There are a lot of great summer leagues spread all around the country. But I’d say, as a kid growing up,THE CAPE LEAGUE WAS ONE OF THE MOST TALKED ABOUT. Is it the best? A lot of people would say yes. I was very aware that it helped produce many Major League players.
In the fall of every school year, each kid selected to a Cape team will get a contract saying that he promises to play for that specific team the following summer. Did I have MY EYE ON CHATHAM? No, I just believed that I was good enough to go to the Cape [league opening is Wednesday]. Coaches want kids who can get the job done efficiently. Luckily, I’ve been able to show that this spring with BC. GETTING EACH OUT IN THREE PITCHES OR LESS, that’s the thing I’ve really improved on the past year.
I’m the youngest of three, and I think it’s more of an anomaly that I’m an athlete. If you look at me and you look at my two older sisters, you’d probably ask yourself, “How the hell is this kid an athlete?” Baseball doesn’t run through my family.
My father grew up in the Bronx. He’s a diehard Yankees fan. I grew up a Red Sox fan. But right now I’m around baseball so much, I LOOK PAST THE RIVALRY. I see past the pinstripes and look for good baseball. My dad is pretty much the same way.
My mom was born in Hong Kong, grew up there, then moved to Venezuela. [When I was a] toddler, she asked me what I wanted to be. I said, “I WANT TO PLAY MLB.” She had no idea what I was talking about. She asked my dad, “What’s MLB?” My dad said, “Your son wants to be a professional sports player.” — As told to Shira Springer
Interview has been edited and condensed. Send comments to email@example.com.