It started with a passion and persistence of the game that brought Kyle Gamez and New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard together. Gamez had been cut from his high school baseball team after playing his freshman year, and Syndergaard was still playing minor league ball.
Having played his entire life, Gamez knew baseball was something he wanted to pursue in college, but he needed intense training. His junior year of college, he went to Davis Skill Center in hopes of finding a pitching trainer.
“The owner of the facility said that he knew a minor league kid that trained hard and would be a good fit for me to work with,” Gamez said.
When Gamez reached out to Syndergaard, Syndergaard said he was no longer available to train players. Gamez persisted, saying that he only needed one summer of training. A summer of intense training sharpened Gamez and eventually led him to play at the University of Texas-Arlington before transferring to UD in 2015. Gamez has pitched his entire career at UD and usually comes out of the bullpen during high pressure games.
Gamez says that Syndergaard instilled his philosophy that, “what you get out of the sport is equal to whatever you put into it.”
Syndergaard recognized Gamez’s efforts and hardwork in an Instagram post with the caption, “Couldn’t be more proud of this guy right here! He’s flat out worked his A$$ off for the past 3 years. I’ve never seen someone so eager to learn and give it 110% every single day…”
Syndergaard played a huge role in Gamez’s baseball success, but it would have been nothing without Gamez’s persistence and hard work.
Recently, Gamez has had to leave the game because of an arm injury.
“It began after last summer. At UD we played around 40 games a season, but the league I was playing for had us play 60 games throughout the summer and I ended the summer with 15 more games” Gamez said.
The 40 games were played in Canada with the Fort McMurray Giants in the Western Major Baseball League. The collegiate summer baseball team based in Fort McMurray operates out of Shell Place. After having a successful season with them, Gamez had the chance to play for the Thunder Bay Border Cats, a Northwoods League, also in Canada. He played 15 games with the team.
“Pitching everyday and playing that many games without a whole lot of rest days really took a toll on my arm,” he said. “It came down to me choosing between continuing with baseball and not being able to give 100 or fixing my shoulder and being the pitcher I want to be.”
Gamez is known for giving 100 percent, so he chose the latter. He’s been going to rehab and had an MRI done before spring break in hopes for further diagnosis of the injury in his arm. Although his baseball career has come to an end at UD, he hopes to pursue a career in the baseball world whether on the field as a player or in the front office as a business professional.
“If I could be part of any Major Baseball League team I’d be happy.”