GNYSAA Holds 2nd Annual Christmas Baseball Clinic
GNYSAA Holds 2nd Annual Christmas Baseball Clinic
The Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance (GNYSAA) held the second annual Lou DeMartino Memorial Christmas Baseball Clinic at John Jay College on December 27. The clinic was attended by more than 200 people from high schools and local sandlot organizations from throughout the Greater New York area.
DeMartino was a Hall of Fame baseball coach who led the John Jay Bloodhounds to 424 wins in 27 seasons. DeMartino retired following the 1999 season and died on Feb. 1, 2002 at the age of 62. DeMartino operated the clinic for many years and the GNYSAA conducted it again in his honor.
The clinic drew many local coaches, scouts and volunteers including clinicians Augusto (Gus) Quinones from Bronx Community College, who gave the keynote address on the NCAA Clearinghouse and a keynote session on “What it Takes to be a Professional Baseball Player” with a panel comprised of Billy Blitzer (Scout, Chicago Cubs), Rusty Torres (New York Yankees), Dan Gallagher (Scout, Philadelphia Phillies/Fordham University), Frank Rodriguez (Minnesota Twins/Boston Red Sox), Dellin Betances (Yankee prospect) and Matt Rizzotti (Phillies prospect). Also, presenting were Queens College Head Coach Frank Battaglia, Eddie LaMarr, former St. John’s pitching coach, Concordia College Pitching Coach Paul LaMarr, Don Landolphi, Brooklyn College/St. John’s and Matt Rizzotti, Philadelphia Phillies prospect.
Additional thanks go to the staff of John Jay baseball, including Athletic Director Coach Dan Palumbo and the John Jay College Bloodhounds for providing the gymnasium. Thanks also go to New York Mets Community Relations Director Jill Knee for making Mr. Met available. The GNYSAA, an all-volunteer organization, was represented by Tom Brasuell, also of Major League Baseball, Gary Perrone, also of the Brooklyn Cyclones, GNYSAA President Victor Feld and Joe Victor.
Lou Santos deserves credit for making the clinic a reality. “This past Saturday at John Jay College was another banner day for our organization,” Santos said. “It was the most encompassing event that we have done in a long time. With this one event we were able to bring together and use all our organization’s resources in a positive manner for the NYC baseball community, including the involvement of our executive board, our partner organizations, clinicians (high school, college and professional), the John Jay College community, sandlot and Little League players from all over the Metro/LI area, Major League baseball through their scouts and retired major leaguers. The GNYSAA is perhaps the largest and most prestigious baseball community-minded organization in America, given the fact that we are truly a not-for-profit organization and that all our members are not paid. In fact, when you look at other organizations, none can boast that they are entirely volunteer. The GNYSAA truly is and that is what sets it apart.”
Preparations for next year’s clinic are already underway. Excitement about the prospects of making next year’s clinic even better is spreading among some of this year’s clinicians.
The GNYSAA is the successor to the Journal American Sandlot Alliance established in 1940 by Journal American Sports Editor Max Kase. It is currently comprised of area sandlot leagues, including Diamond Pros, Harlem RBI, Kings County American Legion, Long Island City YMCA, Long Island Connie Mack, Metropolitan New York Amateur Baseball Association, New York Federation, Police Athletic League, Queens Kiwanis Sports Association, Staten Island CYO and Staten Island Old Timers Organization. The GNYSAA has provided long-term support of New York City children through baseball, and currently serves approximately 21,000 young people ages 6 to 18 in the New York City Metropolitan area.
The GNYSAA held its annual All-Star Games this past season at Keyspan Park. Each year, the Sandlot Alliance operates the Frank J. Tempone Memorial Tournament in memory of a former director of the Long Island City YMCA in three different age divisions and the Raymond Church Memorial Tournament in memory of a former president of the GNYSAA and founder of the Dukes in its senior division. Dozens of current and former major leaguers have played in GNYSAA annual All-Star games and tournaments.
The GNYSAA also honors those that have given so much to youth baseball in the New York Metropolitan area at the annual Raymond Church Service to Youth Baseball Awards Dinner. At this year’s dinner, the GNYSAA posthumously honored Richard Arcari, Long Island Connie Mack League President Emeritus Joseph Victor, Metropolitan New York Amateur Baseball Association, President Bruno Franco, and the New York City Baseball Federation for their community service and work in youth baseball. Also at the dinner the Margaret Tempone and Raymond Church Memorial Scholarships and the first time Richard Arcari Memorial Scholarship were awarded to graduating high school student-athletes who have shown exceptional ability on the field complemented by community service and educational achievement
The GNYSAA is supported by the New York Mets Foundation, Major League Baseball and local fundraising. Contributions to the Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance are tax deductible. To make equipment or monetary donations to the GNYSAA contact Thomas Sylvester at 718-392-7932, ext. 239, e-mail email@example.com or mail to 32-23 Queens Blvd, Long Island City, N.Y. 11101.