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Penn State Baseball: Haley Signs With Tampa Bay Rays

by on June 16, 2016 2:00 PM

Penn State baseball junior third baseman Jim Haley will forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility, as he signed with the Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday. He will be assigned to the organization’s Class-A Short Season affiliate, the Hudson Valley Renegades, which will visit Medlar Field at Lubrano Park Sunday-Tuesday when they take on the State College Spikes.

“I feel like signing with the Rays was the best opportunity for me,” said Haley in a release. “It has been a dream of mine since I started playing baseball to get drafted by a big league team. It is an absolute honor and privilege and something that I do not take for granted.”

The Rays selected Haley in the 19th round of the 2016 MLB Draft with the 570th overall pick. The Renegades play in Wappingers Falls, New York, approximately 80 miles north of New York City.

“I just want to thank Penn State and everything it has given to me,” said Haley. “I had an incredible three years there and made memories and friends to last a lifetime. I'd like to thank all of the people that I had the privilege of being around every day, especially the staff at [Medlar Field] and the Morgan Academic Center. I'd like to thank my coaches for pushing me to become the best player and person that I could be. I'd like to thank all of the teammates that I was blessed to be around during my career. They will never know the impact that they made on me, helping me to grow as a player and more importantly, as a person.

“Penn State will always have a special place in my heart.”

It will be the only series between the Spikes and Renegades this season. Haley is looking to become the fifth Nittany Lion to play at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park as a professional. The most recent was Ben Heath in 2010 with the Tri-City Valley Cats of the Houston Astros organization. Scott Gummo was the first when he returned, also with the Hudson Valley Renegades, in 2006. The following season, Gary Amato and Matt Cavagnarobecame the first former Penn State players to suit up for the hometown State College Spikes.

“We are very proud of them and excited they have the opportunity to do something they have always dreamed of,” said Penn State head coach Rob Cooper. “Penn State will always be home to them.”

 

 

 



Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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