New York National League fans were thrilled when Met baseball legend Lee Mazzilli’s son, L.J., was selected by the team in the fourth round as the 116th overall pick in the 2013 draft. In a recent interview with Brooklyn Based, L.J., who is currently playing for the Brooklyn Cyclones, noted the Mazzilli family’s strong ties to Sheepshead Bay.
L.J.’s father, Lee, was a huge homegrown star of the New York Mets in the late 70s and throughout the 80s. A Lincoln High School graduate, Mazzilli was part of a proud athletic tradition. His father was welterweight boxer and Sheepshead Bay native Libero Mazzilli. As the Met’s sole representative in the 1979 All-Star game, he hit a dramatic game-tying home run in the 8th inning and later scored the winning run for the National League in the ninth. After being traded for future Met great Ron Darling before 1982, he returned to the Mets during the 1986 Championship season and contributed as a key role player.
Mazzilli’s son, L.J., continues the family’s proud Brooklyn athletic tradition as a second basemen for the Brooklyn Cyclones. He spoke of his memories with his grandparents in Sheepshead Bay:
Where’s your favorite place in Brooklyn?
Sheepshead Bay. My grandparents were there until they passed away, so you know, there’s lot of history there. You know, that park right underneath the overpass by Avenue Z. I grew up playing handball and basketball and stickball and would ride my bike around there and then hit my grandma’s salon shop down the road. My grandpa would take us there and meet her for lunch all the time. So I mean that’s my favorite spot when I was little.
I really hope L.J. Mazzilli makes it to the major leagues as a New York Met. There is just so much to root for here; his father’s glory days with the team, the Brooklyn roots and especially the Sheepshead Bay connection. Did anyone ever remember spotting the elder Mazzillis in the area? Let us know.