By Nathan Mayberg
HURLEYVILLE November 26, 2004 Three former shortstops for the Fallsburg Central School Comet baseball team took a shot at the big time a few weeks ago when they took a trip down to Florida to display their talents in front of various scouts.
One of those scouts was the Director of International Scouting for the 2003 World Champion Florida Marlins.
However, one of the Fallsburg grads was not expecting to see the other two. Michael Gilberg, FCS Class of 2002, was pleasantly surprised to join 1998 FCS graduate Jesus Pintado and 2000 FCS grad Timothy Gilmore in The Sunshine State. Gilmore and Pintado traveled together and met Gilberg at the tryout.
The trio joined dozens of athletes from all over the world. Those players hailed from nations such as Japan, Australia and the continent of South America.
The tryout, which was held from October 31 through November 5, was hosted by the Play Ball Baseball Academy in Fort Lauderdale. The field was formerly used by the Texas Rangers for spring training.
The Fallsburg alums and their fellow players partook in infield and outfield drills as well as batting practice, but most of their time was spent playing actual games. The athletes played a doubleheader each day. Gilberg played second base and some shortstop, while Gilmore and Pintado played the outfield.
Gilberg said the head scout liked the way he fielded. Showing a good batters eye, Gilberg accumulated 10 walks in 12 at-bats.
He said the experience was a lot of fun.
In the fall of 2005, Gilberg will return to the State University of New York at Cortland. He is majoring in sports management at that institution of higher learning.
In the meantime, he will complete his non-sports management requirements at Sullivan County Community College. Next spring, he intends to join the first baseball team that SCCC has fielded in 20 years. The school held five scrimmages back in September to prepare for the 2005 season.
In addition, Gilberg recently completed his duties as clubhouse attendant for the New York Mets. Among his various duties for the 2004 Major League season were sitting in right field for all Met home games and picking up foul balls.
Gilberg said he thoroughly enjoyed his time working for the Mets. He learned quite a bit from the players, and believes the Mets future will improve with their young standout third baseman David Wright. The 22-year-old Wright, who was brought up from the minor leagues halfway through the season, appears to have the tools be a long-term all-star in the organization. Gilberg called Wright a classy individual.
Pintado, who lives in Woodridge, has attended Mitchell College in Connecticut and SCCC. He plans on enrolling in a four-year college or university next year. He said he has two years of athletic eligibility remaining.
Gilmore is currently majoring in business administration at Concordia College. He resides in Scarsdale.