charging at the mound. The resulting scuffle cleared both benches. After 28 minutes the police and security came over to break it up. Yankees pitcher Brad Blackwell was sent to the hospital to get stitches, and a few days later eight players were fined and suspended.
On August 21, 2006, the Staten Island Yankees were playing the Brooklyn Cyclones at MCU Park. Early on the Yankees found themselves down, 4-1, but in the third inning the Baby Bombers went ahead and had a 9-6 lead over the Cyclones. Staten Island manager Gaylen Pitts was ejected from the game after arguing with the umpire leaving his coaching staff in charge. In the eighth inning, and after the Yankees plated 10 more runs, emotions went wild. Both benches cleared in a massive fight on the field. Running out of the clubhouse and back onto the field was Pitts wearing a tank top, shorts and flip flops heading straight for the fight. After the Yankees went on to win 21-6, Pitts was suspended for three games.
Needless to say these games are among the most popular, always drawing good crowds in both ballparks. The fans are engaged, always ready to cheer for their favorite team and ready for excitement. These games are among the most emotional and competitive for both teams all year. What will happen this year? It is time to find out. Enjoy the game!
We’re now entering the final leg of voting for the Staten Island Yankees 15th Anniversary Team! Only the outfielders remain to be decided. Voting officially closes at noon on Friday, June 6, with an announcement of the full, fan-chosen roster coming later that day. Cast your votes now to help us decide which three (3) outfielders will be featured in our All-Time Greats card set to be given away at three separate games this season!