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… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
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.
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… Continue reading
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… Continue reading
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,… Continue reading
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.” He also likes playing travel games because “I… Continue reading
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 12u level. That being said, John plays… Continue reading
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,… Continue reading
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, his view of the game reflects a common term… Continue reading
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 baseball, he feels… Continue reading
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 to do the same.
Alejandro… Continue reading
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’ Little… Continue reading
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 Baseball.
That’s how long ago the Bears’… Continue reading
We have often heard that leaders are not born, but they emerge when the time requires it. Andy DeLeon is one of those players who shows up and steps up when his team needs him the most. Just ask his teammates on any of several championship teams where he has contributed. You could start with his… Continue reading
When, about 1,500 years ago, Chinese philosopher Confucius advised people to “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” he could not have had Tanner Klein of the Slammers youth baseball travel team in mind. Then again, knowing Tanner’s love of baseball, perhaps the great philosopher foresaw… Continue reading
Julian Hammond does not mince words. When it comes to playing baseball he explains his reasons straightforwardly and comes right to the point. “I like playing because it’s fun and I’m successful at it.”
No one would argue Julian’s point, not unless they… Continue reading
When a game is on the line the clutch players always want the responsibility placed on them. Reggie Jackson, ‘Mr. October,’ hit postseason home runs – 3 in 3 at-bats on 3 pitches – when his team needed them most. Michael ‘Air’ Jordan defied gravity in more ways than his fans, his teammates, and his opponents,… Continue reading
You can always tell the people who love what they do from the people who just punch a clock. They’re the ones who show up first in the morning and leave last at night. They’re the ones who put in the extra time to do and redo the assigned task in order to get it right.… Continue reading
Easton Nichols is a work in progress. When you ask the 5’3” 118 lb. P-1B-OF to name his favorite professional players and explain why they are his favorites, he will tell you that they all “went through a tough time when they were in the dumps and now they are greats!” Among them he includes Yasiel… Continue reading