A Long Road Traveled

Guess who?<br> <br> He was born in Reno, Nevada. He began his college career at Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana. After one year he transferred and went to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii. After a two year stay this time he transferred once again to Loyola Marymount at Los Angeles, California. Now four years from when his journey began at West Lafayette Indiana he has found himself in professional baseball.<br> <br> So do you know?

The above is the path that Cyclones pitcher William Quaglieri (as seen in photo above) took to end up in Brooklyn, New York, and begin his career as a professional baseball player. So why did this 6'4 210 pound right hander travel so much during his college career?

"I came from a very small city in Reno so scouts did not really come to see me when I pitched in high school" Quaglieri said. "The only way you can get recognized is to attend different camps scouts, and team set up to showcase your talent, however I never attended those."

Quaglieri's first stop in his college expedition was a short one. He red shirted the 2000 season for Purdue University, and saw the future for him, at Purdue, was not what he wished, and taking into account all the elements involved he transfer out.

"I got hurt and never played much at Purdue, and I really did not like the weather their, so I decided to leave and go to Hawaii" Quaglieri said.

Quaglieri had a pleasant experience in Hawaii, however was frustrated because he never got the chance to prove himself as a starter.

"When I went to Hawaii they used me as a reliever, and I really did not like that because I was a starter previously, and love to start" said Quaglieri. "I kept on telling them I would like a chance to start, however that never happened so I decided to transfer to Loyola Marymount, since they told me I would be a full time starter."

Baseball in Hawaii was similar to Brooklyn Cyclones baseball in terms of the media presence, and the crowd attendance. The travel was also long, and hard since they had to travel to the lower 48 to play road games.

"Oh wow it is really different" said Quaglieri on the Hawaii baseball experience. "You take two week road trips missing a lot of school. There are no other schools you could play with so you have to play with west coast teams, and constantly travel. However, there are always lots of people and media attending the games. There really is nothing else to do their so people are always attending games and the media does not have much to cover so baseball is pretty popular" Quaglieri said.

The Mets had interest in Quaglieri during the 2003 draft, however he did not pitch that season, and therefore was not drafted. The organization still followed Quaglieri during his one year with Loyola Marymount, and was very aggressive in signing Quaglieri as a fifth year senior before the draft. Being the loyal person the Quaglieri is, he decided to sign with the Mets even though at least five teams wanted him to wait until after the draft to sign him.

"The Mets appeared the most serious for my services, and the fact that they followed me for several years made my decision easier" said Quaglieri. "I just wanted a chance to pitch and be a starter and I am grateful the Mets gave me that chance."

It is easy why many colleges believed Quaglieri would not succeed as a starting pitcher having just three pitches, a fastball, slider and change-up. Quaglieri's best pitch is the slider, however he is focusing more on his other pitches.

"Well my best pitch is the slider" say's Quaglieri. "However I am really trying to stay away from that pitch. I want to use my fastball, and especially my change up more frequently."

Being an undrafted free agent, and especially a fifth year senior Quaglieri will not be given the chances to succeed as top prospects would. His chances to prove himself are limited, however Quaglieri knows all he can do is go out, try to improve, and pitch the way he knows how to pitch.

"I just want to become a better overall player. I want to get better, become a smarter pitcher, and learn to use all my pitches. I only have three pitches so mixing up my pitches is the key for me being successful. I am just glad to be a starter, and thank the Mets for giving me the opportunity. I want to take advantage of every chance I get because I realize I won't be given the number of chances other players will be given to climb the ladder, and I need to take advantage of every second I get" said Quaglieri.

Quaglieri began the year being an unhittable pitching allowing just two hits over nine innings in his two first starts. Quaglieri through four starts now has a 1-1 record with a 4.26ERA however has allowed just 16 hits in 19 innings of work and has struck out 15 batters while only walking 4.

Quaglieri has yet to pitch at home, however he will have that chance Monday July 12, against Williamsport.

"I am just really anxious to take the mound here. I love this place, I love the fans, and I can't wait till I step out on the mound for the first time in front of these passionate fans" say's Quaglieri who mentions his parents as the most influential in his life.

"My parents have just been the biggest influence in my life. They always stuck by me in whatever I did, and whatever I wanted to do. They did not know anything about baseball growing up but they were right next to me each and every step of the way and I am very grateful for that."

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