"There's no place like home. . . there's no place like home. . . there's no place like home." Home for The Belt Team is Vienna, Virginia. Please stop by frequently and share with us all the things about life in Vienna that make Vienna truly the best place to live.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Small Town Baseball & Big City Dreams!

Vienna resident Nick Morabito signed a National Letter of Intent today to play baseball for Lincoln Memorial University. Congrats to Nick & his family on a well-deserved accomplishment!

Nick is a student at Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington and played for the Prospect Stars elite travel baseball team this past summer. Nick is also a "graduate" of our very own Vienna Little League!

We've written several articles about Vienna Little League and baseball in Vienna, VA. It's defiinitely one of THE top places to play ball in our area and has a LONG tradition of success . . . all the way to Williamsport.

This year alone, there are at least 5 Vienna Little League "alumni" that we know have signed to play college baseball - and that is no easy feat!

Congrats to the following young men and their families:
  • Chad Carroll - signed with James Madison University (VA)
  • Nick Morabito - signed with Lincoln Memorial University (TN)
  • Eli Facenda - signed with Lehigh University (PA)
  • Mark Williams - signed with LaSalle University (PA)
  • Ryan McGuire - signed with Odessa College (TX)

Here's some interesting triva about these 5 boys:
  • They all played with or against each other in Vienna Little League.
  • They all played on the same travel team together when they were 13 years old. And that team placed 8th in the AAU National Championships that year.
  • All 5 boys live(d) in Vienna, but are graduating from different high schools (In VA: Oakton, O'Connell & Madison. In DC:  Gonzaga. In CO: Heritage)
  • Chad Carroll & Nick Morabito played on the same Little League team in Vienna. AND they were coached by a Vienna Little League "graduate" who also went to college (Georgetown University) on a baseball scholarship.

I have watched these guys grow from little boys into young men. And what an honor it has been. Their accomplishment of "making it to the next level" in baseball is truly something special. And it's not just about baseball.

These boys set a great example for all of us about how to dream big and work hard. For not one of these boys was handed anything. They may have been provided the opportunities, but each one worked hard - day after day after day - very consciously and very conscientiously. And they did it when no one was looking (Nicki - this means you!). They trained and played and worked and watched and learned & kept getting better.

For getting signed to a college sports team - any sport - is not like it used to be "back in the day" when lots of players would "try out" or try to "walk on". It works more along the lines of a quote I remember Norm saying on the TV show "Cheers". He said, "It's a dog-eat-dog world out there and some days I feel like I'm wearing milk bone underwear."

We can all learn a lesson about what a lot of passion & hard work can bring you. Now - don't get me wrong. They had a LOT of fun doing what they did. However, many people "want" good things to happen to them, but they aren't willing to work & make sacrifices. These kids did. One of the players I listed above is currently one of the most talented in our area. He's even drawn some scouting interest from the pros. But when he was 12 & 13, he was the smallest kid on the team. And when it's your first year on the "big field" - that sure doesn't make anything easier. But as far as he was concerned, that meant nothing. He wanted to play ball. And play ball he did. He is one of the fierceest competitors I have ever met and no one will ever tell him he can't do something. If you do, he'll just prove you wrong. Would that we all grasped on to our dreams and made them happen like he has.

Every one of these boys told me when they were 12 years old that they wanted to play in the big leagues. They were playing small town baseball, but they had big city baseball dreams. Well, those dreams may still be far away - but that was 6 years ago and they have all just taken a GIANT step in that direction.

Don't be surprised if one day you see their faces on a baseball card!

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