Brooklyn’s professional baseball players helping out at local high school league

John Franco is one of three former MLBers from Brooklyn that are helping out at NYC Varsity League. AP Photo.

John Franco is one of three former MLBers from Brooklyn that are helping out at NYC Varsity League. AP Photo.

A relatively new high school baseball program has emerged in Brooklyn and in its second year it seems to be doing well with 138 players last year to between 250 and 300 this year.

The NYC Varsity League, a league run by Gary Perone, the director of new business for the Brooklyn Cyclones, had at least 60 players take part in its first of three tryouts at MCU Park in Coney Island last Wednesday and anywhere between 250 and 300 players are eventually expected, according to Joseph Staszewski of the Community News Group.

The purpose of the league, which is affiliated with Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball in the city and to provide public and private school kids a league to play in during the fall as an alternative, or in addition to, travel teams (the Catholic school leagues currently do have a brief fall league).

“They are going to give the best experiences and the best development to the kids,” Perone told Staszewski. “If we provide them with the best venues then it’s going to be worthwhile for a kid to be part of the program.”

A few local MLB players are pitching in as coaches including John Franco of the Mets, Frankie Rodriguez of the Red Sox and Twins, and John Halama of the Mariners and St. Francis College.

It sounds like a pretty cool league that could help make an impact on the local sports scene and hopefully even grab a few kids from other sports as well. Hopefully we can give it some coverage here at the Eagle Sports blog this season. Check them out online at http://www.nycvarsityleague.com/.


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