Max Guadalupe Jr. pictured this exact moment when he was growing up.
He had imagined it every time he picked up a baseball. He had thought about it every time he stepped up to the plate. And now that it was finally happening, Guadalupe had to admit, he was a little nervous. He was also thrilled.
The High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology senior signed his name on the dotted line on May 21, committing to play baseball at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pennsylvania on a full scholarship.
The moment was better than any thing he had dreamed up when he was a kid, because he got to do it in his Coney Island stomping grounds.
“From the beginning of this whole recruiting process, I always wanted to sign in the area that I grew up in,” he said. “So to actually sign in the O’Dwyer Garden Community Center, I really appreciated all the help and all the support my community gave me. It was a chance for a lot of my family and friends to come down and support me.”
Guadalupe decided to turn his Yellow Jackets jersey in for the Falcons after visiting the school earlier this year and meeting with the team.
It didn’t take long for Guadalupe to realize he didn’t need to look anywhere else — this was the perfect fit.
“When I got to Lackawanna, it was a totally different vibe from the other schools I visited, a totally different environment,” said Guadalupe, who boasted a .357 on base percentage at Telecommunication this season. “I spoke to the team, and the current freshman that are there now made me feel as if I’m going to be a very important part of the group next season.”
The promise of playing time next season also enticed Guadalupe to Scranton. The third baseman is expected to join the squad as a starter and will look to make an immediate impact in the field and as a middle-lineup hitter.
“I do plan on starting my freshman year,” he said. “That was a very big confidence boost for me. You’re always going to have to work for your position, but knowing that I’m going to come in and start, it’s only going to push me harder.”
The future is bright for Guadalupe and he’s anxious to get the next chapter started. He’s also determined to make sure he seizes every opportunity that comes his way, because he knows this is only the beginning.
Guadalupe earned a handful of other offers from top-tier, Division I schools — including the University of Miami, Rutgers, and Penn State — but felt the best path for him was in junior college. He knows he can make a name for himself at Lackawanna, and he fully intends to make every moment on the diamond next season a step towards bigger and better things.
“I’m very excited,” Guadalupe said. “This can be a statement year for me. I want to break out and put up great numbers.”