by: Ryan McKenna
Who would have thought that a 17 year old teenager, who has his own podcasting business, and a professional baseball player would have something in common? I know I would be the first to doubt that, although just recently it came true.
While reading the book by Dirk Hayhurst called The Bullpen Gospels, I wanted to check to see if Dirk was on Twitter. While on “The Garfoose’s“(Twitter username) profile, I saw that he responded to Matt Antonelli or MattAntonelli9 (Twitter username). To be honest, I had never heard of Matt before, even after covering baseball for the last year and a half. What intrigued me the most about Matt’s Twitter page, was where his hometown was. Peabody, Massachusetts. The name might not seem familiar to you the reader, but it certainly is a special place for me, even if I have never visited there. Four years ago, I participated in the Peabody-Charlottetown Annual Baseball Tournament. The tournament, which was held at the grounds of the 2009 Canada Games Baseball field, hosted teams from across Prince Edward Island, and the Peabody All-Stars, from Massachusetts. At the age of 13, I was probably only 5’7-5’8, where as these new strangers from the United States of America where over 6 feet tall! My favorite baseball memories have come from that tournament, whether it was beating our rival Summerside in the crossover or being the starting pitcher in the Championship game and giving up a blast to David Ortiz’s next door neighbour growing up, that tournament will live with me forever.
After checking out Matt’s Twitter profile I decided to check out his blog. What a cool blog! I have never even heard of ANY professional baseball player who would take the time to make his own blog, let alone post cool video’s of random things or better yet give out his e-mail address to the world! By the way, if your thinking, “Who is Matt Antonelli?”, I will give you a brief summary. Matt is a 25 year old baseball player who was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 2006 MLB Entry Draft as the 17th overall pick. Matt plays second base and made his Major League debut in September of 2008. He had a hit in his first Major League Baseball at-bat off the great Gregg Maddux. Matt ripped it up in Spring Training this year, hitting .378 in 20 games. He is currently on the Disabled List after recovering from hand surgery. I capitalized on the opportunity to talk with a future MLB star, and fired Matt an e-mail. The theme of the e-mail was regarding that Peabody tournament, and I wondered if he ever did come to PEI and participate in the tourney. Matt did respond and it was a very nice response. Very well written and considerate. I think I may have just found my new favourite baseball player!
If you haven’t already check out Matt’s blog/website, follow this link and it will get you there. While I’m still writting I might as well tell you to expect a book review of Dirk’s book in the next couple weeks. Probaly one of the funniest and best written baseball book I’ve ever read…and I’m only 82 pages in!
So thanks again to Matt if your reading this post. Your return e-mail meant a lot and who knows? Maybe someday I can convince Matt to come on The Hot Corner, because we all know…It’s a Small World!
Ryan McKenna is the CEO of SportsSuperStation. He writes, and hosts The Hot Corner, as well as Slap Shot Radio.