Sharing the Wealth: Anthony Lebron
You would not expect a ten year-old ball player to have aspirations beyond having fun and trying to make the plays he sees his heroes make at the professional level. Anthony Lebron of Paterson, NJ enjoys baseball as much as any kid you know. He loves watching Derek Jeter make “amazing plays and A-Rod hit game winning home runs.” He marvels at Mark Texeira’s bat speed and fielding prowess at 1st base; and, he particularly admires Jorge Posada’s “glove movement, his soft hands.”
and Derek Jeter
Some fairly sophisticated observations for an average ten year-old, right? Except that Anthony Lebron does not resemble an average ten year-old. Although just beginning his playing ‘career,’ Anthony has already accomplished more on a baseball field than you would expect from an average ten year-old.
For starters, he has won three batting titles for three different teams, plays two separate positions with equal ability, launches 285 foot home runs as a matter of routine, and hits equally well to all fields. After only two years playing at the pee-wee level, he hit over .500 for the Montclair Yankees 10U travel team. That was two years ago, when he was only eight years-old.
Since then he has starred for the Warwick Blackhawks, the Lodi Mariners, and the NJ Express. Everywhere Anthony plays he leaves his mark, and that has usually been a distant spot beyond the outfield fence where a ball he’s hit lands.
Nutley High School and Lefty’s hitting coach, Nick DiGiacomo, who currently trains him, marvels at Anthony’s all-around abilities. “His focus for a young kid is phenomenal; there’s nothing he can’t do on a baseball field. His form, strength and consistency set him apart. He’s a rare talent.”
Lefty’s Sports Academy
840 Bloomfield Avenue, Clifton, NJ 973-777-BATS (-2287)
Coach Nick DiGiacomo
Similarly, his catching coach, Ani Ramos, speaks highly of his young protégé’s abilities behind the plate. Ramos should know. He’s a veteran player in the north Jersey Met League, and 1st Base Coach for all three New Jersey Jackals’ league championships.
NJ Jackals Coach Ani Ramos
The next team to benefit from his budding baseball talents will be the Fairfield Pirates 10U travel team. When New Jersey Baseball Magazine spoke with him and Jose, his Dad, at Lefty’s in Clifton, Anthony had just won a roster spot on the team and was taking some hitting practice preliminary to starting indoor workouts.
As impressive as his baseball skills, Anthony’s attitude reflects an incredibly mature approach to life as well as the game. First and foremost, his devotion to team comes from a genuine concern, both for his teammates and for people in general.
When asked to relate his most memorable performances, he talks about the achievements of his team versus his own personal accomplishments. As a player he was happiest when his Lodi Mariners team reached the championship game in last summer’s Parsippany Tournament. As a player, he was proudest when his NJ Express team achieved a second place finish in the ’09 fall ball league. It was only after some prodding that he remembered hitting an inside-the-park home run as a member of the Montclair Yankees.
When asked to describe his goals, Anthony talks about wanting to “make lots of money to donate to the homeless and to struggling families.” When he’s not excelling on the field, in his spare time he helps as much as he can around his grandmother’s house. Yes, you heard right, all that from a ten year-old.
Anthony Lebron - A Rare Talent
For now, Anthony will continue to train and emulate his Major League Baseball (MLB) heroes. It’s fitting that this stable, well adjusted, ten year-old wants to model himself after a MLB catcher who has “soft hands and a solid stance, wide not wobbly.” Jorge Posada is one of the most steady, most reliable Yankees ever to play the game. NJB Magazine believes it’s safe to say that young Anthony is cut in that same mold.
Yankees’ Jorge Posada
Steady on course to a successful career, in baseball and otherwise, Anthony Lebron, figures to cut his own path. The most talented among us often do. Whether or not baseball becomes his eventual calling, it’s clear that Anthony will have the right training, the right sensibility, and the right attitude to achieve success in life.
As his No. 1 Coach and Fan, Dad Jose, emphasizes, “Life is a learning process; the mind and the experience go together. Always be a student, and use your God-given talent to give back to your community. If you don’t share with people, what is the point to having everything/”
With loving guidance and direction like that, it’s no surprise that the last comment that Anthony made in our interview was that he wants to “have a batting cage, to give back to the kids.”
New Jersey Baseball Magazine will be among the observers as Anthony moves through his playing career. We know that he will be giving back every step of the way.