Monday, March 05, 2012

Darin Mastroianni is now with the Minnesota Twins organization and I'm still wishing him good luck

This weekend marks the beginning of spring training games for Major League Baseball. For those of us in colder climates, it feels a little unusual to see baseball on television quite this early, but it's a welcome sight. Though from New York originally, I've been living in Toronto for years and follow the Jays.

As a result, I was excited last year to learn that the son of a childhood friend was in the Blue Jays farm system and had a pretty good shot at making it to the big leagues. His name is Darin Mastroianni. His dad is Paul Mastroianni.

Darin is a very speedy outfielder by trade.

Darin Mastroianni
Last year before the season I wrote about wishing Darin good luck in his quest to play Major League ball.

I haven't seen Paul since high school but traded a couple of Facebook messages when I found out about Darin, who played for the Jays very briefly last season but spent most of the year with the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s. If you're wondering about the strange name, it is taken from Area 51, a spot located about 80 miles north of Las Vegas and associated with extra-terrestrials and other outer-space folklore. I'll bet that makes for all sorts of special promotions at the ballpark. Just guessing. 

Anyway, in the off-season, Darin was claimed from the Jays by the Minnesota Twins and immediately placed on their 40 man roster. I would have liked to see him play in Toronto for the Jays, which would have meant only a couple-mile walk from my front door to the Rogers Centre, but that was not to be.

Given that the Twins claimed him off the waiver wire pretty quickly, I hope that signals that he has a good shot with the team. If that means I have to watch a Twins away game in Toronto, that's okay.

In the event that you don't know, the 40-man roster in Major League Baseball, also called the expanded roster, is composed of all the players in a Major League club's organization who are signed to a major league contract. These are the players who are able to be called up to the 25-man roster at any given time.

Darin had been on the Jays 40-man roster but they removed him and tagged him for reassignment, which, in his case, made it possible for another team to sign him as the Twins did.

I'm sure it's tough being sent hither and yon as you try to stick in the majors, but Darin is clearly a very talented young man and the Twins obviously think he's worth a look.

As for the picture above, since you might be wondering, that would be my second-grade class photo at the West Haverstraw Elementary School in West Haverstraw, New York, not far north of New York City. It would have been taken around 1966. Paul Mastroianni, Darin's father, is in the front row at the centre of the shot. I'm two spots to the left of him with the bow tie. That's our teacher, Mrs. McQuade, at the right.

It's remarkable to me how many names in that group I recall, but I won't bore you with that.

As for baseball, I'm still hoping to get a look at Darin play in the majors, but I may have to pay closer attention to the Jays schedule to see when the Twins are in town.

It's all baseball.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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  • No one can take credit for Darin's success but Darin himself along with his family: Paul, Bonnie (mother) and Paul's father (a MLB player himnself). Paul built Darrin's foundation of baseball skills back in Mount Kisco Little League where he coached him. He did everything to support his son's development including taking him out to an elite Long Island baseball organization when he got to high school. Darin's passion for baseball, his determination and hard work along with his parent's support and encouragement led to his success.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:05 PM  

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