YONKERS, N.Y. -- Yonkers resident and Manhattanville College star shortstop Dan Fiorito has signed a professional contract with his hometown New York Yankees, it was announced Friday.
Fiorito, a Fordham Prep graduate and Yankees fan who recently finished an outstanding three-year career at Manhattanville, is only the second player in program history to sign a professional contract, joining former Valiant great Bob Lasbury '93, who was drafted in the 14th round of the 1993 Major League Baseball Entry Draft.
Fiorito said the Yankees contacted him two weeks ago and asked him to attend a workout at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
“It was awesome,” Fiorito said. “They said if I made it past my first workout at Yankee Stadium that I would attend another workout at the Staten Island ballpark (home of the New York-Penn League's Staten Island Yankees).”
Fiorito impressed the scouts enough that they sent him straight to Tampa to work out at the Yankees' spring training complex.
According to Manhattanville College Sports Information Director Steve Sheridan, Fiorito was called into the Yankees Tampa offices after the workout and offered a contract on the spot. After signing his deal, Fiorito was sent right back out to the field where he continued his workout.
Fiorito said he called his family and close friends to inform them of the news, then called Purchase head coach Jeff Caulfield and former pitching coach Mike Seminara to tell them the news.
“Obviously, we're really excited for Danny,” Caulfield said. “I'm not sure what took so long, but he really deserved it. Especially for him growing up as a Yankee fan, it makes it that much better for him.”
An excited Fiorito called all of his former Valiant teammates to inform them he would not be returning to Manhattanville in the spring as a graduate student as he had planned.
“It was hard to walk away, but it was ever harder to turn down,” Fiorito said. “Especially since it was the Yankees. “All of my teammates were congratulating me for signing with the Yankees. I thought that I might be letting them down, but they assured me that wasn't the case. It's always been my dream to play professional baseball.”
Caulfield said he expected Fiorito to go pro at some point.
“I had discussed with the other coaches that I felt he was not coming back,” Caulfield added. “I was sure some team at some point would pick him up before our season started. But Danny's a professional player and deserves to be playing professionally.”
Fiorito told Purchase administrators he will return to New York sometime this weekend as he will be taking graduate classes at Manhattanville this fall.
Fiorito leaves a legacy in Manhattanville's career record books. He finished his career third all-time at the school in home runs (21) and fourth in slugging percentage (.648), while also placing sixth in runs scored (116) and total bases (258), seventh in batting average (.397) and runs batted in (108), and 10th in hits (158) and on-base percentage (.474).
From a report by Steve Sheridan/Manhattanville College sports Information