Raised in the suburbs and farmlands of northwestern New Jersey, a young boy grew up with one love: baseball. A NYPL ballpark was located within walking distance, passing a few farms on a dirt road, an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals at the time. I spent countless summer days there with a typically near-empty stadium (likely explaining their eventual relocation). Nonetheless, I sat rigorously filling out my scorecard, taking in the peaceful nuances of America’s pastime with childhood innocence and excitement.
Pursuing my passion, I moved to NYC to study Sports Business at NYU. I worked for organizations such as the New York Mets, New York Yankees, NBC Sports, Madison Square Garden, and more. That little boy with a love of baseball was now attending games as a staff member.
I currently reside in Astoria, Queens, on a quiet, tree-lined block with a different ballpark in my backyard. Despite incredibly fond memories at Shea, Citi Field still felt like home from the very first game played there.
Opening the stadium gates for the first time on a misty Sunday afternoon, Georgetown University defeated St. John’s. More importantly, as part of the 20,000+ fans in attendance, we witnessed the New York Mets’ new home. It still feels like yesterday exploring every walkway and corridor of this new cathedral in Queens. Now surrounded by beer gardens and restaurants in the area, the days of walking by warehouses and car garages are no more. Nonetheless, a new era of baseball had ushered into the borough.
It’s a new era that has seen optimism. A new era that has also seen the typical heartbreak that Mets fans have come to expect, endure and tortuously preside thru. A new era (despite an infamous trade in 2019) that has promising prospects on the horizon and some already welcomed to the MLB roster as core aspects of the team’s future (i.e. Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil). A new era that has fans looking forward to the future for once, all the while enjoying the present.
As I join the Mets minor league coverage team here on Prospects1500, I look forward to covering the future of the New York Mets and ushering in this era of optimism with you all. I was on the field as the Royals celebrated their World Series victory in Queens. One day, NYC will see another World Series victory on that field; only this time, the city will light up orange and blue.
Please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @MikeyyMarino. I am involved in many aspects of the prospect world. That includes the Cape Cod League, NCAA, Arizona Fall League, Area Code Games, summer showcase circuits, and more.