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Writing Samples

Robby Whalen.jpg

Leon Frailey’s phone rang. It was his brother.

On the other end of the line, a somber, anxious voice released into the air personal, powerful worse of release.

“I’m not going.”

“He’s not going?” Leon thought. Like hell he isn’t.

“You gotta go.”

“I’m not going.”

Despite the coach’s best pleas, this crossroad was different. A good, old fashioned Pennsylvania pep talk wouldn’t work this time.

So Rob didn’t go. Instead, at 25 years old, he quit.

The Seattle Mariners went to Spring Training without him in 2019.

Rob Whalen had hung ’em up.

He’d always loved the Mets. Mom and dad came from Queens, leaving him with no choice but to bleed Amazin’ blood.

“My dad worked for UPS in Manhattan for 20 years, commuting from Pennsylvania every week,” Whalen said. “So I stayed at my grandparents a lot.”

While at his grandparents, he’d watch the Mets on MSG and the Brooklyn Cyclones on FoxSports New York.

“Mike Piazza is my favorite player of all time.”

Whalen stood destined for pitching greatness since his teenage years. Growing up in the Poconos, his parents decided to put all of their chips in the middle of the table — moving from Pennsylvania to Florida during his adolescence. The Whalens wanted to start anew and give their son 12 months of pure baseball weather.

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