Major leaguer Mike Baxter, who started his career in the Bayside Little League, will join an estimated 600 young players on the diamond at the home of the Mets on June 3.
“It’s a lot of fun for the kids,” league President Bob Reid said, adding it’s easy to tell the kids enjoy the trip by watching “the smiles on their faces as they walk on a real major league baseball field.”
This year’s trip to Citi Field may be even more inspirational for the kids that dream of playing professionally, as they will meet Baxter, who now plays in the outfield for the Mets.
Baxter, a product of Whitestone, was called up to the majors two years ago to play for the San Diego Padres. He joined the Mets organization last year and this season has begun to see more playing time, having already played in nearly 30 games while notching a .346 batting average.
Reminiscing about the former little leaguer, Reid said, “I always remember his hitting ability.” He added “It’s such a feat to get into the majors, because there are so many players trying to make it. So we’re proud of [Baxter].”
Even though Reid and the league are proud of players like Baxter and George Carroll— a Bayside native who currently plays for a minor league team in the Toronto Blue Jays organization— he continues to urge parents and players to focus on education.
“If they happen to get past college to play a sport professionally, that’s a bonus,” Reid said.