spoke to John Mollicone about his life after baseball, specifically his apparel company named 2JM Apparel. Today we'll continue the conversation, focusing on his time in the Rays organization.
RaysProspects: What was it like to be drafted?
John Mollicone: It was great. It was fulfilling reaching a goal I had set when I started college. My parents were very proud of me, they always are, but they knew getting drafted was important to me, and it made me feel good to make them proud.
RP: Did you know of the Rays interest prior to the draft?
JM: Yes, John Ceprini followed Fordham all year my senior year and I always played well in front of him. Before the draft I had a couple of workouts for the Yankees and Phillies, but I had a feeling John was going to take me somewhere in the middle rounds.
RP: You began your pro career in Princeton, any memories of your time with the P-Rays?
JM: I remember thinking that I had just graduated college and I was playing with guys that just graduated high school, so that was an adjustment for me. Not in terms of baseball, but just that I think there is a big change that happens from high school to college mentally. Princeton was fun though, the Super 8 Motel maybe not so great lol, but I met some great people including the chaplain, Craig, who I still stay in touch with, and of course Ann, the "laundry mama".
RP: You even pitched a scoreless inning for the P-Rays, how did that come about?
JM: I think it was the seventh or eighth game of the season and I had yet to get any playing time. We were playing the Elizabethton Twins and they were pounding us, maybe 18-2, and Nelly came over to me and asked if I could pitch. Sure, why not. I didn't have a 1,2,3 inning but I think I gave up a single and then a pop up, ground out, and then the clean up hitter stroked one right at Jeff Carroll who was playing third for the third out. I actually traded Mayo Acosta one of my catchers mitts for the glove he let me use that night, so I'll never forget that. Everyone loved that story, my first professional appearance was on the mound.
RP: Your second season was with the Hudson Valley Renegades, any thoughts on that season?
JM: For me the highlight was playing at Fenway towards the end of the season against Lowell. I played first base that game, and just remember that we had gotten into town at 3 or 4 in the morning and had to be back on the bus at 9 maybe? I don't remember the exact times but there was only a few hours to sleep. But we took BP on the field and it was a great game. By the 7th inning the place was almost packed in anticipation of the AAA game following ours. It ended up going to extra innings and I think maybe the 13th inning the Spinners won on a walk off single and I'll never forget how loud Fenway got. Walking off the field I was just looking in the stands, it was almost deafening. My family was there for that game so that was definitely special to me.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our interview, and make sure to check out John's online store.
For past RP interviews please see:
Ex-Rays: Catching Up With John Mollicone
John Sickels On The Rays
Questions and Answers: Stephen Vogt