By Laura Amato
John Herring just wants to get better.
It’s as simple as that. Or, sometimes, it’s as difficult as that.
Herring, who will be entering his senior year at Archbishop Molloy this fall, is spending his summer with the Bayside Yankees of the Premier Baseball league, working on fine-tuning his baseball skills and determined to become a stronger player.
The road to being a standout on the diamond can be challenging, but it’s one that Herring is determined to walk. He knows that this summer will only help him reach his final destination.
“I started off kind of slow, but now that we’re starting to play a lot of games, I’m definitely doing better,” Herring said. “And our team is starting to play well together so that makes it more fun.”
As of July 7, he led the Yankees with a .326 average at the plate, racking up 15 hits in 46 at bats.
Herring is focusing on his entire game this summer, but he has to admit that he’s a bit preoccupied with his presence at the plate. He wants to hit—a lot.
“I just want to keep on getting at bats,” he said. “I’m trying to get my mental game down a bit more. That’s always kind of hard. But I just really want to get better. That’s the point.”
This is the first time Herring has played with the Yankees and he’s relishing the opportunity to compete with the squad.
The team boasts some of the top talent from across the city, as well as Long Island and Westchester, and Herring is thankful to be included in that group. He’s also anxious to prove he belongs.
“I played a game with them a couple of years ago, but this is my first time playing with them full-time,” Herring said. “I love it. I’ve played some other summer leagues and this is definitely a step up from other teams I’ve been on. This is a whole other level.”
Just like most summer-league squads, the Yankees schedule is filled for the majority of the season. The team has already played at the Super 17 Diamond Nation tournament in New Jersey and will head to Missouri later this month for the Premier Baseball Junior National Championship.
It can be an exhausting way to spend summer vacation, but Herring wouldn’t change it for the world. In fact, this is exactly how he hoped to spend his time away from the classroom.
“It’s hard, but I dedicated myself to this,” Herring said. “I was expecting it. It’s not a surprise and I’m not really against it. I’m just happy to be playing baseball.”
Herring isn’t looking too far ahead, however. He wants to get better, but it’s difficult to think about next spring at Malloy when there’s so much baseball right in front of him. So, he’s keeping things simple. He’s working on his game and enjoying the moment. He’s getting better, but is also making sure to have some fun. After all it’s summer vacation.
“I try not to think about it too much because that can be a lot of pressure,” Herring said. “I’m working on my game and I want to win here, too. It’s just a lot of fun right now.”