In the midst of a 62-game losing streak, the Amityville baseball team felt like winners Saturday. The Warriors’ baseball team spent the afternoon at Citi Field, throwing in the bullpen, shagging fly balls in the outfield and hitting in the Mets’ batting cage in a private workout, which featured Mets first baseman Dominic Smith and infielder Luis Guillorme.
“I’ve never seen them this happy,” Amityville coach Chris Diot said. “We’ve had some tough seasons — not that this makes up for losing so much — but this kind of helps ease the pain and maybe help out in the future as far as getting a little better.”
But the Amityville baseball team hasn’t been concerned over its record the past few years. The players enjoy just the opportunity to compete, and to train with major leaguers on Saturday was an experience they said they’ll never forget.
“This experience has been surreal,” outfielder Bryan Canales said, sporting a Yoenis Cespedes jersey. “It’s really a dream come true. It’s always been my fantasy to walk out on a baseball field and I’m living the dream. I get to see my favorite team in action and it’s just incredible. It’s once in a lifetime.”
“It’s unreal,” catcher Patrick Abate said. “I walked on the field with a big ol’ smile on my face. It’s just great.”
Many of the players on the team have to balance a heavy work schedule including practice and school work. Baseball provides fun, the players said, and they don’t stress over what the scoreboard reads.
“I don’t know if I’d be able to handle it the same way they are,” Diot said. “And that’s a credit to them, that’s a credit to their parents, that’s a credit to who they are as people.”
The Mets players took notice as well, saying that the spirit the Amityville players displayed Saturday during drills should fare them well.
“It just shows you how much they really love the game,” Guillorme said. “To know that you haven’t been doing that well and to still go out there and still have fun and still be around your teammates and be happy about it, it shows a lot about how they’ve been raised and how the kids carry themselves.”
“You could definitely feel it just working with the kids,” Smith added. “You can tell they love baseball, they love practicing, they were very interactive and they just wanted to learn and get better and stuff like that really inspires me.”
And after learning a few tips from professional athletes, the Warriors hope to see an improvement on the field next season.
“Anything can happen in baseball,” Canales said. “Whether we’re down by five or winning by one, our competition, our attitude stays the same. I always keep my head up high and whatever happens, I just enjoy playing the game. It’s my love.”