Every professional athlete waits anxiously for a call of a lifetime for his or her entire life. This special call validates years of hard work and jumpstarts a career.
For Matthew Pita, he received that call in the 12th round of the MLB Draft in 2018. To his delight, the New York Yankees were on the other end of that call.
“I was super excited, I’ve been a Yankee fan since I was a little kid so it was great getting the call from the Yankees, it was an awesome moment,” Pita said.
Despite being unsure where he is being sent in the organization, the VMI alumni definitely knows where he has been, a journey that has been anything but a given. The Richmond, Virginia native earned all-state honors in college and finished with a modest career .359 average.
Even with the impressive hitting numbers, Pita still saw himself fall in the draft a bit further than expected. “I’ve been told I was going top ten rounds so my expectation was earlier.”
In the end though, all that mattered to Pita was that he received a call, as he believes everything worked out how it was supposed to.
Thank you @Yankees for drafting me in the 12th round this year. It’s always been my dream to be a Yankee and I can’t wait to get my career in the pinstripes going. I’m thankful for all my friends, family, and coaches who have helped to get me to this point!
— Matthew James Pita (@Matt_Pita) June 7, 2018
The newest Yankee super utility man understands that now is the time to get to work and to continue to build on what has gotten him this far. The 5’10 minor leaguer knows that means staying true to his game and his skill-set.
“I’m a little guy so my game is probably just go out there give you my all, play with a chip on my shoulder, be speedy and hit for contact and just go out there and play hard every game,” Pita said.
Being the little guy on the ball field is nothing new for Pita, he knows he has always been undersized, something that has led to him being told in the past that he has no shot at making it. The criticism only pushed Pita to work harder toward his dream and to play with an extra chip on his shoulder each and everyday.
Pita credits part of his drive to his family and the words of wisdom that they would consistently share, including that hard work will always beat talent.
A mantra of hard work has run in his family long before he ever stepped into the batter’s box. Pita credits his grandparents for being his role models after they came to America with little more than their hopes and dreams. This work ethic goes to show that you earn what you get, that nothing is given to you.
Hard work rings true for a family that is each others’ biggest fans. While his family may have been ecstatic on his draft day, the humble Pita happily spoke about other members of his family and their accomplishments, including a kind brag about his sister attending Duke Law School.
“Baseball is my passion, I love it and I’ve been playing since I was two,” said Pita.
While baseball may be Pita’s first passion, it is obvious that his love for his friends and family stretches far beyond any game. While what the future may hold for the newest New York Yankee remains uncertain, Pita knows all he can do is play his game and give it his all each and everyday.