Justin Courtney returns to Maine with Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Courtney’s also gotten the chance to play Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan for documentary footage in Facing Nolan, adding that it’s neat how they look alike in various points of Ryan’s career
PORTLAND, Maine (WABI) - Justin Courtney’s baseball journey began in Bangor, moved to Orono with the Black Bears, and now he’s playing in Double-A in the New York Mets’ system with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
He recently returned to his home state for a series against the Portland Sea Dogs, and he described what it means to make it there.
“This is pretty surreal, to be honest. I used to grow up going to these games every sumer. To have a chance to walk on the field and pitch is super special. My whole family’s been here to watch, so it’s a pretty cool, special experience,” said Courtney, Binghamton pitcher.
Courtney credits consistency and adding velocity to the low-to-mid 90s in his continuing career after Tommy John surgery in 2018.
“Everything that I’ve gone through over the past few years has definitely helped me get to this point. There were some struggles, and I’ve had to learn a lot, especially as you climb the ladder transitioning from college to pro ball where the schedule’s different, the hitters are different, wooden bats, you name it. There’s a million different things with college to professional baseball,” said Courtney.
Courtney’s proud of Mainers making it in professional baseball.
“All these guys are north of Portland too, so Bangor baseball and just that whole area, we all grew up playing against each other. We’ve got some great coaches, the facilities up there are nice, the university helps out with local baseball, and it’s pretty special,” said Courtney.
Courtney hopes his path motivates others.
“Hopefully I can be an inspiration that you can come from however small of a town and make it. Hopefully I’ll make it to the big leagues, and it’ll be an even better story,” said Courtney.
Courtney’s also gotten the chance to play Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan for documentary footage in Facing Nolan, adding that it’s neat how they look alike in various points of Ryan’s career.
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