Local athletes have a blast at Staten Island FerryHawks
For 24-year-old Joseph Impeduglia, the baseball field is home.
” That’s all. That’s life. Yeah, since I can remember, I’ve been playing since I was four,” Impeduglia said.
Impeduglia grew up on Staten Island and played baseball here for most of his life.
Love of the game brought him to the Mid Island Babe Ruth ballpark on Saturday for an open tryout and a chance to play for the Staten Island FerryHawks, the new independent team replacing the defunct minor league Staten Island Yankees.
What do you want to know
- FerryHawks management held open tryouts to scout New York athletes.
- Trials were open to anyone willing to pay a $20 fee
- The FerryHawks’ first game is April 21 in Virginia and their first home game is May 3.
“It would mean the world to me. You know, family and friends come to almost every home game. It would be really special compared to other teams,” said Impeduglia. The FerryHawks’ league, the Atlantic League, is “arguably one of the most competitive independent leagues in the country. It would be really special.
Team management said more than 80 local athletes showed up for a roster shot with the new team that will play at Staten Island University Hospital Northwell Health Community Park.
“We opened the trials to everyone in New York, come participate and try to make our list,” said Gary Perone, executive vice president and general manager of the team.
“The goal for us is to see if we have any good talent that could make our roster and beyond the opening day squad for us here in Staten Island. Guys want to live their dreams, we will try to do this for them.
Former New York Met Nelson Figueroa is the team’s pitching coach.
“The level of talent varies a bit. You know, a lot of people think they could play professional baseball. Finally, they have a chance and an opportunity to do so,” Figueroa said. “With the FerryHawks being here in town, we wanted to make sure that the open invitation was open to everyone. We have a woman, we have guys who range from 60 to guys who are still 19.
The only woman to try out, 19-year-old Milagro Arias, says her motivation to try out for the team comes after the Atlantic League drafted a receiver to one of its teams.
“It’s more than just a game; it’s family, it’s sacrifice, it’s determination. I want to prove to myself something that I could do more than I think,” Arias said. “There’s no limit to what I can do roughly.”
Perone says the management is committed to signing a local player. Impedugliua says that even if it’s not him, he’s excited for what the team will bring to his hometown.
“For fans to come and see guys who arguably can play at this level, but just haven’t had the right opportunity, that will mean a lot,” Impeduglia said. “I think it’s going to be a big moment for you know, for the community this year for sure.”
The next step for these hopefuls is an invitation-only trial.
The FerryHawks’ first game is April 21 in West Virginia and their first home game is May 3.