BAXTER SPRINGS — The boys from New York flew in to Kansas to play in a baseball tournament and to offer their services to those in need.
The New York team came to play in the Premier Baseball Incoming Freshmen tournament this weekend. They also decided to offer their services to help with relief efforts in Joplin, Mo.
Frankie Guiliano, who’s son Frankie plays for the team, said it is good for them to see the disaster area. He said this is the first time they have ever volunteered for disaster relief.
“It’s a good life lesson for the boys,” Guiliano said.
Guiliano said when the boys first had the chance to drive through the disaster area they all stared in awe.
Guiliano’s son has been playing for the team for two years. He is a pitcher for the travel team out of New York.
Guiliano said the boys come from all over New York and have traveled to many places including Maryland, Florida, Delaware and South Carolina.
Eric Karlan also has a son on the team who is only 13. Karlan said they usually do not bring this age group to this area for the tournaments, but they felt it was a good idea to bring them this time. Karlan said they typically only bring the 16 to 18 age group to the tournaments in Kansas.
Karlan said Team New York was originally two teams who combined last year. The original teams were the New York Nine and the Bayside Yankees. Karlan said they have boys who come to play from Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester and Long Island.
Karlan also said the teams have intense tryouts for the team. They range over five weekends and everyone participates in the tryouts together. He said they bring in professionals to help with the tryouts because the team is affiliated with the Annaheim Angels. Karlan said his son had a chance to work with an Angels draft pick and an ex-Detroit Tigers player.
Karlan said the boys will be playing six games for sure in the tournament and the number of games after that depends on how far they advance. Karlan also said ages for the boys in this tournament range from 13 to 15.
Karlan also said this is a good experience for the boys. Karlan said someone had told him the disaster area in Joplin was comparable to 9/11. He said it was almost unbelievable. Karlan said he had first hand witnessed the destruction of 9/11. He said he was watching from an office window as the planes hit the towers. Karlan said at first they thought it was unreal. He said he and his co-workers thought it looked like they were filming a movie and then they learned the truth.
Karlan said the boys plan on volunteering where they can in the morning and afternoons over the weekend and were in Joplin until Monday.