NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Long Island has a history of generating baseball talent.
The new hot bed is a high school responsible for producing a pair of pitchers, a school that may need to change its name to Ward Met-Ville.READ MORE: NYPD: 23-Year-Old Charged With Murder Of Delivery Worker Stabbed To Death During Lower East Side Robbery
As CBS2’s Steve Overmyer explained, Ward Melville was never known for baseball.
“It’s such a small place in Long Island. It’s not a baseball place, but it’s becoming a place for MLB talent,” former Ward Melville player Chris Peterson said.
That changed around the time they brought in Coach Lou.
Coach Lou produced Mets rookie phenom Steven Matz and just recently the Mets took another Ward Melville product — Anthony Kay.
“Maybe it’s the dirt, the green grass, the fresh air, I have no idea,” he said.READ MORE: Suffolk Police: Franklyn Charles, 18, Charged For Crash That Killed Jennifer Figueroa, 30, In Wyandanch
“I was never used to catching a kid with that much talent,” Kyle Pedroli said, “People would be like ‘why’s your hand so swollen?’ Because I’m catching 93 mph.”
The Mets drafted Kay twice. Three years ago, the Mets drafted him and offered him a contract worth $175,000. He chose to go to college.
“Twenty-ninth round wasn’t what I expected. I figured I was going to go right to school,” he said, “But I guess I was betting on myself and do right by my parents, and I think I made the right decision.”
It’s paid off. The Mets drafted him again this year. Only now his price tag is $2-million. He may not be signed yet, but already feels like he’s part of the clubhouse.
“David Wright called me one day after the draft. I didn’t answer because it was Virginia Beach. I listened to VM about four times, I’m like ‘what!?” he said. “They made me feel wanted. Everything happens for a reason, so I guess I’m destined to be a Met.”
A destiny that originated in a community that not only raised him, but turned him into a major leaguer.MORE NEWS: New York Weather: CBS2’s 10/23 Saturday Morning Forecast
When Kay signs on the dotted line his first stop will be in Brooklyn with the Mets ‘A’ affiliate.