At 11, Eli Fishman was not like most of his friends at Jefferson School in Maplewood.
While they played Little League ball and traded baseball cards, he interviewed players at nearby Seton Hall University games, compiled game day stats, and made his own game in an iPhone that he had uploaded.
At 12, he moved into the minor leagues, gaining press credentials for the Somerset Patriots and Staten Island Yankees and even following teams in Pennsylvania and other away games.
By the time he reached nearby Columbia High School, Fishman had recorded hundreds of hours of baseball reporting at most of the Garden State minor league fields, posted dozens of video interviews and highlights online, and interviewed some of the game’s biggest future stars.
âIt was baseball, baseball is my love, my passion,â said Fishman, now 17, visiting Ithaca College in New York this fall as a sports media specialist. âI live it and breathe it. Just being a huge baseball fan and wanting to do it all.
His participation in baseball was not limited to the broadcast booth and the press box. Fishman also played his share of the organized ball from age eight with the local Maplewood / South Orange Cougars program, in addition to becoming a starter on the Columbia High varsity team in his final senior year.
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But it was the coverage of balls and strikes that caught his attention from a young age and garnered respect in the state’s minor-league community.
âEliâ¦ is legit,â former Tampa Bay Times sports reporter Martin Fennelly wrote of Fishman in 2017 after meeting him at a Gulf Coast League event in Florida, where he travels every summer.
Fishman was only 13 at the time.
He was one of several reporters interviewing Heisman Prize winner Tim Tebow, who was then starting a new career in minor league baseball that would continue for several years.
âTebow delivered. He was quotable and funny. And he was just crazy about the adorable kid with the microphone and the camera, and the braces on his teeth, âFennelly wrote of Fishman. “Especially when he asked a question.”
Fishman estimates he has attended over 150 minor league games since 2016, as well as the annual trip to Florida each summer for a week to check out minor league news and other baseball offerings there. , usually staying with his grandmother.
He also attended several spring training camps with the Yankees and Mets, where he was able to interview Hall of Fame members Reggie Jackson and Goose Gossage, as well as current Mets All-Star Pete Alonso and the Yankees’ top prospect Jason Dominguez.
And he’s not yet old enough to vote, join the military, or buy a drink.
âI would say the way I spoke and projected myself, I was bold to approach them and I was professional,â Fishman says of the reasons for his acceptance despite his youth. “Few 15-year-olds have khakis and a polo shirt and take a professional approach.”
His website, Elifishman.com, boasts other press mentions and several of his past videos, while his YouTube channel has over 500 videos and over 8,000 subscribers.
And things are only expanding this summer with play-by-play work for the Jersey Pilots, a summer college league that has Fishman calling 40 games live.
“I’m pretty locked up on the reporter side or the analyst side, I would love to be a clubhouse reporter, post-game or presenter,” he said of his future, which he hopes will include playing for the Ithaca club squad. or maybe try for the Division 3 team over there. “I love the experience and get as much of it as possible every day.”
The Lakewood Jersey Shore BlueClaws will bring back BruceClaws Night this summer as part of a concert series that will also include a Grateful Dead night and a country band.
In either case, the team will be wearing special jerseys worn by BlueClaws players and coaches, each being auctioned off for charity.
The music will begin at 6:15 p.m. each evening in the Sand Bar area down the pitch line at FirstEnergy Park and continue through the opening rounds of each match.
âOne of the things we envisioned when building the Sand Bar was to have concert nights like this,â said BlueClaws President Joe Ricciutti. “We are grateful to be able to host these concerts and look forward to vibrant atmospheres each evening.”
The first event will take place on July 10 with the group Grateful Dead Splintered Splinter, followed by the tribute group Springsteen Asbury Fever on July 31 for the BruceClaws party.
Country group Kickin Nash will follow on August 21, according to the BlueClaws.
They appointed a team for the bolt that secures a wheel to a vehicle
Finally, as I travel the world of minor leagues in search of stories, successes, races and mistakes, I also find some of the most interesting and creative team names.
Starting this week, I plan to highlight some of the more obscure and annoying nicknames.
This week’s pick: the Lansing Lugnuts.
A clear tribute to Detroit’s automotive-making fame, they join the NBA Detroit Pistons, minor hockey Flint Firebirds and Motor City Drive basketball teams of the Grand Rapids G-League as that name of sports plumes related to Michigan vehicles.
There was also the Lansing Ignite professional football 2019 from the USL professional football team which lasted for a season. Their logo was a spark plug.
Based in the capital of Michigan, the Lugnuts are the affiliate of Oakland Athletics High-A and date back to 1955 when they started in Indiana as the Lafayette Red Sox. The team moved to Waterloo, Iowa two years later and spent the next 36 seasons as the Waterloo Hawks.
Prior to the 1994 season, the club moved to Springfield, Illinois, but only spent two seasons there before moving to Lansing.
Joe Strupp is an award-winning journalist with 30 years of experience covering education and Monmouth County for APP.com and Asbury Park Press. He’s also a die-hard Yankees fan when he’s not watching the wonderful minor leagues.