YORK, PA-York College’s Mike Santoro (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan) became the second Spartan in as many years to sign a professional baseball contract as he inked a deal with the Atlantic City Surf of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball league (Can-Am) on Tuesday afternoon.
Santoro made his debut a successful one on Tuesday evening as the catcher was 2-for-4 in addition to throwing a runner out in the game.
“It’s living a dream for me,” says Santoro. “It’s the opportunity that I have been working for everyday of my life. After my collegiate career ended earlier this month, I wasn’t sure I was going to get a chance to continue my career professionally but I got a little lucky with the Surf. Their back-up catcher retired early in the season and their starter got hurt on Monday. I had been working out with them and they told me I would be activated and play on Tuesday night. I am very fortunate to get the opportunity to play professional baseball and I will work very hard every day to make the most of this chance.”
Santoro isn’t looking to far into the future.
“My plan is to play this summer and go from there. This will the be best summer job I have ever had,” states Santoro.
Santoro concluded his two-year Spartan career in early May as a two-time All-CAC second team selection. Santoro finished the season a team-best .371 batting average with 29 RBI, 18 runs scored, 13 doubles, one triple, and one homer. He had a .459 on-base percentage while his slugging percentage was .516. Santoro recorded a team-high 16 walks for the year.
In his two years in the green and white, Santoro was a .343 hitter with 60 RBI, 53 runs scored, 24 doubles, one triple, and five home runs in 84 games played. Santoro finished with 96 career hits in 280 at-bats for York.
“I'm really excited for Mike,” states Spartan head baseball coach Paul Saikia. “Baseball is such an important part of his life, it's great to know he has the opportunity to continue to play and to run onto the field as a professional. We're all very proud.”
The Can-Am league is comprised of eight teams as the Brockton Rox, the Nashua Pride, the New Jersey Jackals, the Ottawa Rapidz, Les Capitales de Quebec, the Sussex Skyhawks, and the Worcester Tornadoes join the Surf in the composition of the league.
The most recent incarnation of the league began October 6, 2004, as the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball was reborn with the Bangor Lumberjacks, Brockton Rox, Elmira Pioneers, New Haven County Cutters, New Jersey Jackals, North Shore Spirit, Worcester Tornadoes, and Les Capitales de Quebec as the charter members. In 2006, Elmira and the 2005 road team, Grays, were replaced with the newcomers Sussex Skyhawks and the Nashua Pride. The following year the league expanded to ten teams with the additions of the Atlantic City Surf and the rebirth of the road team Grays. Following the 2007 season, the New Haven County Cutters and North Shore Spirit decided not to operate. Ottawa, a member of the Can-Am from 1936-39, replaced the Grays, giving the league eight strong teams.