Raiders pride will be on full display Friday night in Queens for Patchogue-Medford grad Marcus Stroman’s first home start as a New York Met.
The recently acquired hurler’s high school coach secured a Pat-Med section at Citi Field for the Mets’ contest against division rival Washington Nationals. At least 65 locals will join longtime Patchogue-Medford varsity baseball Coach Anthony Frascogna to cheer on Stroman, who grew up in Medford.
“This is really a mind-blowing event — to have a guy who used to pitch on our mound at the high school now pitching in a league so many of us dreamed of playing in when we were growing up,” said Frascogna, 51, who himself has emerged as a bit of a media darling in wake of the July 31 trade that delivered Stroman back home from the Toronto Blue Jays.
The idea for the trip en masse into Queens began to develop Monday afternoon, after Frascogna’s rock band’s Friday night gig at Fatfish in Bay Shore was cancelled, said Frascogna, guitarist and lead singer of Eddie Trap.
“I contacted Mike Lauria, the owner at Rudis Bar and Grill in Patchogue, because I knew he had a contact with the Mets,” Frascogna said. “By five o’clock, I was on the phone with a guy from the Mets, making arrangements to buy a block of tickets at a group rate.”
The Mets told Frascogna he needed to buy at least 15 tickets to qualify for the group rate. After putting the word out to friends on Facebook, he soon had 65 people committed to attending the game. The seats are in Section 139, beyond the leftfield home run wall.
“I thought it would be a good optic to get one section filled from his hometown to show support,” Frascogna said. “We’re probably going to go in Pat-Med colors, red and black.”
Part of the Pat-Med contingent at Friday night’s game will be Patchogue-Medford Athletic Director Ryan Cox and his family.
“We’re extremely proud of Marcus and what he’s accomplished as a Major League Baseball player and as a college athlete at Duke,” said Cox, who was the head coach of Sayville High School varsity baseball for 15 years before going to Pat-Med in 2017.
“Once a Raider always a Raider,” he added, referring to Marcus’ close ties with the community. “I’m just honored to be a part of it, and to be able to support an alum.”
Cox said the high number of people from the Patchogue-Medford area attending Friday’s game is a testament to “the Pat-Med community and how they support our athletics program.”
The Mets have won eight of nine games since their deal for Stroman, and are now in the thick of the National League playoff race. Stroman’s new team enters Friday’s game riding a six-game winning streak.