St. Bernard’s was thrilled to welcome New York Yankees pitcher, Adam Ottavino, to school this week. Mr. Ottavino spoke with Middle and Upper School boys in a special morning assembly and then met with Junior School students for their morning assembly.
In both assemblies Mr. Ottavino described his passion for baseball, which started at the young age of four, and his path to becoming a professional baseball player. He grew up playing baseball in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and was coached by his father at a young age. He began his professional baseball career playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 and then pitched for the Colorado Rockies from 2012 to 2018. This is his first season playing for the New York Yankees.
Mr. Ottavino explained to the boys how important it was for him to attend college. He was drafted at the age of seventeen but didn’t feel ready to play in the major leagues. He chose to attend college first, where he continued to learn, improve his game, and find lifelong friends. After graduating from college he felt he had developed the maturity to succeed as a professional player. Some of his successes have included 491 career strikeouts, a top pitch speed of 99.8 miles per hour, and a thirty-one inning stretch of pitching without allowing a run.
St. B’s students enjoyed seeing the pair of cleats that Mr. Ottavino wore in his first professional game. They learned about his favorite pitches and how he has changed his approach over time. He continues to strive to improve, to play smarter, and is proud of the way he has progressed as an athlete. He reminded the boys about the importance of practice. He also expressed gratitude for the people who helped him succeed. His parents always encouraged him to work hard and keep trying. With the support of his parents and others he was able to realize his dream of playing professional baseball in his hometown.
Mr. Ottavino spent time answering questions from the boys and signing baseballs and jerseys. We extend our thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Ottavino for generously spending the morning at St. B’s. The boys were delighted to start their day in such an exciting way!