Growing up to be a professional baseball player is a dream for many a young athlete, and Brick Township’s left-handed pitcher, Joe Testa, is living that dream — all over the globe.
Mr. Testa’s skill on the mound has taken him to countries including Puerto Rico, Venezuela and currently Italy.
In his tenth season of professional baseball, he is playing for the Parma Clima in the Italian Baseball League. In the age of social media, Mr. Testa found his way to Italy through “Meet A Prospect,” a Facebook group for high school, college and professional baseball players.
The website was designed to recruit professional baseball players for teams throughout the world. It was designed by his friend, Billy Horn, pitching coach for the Staten Island Ducks of the Canadian American League.
“One morning I woke up and I saw my friend Billy Horn posted: ‘Any pitchers interested in playing in Italy?’ and I had his number and texted him,” he explained. “He knew who I was and he said, ‘Let me text someone,’ and in minutes I was talking to someone in Italy about going there.”
Thanks to his pitching style and networking skills, Mr. Testa was given the shot of a lifetime.
“I probably got at least 20 emails and phone calls [for the position],” added Mr. Horn. “Through my personal experience with Joe and his experience, he was definitely the best guy suited for the job.”
Mr. Testa will be pitching in Italy until August, perhaps longer, depending on post-season play.
“The last game is Aug. 14, so if we make the playoffs it could be longer and if they don’t like me, it could be shorter,” he said.
For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.