With this being the teams fifteenth season in Staten Island the Staten Island Yankees held a special fan vote to name players to a 15-year team. Fans made their voices be heard and picked who their favorite players throughout the team’s history were. We have reached out to many of these former Baby Bombers to get their reaction and talk about their time in Staten Island.
First up is the switch-pitching Pat Venditte. Pat was drafted by the Yankees twice and made his professional debut in the summer of 2008 with the Staten Island Yankees. His unique gift, calm demeanor, and love for the game won fans over across the world and after a rather entertaining moment in his first game he became a cult icon across the globe. Minor League Baseball even had to make a new rule just for him.
Without further ado here is the brief interview with Staten Island Yankees 15-year team member Pat Venditte.
Congratulations on being named go the Staten Island Yankees 15-year team. Is it surprising to hear the fans remember you fondly that you were voted on the team?
It is a huge honor to be a on this list. With all of the high profile players that have put on this jersey over the past 15 years to have a spot on this roster is special to me.
What do you remember most from your time on the Staten Island Yankees?
I have many fond memories from my time in Staten Island. I would say the fans were the best part. I remember coming out 15 min before the game was starting and the stands were already full. It seems at least once a home stand we would have a sell out with passionate fans who made the experience great.
How was it to play in New York With the skyline behind you?
Having the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty right behind the outfield wall is unbelievable. Coming from Nebraska I had only seen NYC on movies. To have it in the back drop everyday was something that I loved and never took for granted.
You had one of the most memorable moments in Staten Island Yankees history in your first professional game against the Brooklyn Cyclones. What was going through your head at that moment?
As far as the switching incident all I really remember is wanting to have a good outing. It was my first time pitching since being drafted and I really wanted to make a good first impression with the Yankee organization. I don’t really remember being upset or confused. I just remember wanting to get the hitters out by whatever means possible that night.
You had the opportunity to pitch for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic. Can you tell us more about that experience?
Representing Italy in the WBC was a dream come true. To put on that Jersey meant so much to me and my family. We are a close knit Italian family who takes a great deal of pride in our heritage. It was special to have my whole family and my wife’s family there to experience it all.
Anything you would like to say to the Staten Island fans?
My experience during my time in Staten Island was unforgettable. From the personnel on the team and in the front office to the passionate fans and unbelievable venue, it was a special experience that a feel lucky to have been a part of.