Since he first took up T-ball at age three, Levittown native Bryan Verbitsky always imagined a successful career in baseball.
Now a sophomore at Hofstra University, Verbitsky is watching his lifelong dream blossom before his eyes. The Pride's closer was recently accepted into the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League for the upcoming summer season.
The Cape Cod Baseball League is one of the premier summer leagues for college baseball players. Among the current and former baseball players to play in the league, according to its website, include Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, pitcher Tim Lincecum Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (a Kings Park native), former MVP Frank Thomas and current Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
"Being accepted to the Cape Cod League means a lot to me," said Verbitsky, a 2010 graduate of Island Trees High School. "It's something that was always my goal and hopefully I can succeed while I'm there."
"There were other choices for where I could have gone to play summer ball," he added, "but playing in the Cape is a great opportunity that not many people have and it's something I feel is important for my career."
Verbitsky believes a large part of his success thus far stems from the core values he learned as a varsity competitor for the Island Trees Bulldogs and he hopes to always carry those skills through his entire career.
"My time at Island Trees was significant as a baseball player," he said. "Coach [Joseph] D'Auria was someone who I looked up to and really helped me grow up and mature as a person, not just a ball player. The amount of time we put in there helped me to tone my skills and make adjustments."
Though he's become quite successful as a college athlete, Verbitsky knows how important it is he continues to grow and develop for both himself and his team.
"I am hoping to help Hofstra become a dominant force in the CAA and win a conference title," Verbitsky said. "The Cape Cod League will show me what I need to work on both physically and mentally."
Verbitsky entered Hofstra University in the fall of 2010 in pursuit of a degree in criminology. His plans outside of baseball include a career in law enforcement, but becoming a professional player has always stood out as his first goal.
"In life, nothing is handed to you. You have to go out and work hard for what you want. Baseball has shown me this. Hopefully after college is over, I will go on to play professionally. That is my dream."