By Jeremy ArbitalJacoby
Yasiel Puig, right fielder for the Cincinnati Reds, visited the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) in Kings Point to meet players and coaching staff from the Mariners baseball team on Monday morning, April 29.
With humor and humbleness, the former Dodger fielded questions, presented a batting demonstration and offered tips.
His pointers included: “Stay positive”; “There are 27 outs in a game”; and “Support your teammates.”
Head Coach Michael Notebaert thoroughly appreciated the experience.
“Having a professional come and speak to the team is always good,” said Notebaert. “They will listen to him [Puig] more than their old crotchety coach.”
An interesting connection brought the Major Leaguer to the academy.
“I am engaged to Ginger DeLance, whose brother Jack DeLance is Mr. Puig’s executive assistant,” explained Rear Admiral Jack Buono.
“It is really because of me that he is here,” said Ginger DeLance with a laugh.
Buono discussed the importance of sports at USMMA.
“The leadership skills and discipline that a person gains from sports participation is something that cannot be taught in a classroom,” said the rear admiral, who went on to describe future plans at USMMA for building a new baseball and soccer facility to further support these programs.
The Mariners’ overall record for 2019 is 27 wins and 9 losses. The team is now headed to the playoffs. While there are no more home games this year, Notebaert enthusiastically invited the community “to come to our games next season.”
For more information regarding Mariners baseball and other sporting events at USMMA, visit www.usmmasports.com.
Jeremy ArbitalJacoby is a music teacher and Yankees fan who spends way too much time yelling at the TV during baseball season.