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Griffey and Piazza are heading to Cooperstown

Nakeem Grant, January 12, 2016

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 trailbl...
Baseball Talk with the Bronx Umpires Alliance

Nakeem Grant, January 12, 2016

The Bronx Umpires Alliance dinner is held annually for umpires in the Bronx area of New York. They mainly cover outdoor sports such as baseball, softball, and football. It’s a time for umpires to rejoice, discuss the previous season, and what’s ahead for the upcoming season. Their discussions at the dinner consisted of several common themes, including the state of coaching in youth base...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Head Coach Jose Morel

Joe Nardini, December 5, 2015

Youth baseball thrives wherever kids play the game in the right way for the right reasons. Just ask Jose Morel, head coach for the Bergenfield Bears youth travel team. Jose believes in helping young ball players to “grow as a unit, to cultivate and grow as a group.” Human development priorities figure greatly into his coaching philosophy, and the 2015 collection of Bergenfield Little League (B...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Xavier Haskins

Joe Nardini, December 5, 2015

At 11 years-old, playing for a 12u All-star team, you might say that 2B-C Xavier Haskins is ahead of his time. Then again, standing at 4’8” and 80 lbs., you might also say that he has a lot of catching up to do. Either way, he makes his mark as a player and a teammate. Like his teammate, Rodolfo Sanchez, Xavier is a little guy who plays bigger than you might expect. Xavier likes playing “...



Bergenfield Bears 2015: Ricardo Suero

Joe Nardini, December 5, 2015

One of the time-honored truths of baseball is that, unlike other sports, it empowers the weak and humbles the strong. In that regard baseball is an equal opportunity sport: players of every size, shape and physical stature may achieve the same levels of success, provided they work hard enough to attain it. The Bears’ Ricardo Suero recognizes the inclusiveness of baseball. He likes playing...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Rodolfo Sanchez

Joe Nardini, December 5, 2015

In competitive sports, smaller players always have to work harder than the bigger players. Standing at 5’8” ‘Rocket’ Rod Laver was one of the shortest players in his sport, but he developed a wickedly powerful tennis serve that few could match when he played. Anthony Jerome ‘Spud’ Webb, standing at 5’6”, not only won an NBA slam dunk contest, but he did it in a league where players...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Malik Little, Jr.

Joe Nardini, December 5, 2015

Anyone who follows baseball has heard the well-known baseball maxim, “Baseball is a simple game; you see the ball, you hit the ball.” Although that quote comes from the 1988 movie, “Bull Durham,” it’s really an extended paraphrase of Pete Rose’s best piece of advice to aspiring young hitters. Once you get to know Malik Little, Jr. of the Bergenfield Bears, you could almost hear ...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Luke Beckles

Joe Nardini, December 5, 2015

In the universal family of baseball even fierce competitors build friendships that last entire playing careers and beyond. Classic rivals have always formed within the same teams as well as on opposing teams. Many morphed into classic friendships during and after their playing days. Among them, NY Giants’ manager John McGraw and ace pitcher Christy Mathewson, NY Yankees’ manager Billy Martin a...


More from New Jersey Baseball Magazine

Bergenfield Bears 2015: Julian Pinto

Joe Nardini, December 5, 2015

Of all the Bears players who formed Bergenfield’s inaugural Cooperstown travel team, Julian Pinto sits right up there as one of the true ‘gamers’ on the squad. The 5’1” (make sure to remember that 1”) 99 lb. SS-3B-2B likes playing baseball “because I love sports and team comradeship....
Bergenfield Bears 2015: John Gallagher, Jr.

Joe Nardini, December 5, 2015

John Gallagher, Jr., comes from a family of baseball lovers. In fact, he likes playing because, “My whole family loves baseball and it’s so much fun to play.” Standing at 5’7” and weighing 107 lbs., the right-handed Bergenfield Little League (BLL) P-C-1B-3B looks too tall to play at the 12...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Jason Ian Viray

Joe Nardini, December 4, 2015

As 1st basemen go, Major League Baseball has seen an imposing array of talented players. Just ask Jason Ian Viray. The 5’ 97 lb. P-1B for the 2015 Bergenfield Bears knows that in order to play first base, especially at the MLB level, a player has to play at the top of his game, every game, all the...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Giovani Gomez

Joe Nardini, December 4, 2015

Make no mistake, when Giovani Gomez dons his uniform and takes the field, he comes to play. The 5’4” 130 lb. LF-3B-1B-P-C for the inaugural Cooperstown Bears travel team likes playing baseball “because it requires Skill, Attitude, Focus, and Effort.” Although he might not have intended it, h...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Carmelo Dube

Joe Nardini, December 4, 2015

It’s been said that baseball is a universal family. If anyone personifies that concept, Carmelo Dube would certainly be one of them. He plays baseball “for the love, fun and passion of the game (and) to travel to different towns and meet new people.” Wherever he goes, as long as it’s to play...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Alejandro Penafiel

Joe Nardini, December 4, 2015

Team leaders emerge when they are needed. They rise to the occasion when no one else does or can, and they exhibit attributes such as discipline, perseverance, and teamwork. They do not get caught up in or distracted by statistics or personalities, they simply go out and perform and inspire others t...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Adela Morel

Joe Nardini, December 4, 2015

Adela Morel is not the first girl to play on a boys’ travel baseball team, and she will not be the last. Long before Adela played for her Bergenfield Bears at Cooperstown Baseball World (CBW), Kathryn Johnston, her hair tucked under a baseball cap, posed as a boy, tried out for and made a boys’ ...
Bergenfield Bears 2015: Allan Jasper Viray

Joe Nardini, December 4, 2015

You would think that four years spent preparing for anything makes a person as well prepared as possible. Isn’t that why a typical high school curriculum and a standard college undergraduate program last four years each? If so, then AJ Viray has had sufficient preparation to play Little League Bas...

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