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World Baseball Classic coverage

“I can still barely hit it out,” said Davis, standing on the field at MCU Stadium, home of the Mets’ Class A affiliate Brooklyn Cyclones, and eying the right-field wall. “Can you feel that wind?”

The old memories came rushing back Thursday, with Davis and Satin in Coney Island to play for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic qualifiers. For Davis, 29, that meant saying hello to MCU Park security guards he first met almost a decade earlier. For Satin, it meant swinging again on the field where he spent a promising first year in professional baseball. “Not much has changed,” said Satin. “This was a big selling point for me to play for this team, to be able to play at Coney Island again.”

The reason they’re here, back where their careers began, is to help Team Israel — its roster packed with two dozen players with big league ties — to qualify for the WBC’s 16-nation field for the first time. Great Britain, Pakistan and Brazil make up the rest of the field for the qualifier, which features a doubleheader Friday and games throughout the weekend. The winner of Sunday’s championship game at 6 p.m. ET will travel to Seoul, South Korea, next March and compete against host Korea.

Weistein on growth of baseball

Weistein on growth of baseball

Weinstein discusses growth of baseball in Israel

Israel manager Jerry Weinstein talks about the growth of baseball and how having former Major Leaguers benefits his team

Davis and Satin, with nearly 900 Major League games between them, figure to play big roles in getting Team Israel there, as do former big leaguers Craig Breslow and Ryan Lavarnway. They also help give this international qualifier a local feel for New York fans.

Davis hit 68 home runs over five seasons with the Mets, and recently made an eight-game cameo with the Yankees. Satin played a utility role in parts of four seasons for the Mets, most recently in 2014. Right-handed pitchers Josh Zeid and Tyler Herron, both Mets minor leaguers, are also on the team. Jason Marquis, who made 19 starts against the Mets over his 15-year MLB career and lives just a bridge away from MCU Park, in Staten Island, started Thursday’s opener for Team Israel.

“New York has been my adult home, more than, say, where I live in Arizona,” said Davis. “People still embrace me here and it’s really nice walking down the street. People say ‘Hey, I miss you man.’ I don’t know why, but I appreciate it.”

Though Davis and Satin spent just one season in Brooklyn — not uncommon for talented prospects — they cherish the experience. They were teammates on the Cyclones in 2008, then at nearly every level after that. Davis grew to be the slugger who hit 32 homers for the Mets in 2012. But few know it was Satin who outslugged him in Brooklyn.

“That is brought up more often than not when we’re talking about the good old days,” said Satin, who retired this summer due to head injuries. “I built relationships here that have lasted forever. This was our starting point. We were all young kids, wide-eyed, didn’t know what was ahead and it really is someplace that will always be special to me.”

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


Source: Mets News / Davis, Satin return to their roots in Brooklyn