In Brooklyn, Long Island’s in the house

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The Cyclones don’t have any players from Brooklyn on the roster this year, but they do have two players from Long Island, which makes them, well, semi-local.

Mike Sharpe is an outfielder from Kellenberg Memorial High School and St. Thomas Aquinas College, where he hit .374 this year and was named first team All-NYCAC.

For the Clones, Sharpe has played sparingly so far and has been working with hitting coach Donovan Mitchell and roving instructor Darryl Strawberry on his swing.

The East Meadow resident has some college buddies who live in Sheepshead Bay, and Sharpe sometimes stays with them after late home games.

Sharpe’s grandfather pitched on the same amateur team in Queens as did Yankee pitching great Whitey Ford, but there, according to Sharpe, Ford played first base.

As a boy, Sharpe’s dad, went to Bronx watering holes with his father and Whitey Ford. Sharpe’s dad was once treated to a soda by none other than Mickey Mantle.

Another Long Island outfielder on the Clones is Joe Holden, from Wantagh.

Joe went to Wantagh High School and Molloy College, in Rockville Center, where he was a history major and commuting student. Joe still commutes, taking the 40-minute trip each day from Wantagh to Keyspan Park.

Holden had a fine year this season in college where he hit .390 and was named the Northeast Region Player of the Year as well as the NYCAC Player of the Year.

Earlier this year, Holden went 4-for-4 in a game in which he said, “The baseball looked as big as a basketball.”

He has continued his hot hitting from the lead-off spot.

“I’m adjusting to hitting the pitching in this league,” said Holden.

“In college, I faced a few pitchers who threw 90, but here it’s practically every night.”

He’s also adjusting to winds in the outfield at Keyspan and to the large crowds compared to college, but usually 10 or 15 people in the crowd are friends or family and the remainder have been pretty vocal supporters of “Wantagh Joe.”

July 23, 2005 issue  

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