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Baseball Dreams Come True for Alumnus

 

NU faculty teaching in classroom

 

 

It is a universal dream for young boys growing up in the Dominican Republic to play Major League Baseball. Jesus Lantigua, a 2016 Neumann graduate, knew that dream all too well. He was born in the Dominican Republic and started playing baseball when he was six years old. "I told my grandmother that I was going to be a professional baseball player one day," Lantigua said.

Baseball soon became Lantigua's life. He kept playing when his family moved to New York City and continued baseball at Keystone College. After playing against Neumann University while he was a member of the Keystone team, Lantigua liked what he saw and transferred to Neumann when he was a sophomore.

“One of the reasons why I believe that I thrived at Neumann University was because of the support that I received from coaches, academic advisors and the professors. I am so grateful that God gave me the opportunity to attend Neumann,” said Lantigua.

Lantigua is now working for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Dominican Republic as a baseball operations assistant. The Pirates have a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, as do most Major League teams.

According to Lantigua, baseball is the number one sport in the Dominican Republic. The baseball academies provide training for teenage boys who have a shot at the big leagues.

Lantigua’s dream job was a result of the networking opportunities he had through the Neumann Sport Management major. Professor Caleb Mezzy introduced him to Tyrone Brooks, an executive with Major League Baseball who focuses on Diversity Placement. “We stayed in touch and soon he sent me an email asking me if I was interested in the position with the Pittsburgh Pirates,” said Lantigua.

In March 2017, Lantigua was sent to Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida, to work with the spring training program for the Minor League teams. In addition to having played baseball most of his life, perhaps Lantigua’s biggest strength was that he is bilingual. This was especially beneficial when he was sent to work in the Dominican Republic.

“Basically I am being trained in every aspect of baseball operations. Currently, I’m the assistant of the academy in the Dominican Republic. I keep stats and do advance scouting, too. Baseball is practically my life. My goal was to play professional baseball. But you never know what the future will bring. I love being involved with baseball and I love what I do.”

 


07/24//17

 

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