Mets rookie pitcher Pedro Beato hit a home run with kids from Canarsie’s Youth Service League on Thursday when the Xaverian HS graduate helped give something back to younger ballplayers.
The 24-year-old right-hander visited the league’s fields on Seaview Avenue, where he helped present a $5,000 check to a sandlot organization that gives many neighborhood kids — himself included — their start in baseball.
The donation, made by the Sports Authority, a sporting goods chain, and SNY, the cable network of the Mets, will help pay for equipment and field maintenance.
SNY President Steve Raab said it’s part of the network’s initiative to support youth leagues in the tri-state area.
Beato said the funds would go a long way.
The money will “give these kids a chance to become something in life,” he said before signing baseballs for some of the kids.
And the kids think it will help them get a leg up.
“I want to follow his route,” said Justin Pacheco, 11. “I’m a pretty good pitcher, too.”
Jonathan Fonseco, 12, said meeting a real-life Mets player was a thrill.
“I’m a really big Mets fan — it was really cool,” the Bensonhurst native said.
Beato immigrated from the Dominican Republic at 13 and played in the league — among others in the borough — when he got here.
“I started playing in the Parade Grounds and all over Brooklyn,” he said.
Little leaguers at Canarsie’s baseball complex picked up on the message.
After graduating from Xaverian, the Baltimore Orioles selected Beato in the 2006 amateur draft. He was picked up by the Mets last year and has posted a 2-1 record with a 4.10 ERA for the big club this season.
©2011 Community News Group
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