Friday, January 21, 2011
Allow Me to (Re)Introduce Myself
To borrow the words from another great Brooklyn-ite, Mr. Sean Carter, or as he is known to his friends, Jay-Z, allow me to reintroduce myself! My name is Billy, and quite frankly I’m not that different from Jay-Z. I grew up in Brooklyn…I’ve been to a Nets game…well, maybe on second thought we’re not as similar as I thought we were.
So I have been tabbed with the unenviable task of taking over as the blogmaster of the Brooklyn Baseball Blog. My predecessor, Dave, left me with some VERY crooked shelves, an office that looks like it should have been on that Hoarder’s show on A&E, and blog entries that have been legan…wait for it…dary!
I feel sort of like when Manny Alexander started at shortstop in place of Cal Ripken. Or in honor of Dave, when Mike Marshall started at 1B for the Mets on Opening Day instead of his beloved Keith Hernandez. So I could pick up where he left off and make jokes about Gary and his appendages, or talk about Kevin’s award winning smile … but I’ve decided to take the high road and like Robert Frost, I am going to take the road less traveled.
I figured I’d start off by explaining who I am and how I got here. When I graduated high school in 2001 I was lucky enough to join the Cyclones as an intern, and after each of my four years in college I instinctively returned to Coney Island like a Pacific Salmon. I was hear for Edgar Rodriguez’s home run on Opening Day 2001. When the team clinched the playoffs and Ross Peeples was doing the Cha-Cha slide on the field, I was there. I was here Miguel Pinango’s almost no-hitter. Put plainly, I’ve seen my share of Cyclones games.
Then at the end of the 2005 season I headed to State College for the inaugural season of the State College Spikes on the campus of Penn State University. Talk about a culture shock. I had never seen a horse without a jockey on its back, and then all of a sudden I found myself living between a stable of horses and a hog farm with pigs roughly the size of a SUV. I had made it 23 years of my life without knowing what cow-paddy bingo was, and within two weeks in Central PA I was a regular. But the tailgates were fun and I was introduced to the Penn State Creamery so all-in-all it wasn’t THAT bad.
So after two seasons with the Spikes – and one trip to the Orange Bowl for the Nittany Lions – I returned to New York and worked with the Mets for the last three years. Growing up in Bay Ridge, the Mets were my team, so working for the orange and blue was a dream job of sorts. I got to meet people like Tom Seaver, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Piazza – players whose jerseys I wore with pride when I was growing up, but when Steve came calling with an offer I couldn’t refuse…I had to come back to Brooklyn.