Everybody has a passion. For Jake Gigliotti, baseball is that passion, and has been for his entire life.
Gigliotti is a pitcher at Northeastern University in Boston. He is currently a freshman and the beginning of his first collegiate season is right around the corner.
Baseball served as the foundation for a good portion of his childhood and also carried deep family roots.
Q: What are the first memories you have of playing baseball and what led you to playing the sport?
A: “The first memories that I have from playing baseball were in Little League. My dad was the coach and it was everything we cared about. I remember going to school and talking about the games every day, talking trash, and knowing the whole town would be there. On days off, I couldn’t wait to practice and see how many home runs I could hit, and I couldn’t wait to shag fly balls with my best friends. My dad was very good at the sport and I learned from him. Him pushing me everyday to be a better athlete and better person is why I believe I am where I am today. Pushing to be better than he was always was a motivator.”
With his dad introducing him to the game, Gigliotti also received tremendous support from his mother both on and off the field.
Q: Did you have any role models growing up as a kid that you play for today?
A: “My mom. She inspires me every day to not only be a better player, but to be a better person. If I can be half the person she is, then that’s a pretty good life.”
The pitcher from Auburn, MA continued to work on his game throughout his youth allowing him to put together a pretty impressive resume prior to the commitment to Northeastern.
Gigliotti played for the Worcester Warriors, EvoShield Canes, ECNE Expos, North Shore Navigators, and also played baseball in high school at Saint Peter-Marian and Wachusett Regional.
He also spent a post-grad year at The Winchendon School. In one of his outings against Tilton School, Gigiotti faced 15 batters through five innings of work.
He struck out every single one of them.
Some of his most memorable moments on a baseball field stemmed from his experiences with these teams.
Q: What are some of the most memorable moments you have on the field?
A: “One of the most memorable moments was my first appearance this summer in the FCBL. We were playing the Worcester Bravehearts, a team that I grew up watching. It was my first time back in the city playing baseball in a few years. Having my family and friends there, and the way the game played out was a memory I’ll never forget. One of the other things that I forever hold close was winning a District Championship my freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school, as well as a Super-8 appearance my senior year. Doing that at two different schools is something that I don’t think anybody has done.”
In his time playing around the country, Gigliotti came in contact with numerous coaches and athletic personnel that positively impacted his career.
Q: Who are some coaches that have really impacted you as a player and person and how did they have such an impact?
A: “First and foremost, my dad has had a huge impact on my baseball career, as well as from a parental standpoint. He has coached me up until high school, and still made every single game. Working out with him in the off-season made me the player I am. My mom has also been the best coach I could have ever asked for. Everything from driving me to practice, which was 10 minutes away, or flying me across the country, she has been there every step of the way and she is the best coach I’ve ever had. Cressey Sports Performance and all the people there, especially Eric Cressey, have played a huge roll in my athletic career and have taken me to that next level. Being in there surrounded by guys with the same aspirations as me, and guys that have already lived those dreams makes you work damn hard. I would also like to shout out Rich Gilbride and Derek January from the Expos for getting me to the next level.”
With baseball consuming such a large portion of his life, Gigliotti faced some adversity off the field in the classroom.
Q: Have you faced any hardships or adversity in your playing career/life in general and if so, what were they?
A: “Every player goes through ups and downs, and for me I knew that if I wanted to play in the field, I also had to play in the classroom. I knew once I started being able to balance those two aspects of life, I’d be set. Finding that balance was tough.”
With help from his family, Gigliotti was able to power through his struggles. He said that his mother would always stress to him that baseball is not forever, but education is. His family would push him to do better in school, a trait that would surely be beneficial at a school such as Northeastern.
Q: How rewarding is it to see yourself end up at a school like Northeastern? In addition to that, how are you feeling about playing at a Division I college? Nervous? Excited?
A: “Playing at Northeastern is a very honorable, humbling experience and a very good opportunity. To end up at a school that is not just excelling athletically, but also academically is a blessing. To be able to know that I either leave Northeastern as a draftee or with a college degree from a top prestigious school in the country is an amazing feeling.”
As a freshman, Gigliotti has plenty of time to make a name for himself at Northeastern. He said that he has worked very hard to put himself in a position to make an immediate impact for the Huskies. He hopes to help the team win some games this year and stands by the coaching staff’s ability to handle his workload for the season.
One thing the right-hander really tries to focus on is simply having fun on the field. He tries not to take himself too seriously and makes the most out of every opportunity. Not many baseball players at his age get the opportunity to play Division I baseball, so Gigliotti is determined to prolong his career.
Q: What are you looking forward to in the future and what kind of outlook do you have for your playing career?
A: “Hopefully I can play this game forever, but we all know every player has to hang up his cleats one day. As long as I’m having fun and working hard, they’ll have to pry those cleats off of me themselves. I plan on riding this wave as long as I can.”
At just 20-years-old, Gigliotti has plenty of baseball left to play in his life. It has already been a long journey, but there is much more to come.
“Have a dream and just run with it,” Gigliotti said. “Go out, give it all you got, have the time of your life, and make something of yourself.”
The Edge Sports Network team would like to thank Jake Gigliotti for taking the time to answer our questions for this interview. We wish him and the Northeastern Huskies the best of luck this season.
Cover photo via: Elliot Harvey
Follow Jake Gigliotti on Twitter: @Jake16Gigliotti
Follow Edge Sports Network on Twitter: @TheEdgeSN