Pitcher Norman Coleman-Goodin throws during the Long Island Ducks open...

Pitcher Norman Coleman-Goodin throws during the Long Island Ducks open tryout at Fairfield Properties Ballpark on Saturday, April 15. 2023. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The thing about the dream is that it resides in the deepest recesses of your mind and the cavernous dominions of your soul.

The dream of being a professional. Of perhaps one day of being in The Show.

It is always calling. Always pushing. Always hinting at the possibilities. Always challenging to explore every opportunity.

And the dream is what brought Norman Coleman-Goodwin to Fairfield Properties Park.

“I’ve always wanted to play at home in front of my family and friends,” said the 28-year-old sidewinding pitcher from Bellerose, Queens, who was one of 46 who made the trip to Central Islip on Saturday morning for the Long Island Ducks’ open tryout.

“There’s no greater opportunity,” Coleman-Goodwin said, “than the Ducks themselves.”

The tryout was designed to allow the Atlantic League team’s decision-makers to scout unaffiliated talent in person in order to see potential invitees to spring training, which starts Monday at the Ducks’ ballpark.

Infielder Ezequiel Santana (8) speaks with manager Wally Backman, right...

Infielder Ezequiel Santana (8) speaks with manager Wally Backman, right and president/GM Michael Pfaff while taking part in the Long Island Ducks open tryout at Fairfield Properties Ballpark on Saturday, April 15. 2023. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Position players were required to report to the ballpark by 8:30 a.m. and pitchers had to arrive no later than 10. Following warmups, the team had the athletes run a 60-yard dash before delving into baseball drills and ending with a scrimmage.

By 1:30 p.m., the day’s work had come to an end.

“This is just a really short tryout, what we had today,” manager Wally Backman said. “We’ll bring [them] to spring training so we’ll be able to see them for 10, 12 days and then we’ll re-evaluate [them] at that time.”

The Atlantic League allows for 26-player rosters. Heading into spring training, the plan team president and general manager Michael Pfaff and Backman have mapped out is for the Ducks to have 13 pitchers and 13 position players.

When camp opens Monday, those competing for jobs will include former major-leaguers Al Alburquerque, Daniel Murphy, Adeiny Hechavarria and Ruben Tejada.

Unlike Major League Baseball, in which teams and players are in Florida and Arizona for about six weeks, the Ducks will have 10 days to finalize their roster before starting the season on April 28 against the High Point Rockers in North Carolina.

“We hold it right before spring training each season,” Pfaff said of the only tryout the Ducks will hold. “Today is 48 hours prior to our first workout for spring training, so our coaches are in town, our staff’s in town, and we’re ready to look at what the greater Long Island region and the world has to offer us.”

Pfaff explained that the organization planned to invite “two to six potential people” to spring training. The Ducks ended up extending invitations to seven players, including Coleman-Goodwin. The others are Michael Wilson, a 25-year-old outfielder from Colonia, New Jersey; Edward Salcedo Diaz, a 31-year-old infielder from Paterson, New Jersey; Kevin Higgins, a 25-year-old infielder from North Attleboro, Massachusetts; Ezequiel Santana, a 29-year-old infielder from the Bronx; Jesse Russo, a 26-year-old outfielder from Westbury, and Gleyvin Pinera, a 25-year-old pitcher from Yonkers.

What was the commonality for those seven?

“They looked like they’re athletes,” Backman said. “They performed in a short time. They showed good fundamentals, things like that. They look like they’re fundamentally sound, but it’s just one day. It’s only three hours, four hours or whatever. So for the guys that we bring in we can evaluate them with . . . the players that we already have signed.”

Essentially, what took place under a gray sky was a first step, and the real work begins Monday. But for Coleman-Goodwin, who was heading back to Queens for a quiet night with his family and his dog, he knows what piqued Pfaff’s and Backman’s interest.

“They liked my confidence on the mound,” Coleman-Goodwin said. “The most important thing was I was just throwing strikes.”

And in doing so, he kept the dream alive.

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