Monday, March 10, 2014
By Tom Chard firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Greenberg, the Maine Sunday Telegram's high school baseball Player of the Year, has verbally committed to play baseball at Fordham University in New York City.
Ben Greenberg, right
Greenberg made the decision Saturday while he was playing in a baseball showcase tournament in New Jersey. Greenberg plays for Legends Baseball of Middleton, Mass.
Greenberg visited Fordham last fall while attending a baseball clinic with his pitching coach, Bob Agger of Scarborough. The Fordham coaches saw Greenberg pitch once this spring. Greenberg begins his senior year at Scarborough in September.
"I called my parents, my pitching coach and my coach on the summer team, Ryan Leahy, before I called Coach Jimmy Jackson, the recruiting coordinator at Fordham, to tell him I had made my decision," said Greenberg.
The Fordham head coach is Kevin Leighton. Both Leighton and Jackson finished their second seasons with the program.
"I've been talking to them a lot and they want to bring in top competitive guys who want to win," said Greenberg.
"I like to win and I think it will be a good fit. Fordham put together a nice package. I like being in the city, but you really don't see the city from the campus. Fordham has a real campus feel. You jump on the train and the city is five minutes away. I'm looking to study business and there's nothing like studying business and being in New York City."
Greenberg said he also received a scholarship offer from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., but felt the school was too far away.
"I didn't like the fact I had to take a plane to get home," he said.
The other factor was his parents, Marc and Leigh, will be able to watch his games at Fordham.
"I don't think my father has missed a game since Little League," he said.
Agger, a Fordham graduate, has worked with Greenberg since he was 10. Agger pitched for the Rams from 1996 to 2000 after pitching for Portland High. Greenberg credits Agger with teaching him how to pitch.
Shortly after Agger moved in on the same street as the Greenbergs in Scarborough, Marc Greenberg asked Agger if he would play catch with his son who was in Little League. Agger has been working with Greenberg since.
"The Fordham coaches love Ben's character," said Agger.
"There are a lot of guys who can throw hard. Ben's character is second to none. We began by playing catch in the driveway. Ben is like a sponge. He absorbs everything. The sky's the limit for Ben," he said.
During the winter, Greenberg worked with Agger twice a week.
"Ben definitely puts in the time," said Agger.
Agger remembers sending Greenberg a motivational video and one of the training drills was running around cones in the sand. The next day, Greenberg was on Pine Point Beach doing the cone drill.
Ryan Jones, Greenberg's coach at Scarborough, feels Greenberg will be able to play right away.
"Fordham didn't have a great year ... but it's a good program," he said.
The Rams were 22-33, 8-16 in the Atlantic 10. The Atlantic 10 is a 16-team conference, including Butler, George Washington, Richmond, Temple, the University of Rhode Island and UMass.
Greenberg had a 6-1 record this spring. He had a 0.54 ERA and held batters to a .163 average. His fastball has consistently been timed in the mid to high 80s.
Offensively, he hit .415 with five triples for the Red Sorm.
At the New Jersey tournament, Greenberg beat a team from Georgia, 2-0. His team was traveling to Long Island, N.Y. for a tournament that begins this week.
Greenberg said he was glad to have this decision out of the way. He expects to sign a letter of intent in November.
Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: