From a young age, many baseball players aspire to play for their Little League's respective All-Star team in hopes to advance on to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. As players get older, the goal of making the All-Star team may evolve but the meaning of being an All-Star remains the same.
For four Williamsport Crosscutters in 2013, they were able to wear the title of All-Star, as Gabriel Lino, Jiandido Tromp, Tyler Buckley and Zach Green were named to represent the Crosscutters at the New York-Penn League All-Star Game in Norwich, Connecticut on August 13.
Highlighting that group was third basemen Zach Green, who is currently on pace to break the Williamsport Crosscutter's single season home run record of 13. Green talked about how he and his teammates were notified that they were named to the All-Star game.
"Nellie (Nelson Prada) held a team meeting, and all the guys gathered around and he [Prada] just named off the All-Stars. It was a cool way. The teammates were pretty pumped about us going."
"It was cool you know. You always try and get as much support from your team, so it was pretty cool." Green commented when asked about having three other Crosscutter teammates named to the All-Star Game.
Green went on to add, "It says a lot. There were some teams who really only had one or two guys, so the fact we had four shows a lot about the talent we have on this team."
Adding to the experience, Green was also selected to participate in the Home Run Derby which took place before the All-Star Game. Green shared how he found out about being selected for the competition.
"The night before we had a little introduction ceremony and they called everyone up on the stage individually and read some of our stats and they said I was in the home run derby. I was like, Oh, okay then."
When asked about his approach to the derby, Green responded, "I just tried to have fun with it. We took some rounds in the cage before we went out there, but other than that, I was just trying to have fun with it."
Green would add, "It was fun, I mean the 1st round was fun but the 2nd round I was definitely trying to get the upper hand just so I could trash talk in the clubhouse and so I wouldn't have to hear from the other guys. So the 2nd round I was trying to win a little more."
Green edged out fellow power hitting teammate Gabriel Lino and became the second consecutive Crosscutter to win the NYPL Home Run Derby as Chris Serritella won the event prior to the 2012 All-Star Game. Serritella currently plays for the Class-A Clearwater Threshers.
After the derby was over, the game followed. Green would talk a little bit about the experience of playing in the game with some of the New York-Penn League's finest.
"It was cool, I mean, everyone was an all-star. All of their pitchers threw hard and their stuff was good. It was cool to just be on the field with some of the other guys that I've watched and thought that he was a good player and now we're in the same dugout, so it was a pretty cool experience."
Green would go 0-for-2 in the All-Star Game while playing 3rd base for the National League representatives. Tyler Buckley would pitch a scoreless third inning with a strikeout while Gabriel Lino went 0-for-2. Jiandido Tromp was the lone Crosscutters representative to earn a start, as he started the game in right field and went hitless in two at-bats.
With Green's proven abilities as a professional ball player, this gives him a small taste of what it is like getting named to an All-Star Game and he will be aiming to earn a spot at more events like this throughout his career.
Both Lino and Tromp were promoted to Single-A Lakewood after the All-Star Game. Currently there are eight 2013 Crosscutters on the Lakewood Blueclaws roster, again showing the talent this squad has had and continues to show.