June 29, 2010 — A few days ago, I predicted that my June 26 ceremonial first pitch at Scranton’s PNC Field would be a strike.
Well, I am a man of my word. I threw a strike — as if you couldn’t tell by the emotion captured in the photo below.
I arrived in Scranton the day before the first pitch and my book signing, where I inked copies of Twenty Seven. On Friday, I spent a few hours with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre catcher — and highly-touted prospect — Jesus Montero. Our afternoon began at a LongHorn Steakhouse, where I learned about the Montero’s family and his desire to become a star in pinstripes.
After lunch, Montero, Yankees photographer James Petrozzello, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre radio announcer Mike Vander Woude and I found a scenic spot on Montage Mountain for Petrozzello to grab some unique shots of the catcher.
After the photo shoot, Petrozzello and I accompanied Montero the PNC Field weight room, where we observed — and photographed — the slugger’s daily workout.
My interview and observations, along with Petrozzello’s photos, will make for a very special feature story, which will appear in the August issue of Yankees Magazine.
The story will also detail my first pitch, which was caught by Montero. I was sure to tell the catcher about my prediction, and he was sure to throw a few good-natured barbs my way during our lunch.
But after the ceremonial toss, Montero dished out praise — “Great pitch, man.”
And I responded by praising him – “You’re going to be a great player. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
The feature will provide Yankees fans with the most in-depth story that Yankees Magazine has ever published on a prospect.
–Alfred Santasiere III