After an intense post-season in July, the Nanuet Little League 8-under All Star team was treated to a tour that most can only fantasize about.
CJ Bottitta, father to NLL All Star player Josh Bottitta, works for the Major League Baseball Network (MLBN) in Seacaucus, NJ. MLBN is the location where shows like Quick Pitch, Plays of the Month, The Rundown Live, Intentional Talk Live, and MLB Tonight Live are broadcast. Most die-hard baseball fans are very familiar with this channel on cable television.
"I approached MLBN CEO, Tony Petitti, about doing this for the boys a little after their last game was shortened by rain and Tony was completely okay with the visit as long as it didn't disrupt the Production day then left that to me to figure out with the building facilities folks," said Bottitta on how he was able to bring the boys in for a tour.
Bottitta and MLBN went above and beyond everyone's expectations. The monitors and backgrounds throughout the facility paid tribute to the boys by displaying 'NLL All Stars' almost everywhere you looked.
"The monitor fills were created by our creative services department. Those are a great bunch of folks and I work with them on a daily basis as the Director of operations for Creative Services."
The boys were also entertained by playing wiffle ball in the MLBN Park Studio which is set up as a replica of a major league stadium. Most of the boys were accompanied by their fathers and at one point the crew set up a game where the boys played the dads. A great memory for all involved.
Another very memorable moment was when they were able to meet and take pictures with on-air announcer Alanna Rizzo. The boys were able to hear her give her on-air update then she graciously came down to say hello to them.
"Alanna Rizzo, like all our folks is a baseball fan and also loves to see kids playing and enjoying baseball. She’s great just like about all the folks that work here, on-AIR talent or not. She came down to talk for a bit and took some pictures with some of the boys," said Bottitta.
The boys were in awe of the studios and had a great experience especially for these baseball lovers.
When asked what his favorite part of the tour was, NLL All Star player Connor O'Briend replied, "Playing wiffle ball in Studio 42 because Quick Pitch is my favorite show. Oh yeah, and Alana (Rizzo) was pretty cool, too."
Well done CJ Bottitta for sharing MLBN with the boys and families in the community and a great job to those at MLBN for creating a memory that will not be forgotten.