Baseball is a sport. A competitive game that millions of people around the world practice and perform. To the Connecticut Moose Program, it's more than just a sport; it's a culture. It all starts with the coaches relentless efforts not only to dedicate 365 days to make each athlete more prepared for the future of their baseball career but for their future in whatever path life guides them to. This isn't just your ordinary baseball AAU organization; it's a family. Whether it be private pitching lessons with the head Moose Mike Perry, or watching Rob Perry skyrocket what should be routine flyballs during pregame warm-ups, or even witnessing the most fabulous golf foursome as each coach shanks the brand new Pro V1 Titleist ball in the creek at Wampanoag Country Club during the golf fundraiser. Getting one lesson from any of the coaches on the staff is beyond helpful; imagine an entire summer or even a year, two years, three years, with these inspirational geniuses. A coaching staff led by the Perry Brothers has made it their responsibility to make skinny, scared, and immature teen baseball players into men. During a time where everything is shut down, as the Corona Virus takes the world by storm, I was able to interview a few former and current athletes that got to go through the life-changing experience of flashing the antlers up after hitting a bases clearing double. The first athlete I was able to talk to was division one pitcher, Chase Jeter. "The Moose meant a lot to me in the five years that I was a part of the program," Jeter expressed. "The Moose allowed me to have the best of both worlds in my summer baseball experience."
"I got to play every day with some of my closest friends and pitch against some really good competition in our tournaments." One thing the head Moose, Mike Perry, has always emphasized, is that his job is to get you to where you want to be. He has the tools to, like chase said, set his teams to facing some really good competition. No college coach is going to look at what your 14u summer baseball team's record was. They care about the type of player and person you are once you step foot in front of them. Another former Moose, Drew Nemirow, praised the program, "I've been playing for the Perry's for years and just fell in love with the way they taught the game and how they carried themselves as coaches," Nemirow pointed. "The Moose organization helped me get college offers and improve on all parts of my game along with creating relationships to last a lifetime."
"Without the Moose organization, I wouldn't have known where to turn when it came to getting recruited." The process of being recruited and landing that college offer never has and will never be easy, but the Perry brothers, along with the rest of the Meese, will guide and support you as an athlete and person every step of the way. It isn't always about playing baseball competitively for the rest of your life. It isn't necessarily about becoming a college baseball player. The Moose program is so diverse, and each individual has their own expectations and goals about the sport that they love. One former student-athlete of the Connecticut Moose program, Joe Kitz, a sophomore at Northeastern University studying Jazz and Business, wasn't the strongest or most talented. Still, with the help of the Perry Brothers, Joe found his role during his years with the Moose. "When I was on the Moose, I wasn't throwing as much heat as the other guys, but I threw strikes and was solid for a few relief innings." "They maximized your ability for the role you could best help the team." A current member of the rolling Meese, Drew Seidman, showed love towards his coaches, "Rob and Mike make baseball about playing the right way." One point the short stop, Drew Seidman, made was a valuable lesson not just about baseball but about life, "They've taught me that you can't let the negative things in baseball and life drag you down." Zach Ellovich, before pursuing his academics at Tulane University, was once apart of the Moose army. Ellovich made the most of his years with Perry brothers and co, striving to be the best athlete and having fun doing it. "Besides learning to become a better hitter and fielder, Ray Ricker, Mike Perry, and Rob Perry taught me how to be a good person on and off the field," Ellovich explained. The Moose coaches are always trying to do what's best for you, and helping players grow and experiment in different stages of the game. A senior at Salisbury School, Alex Dobbins, expressed how thankful he was to the coaching staff in an interview, "Over the last few years the coaching staff has helped me in all phases of the game, whether it be pitching, catching or playing 3rd."
Dobbins revealed how many memories he had putting on the Moose uniform since his 2016 debut. It has never been about specializing in the Moose program. It is about how one can be the best version of themselves. Wrapping up each interview, I decided to ask for one Moose moment that stood out to the former and current Moose athletes. Each individual had the same answer, the tournaments. "Just getting to play and hang out with the guys for a few days was a great experience and was definitely something we all looked forward to throughout the summer," Nemirow expressed. Nemirow's former teammate, Chase Jeter, answered, "My favorite Moose moments were the things that didn't involve baseball." "Hanging out with my teammates at hotels, at fields, or after games may be something that seems small, but meant a lot for my experience," Jeter explained. The statement that stood out to me during these interviews was one by the stud third basemen, Drew Nemirow, and it's a statement each individual that goes through the Moose program would agree with. "Wouldn't trade it for anything."