Jared Goldberg likes to say that baseball is in his blood.
Although he started playing at Naamans Little League when he was 5, he has always had big cleats to fill. His sister, Lexi was an accomplished softball player, and even his mom, Alison and dad, Michael, were pitchers in their younger days. But that never discouraged him.
“I’ve always been a pitcher. I love to throw,” says Goldberg of Wilmington.
Since the age of 13, Goldberg has attended summer camp at IMG Academy, a boarding school and sports-training destination in Bradenton, Fla. The baseball program consists of multiple teams at the junior varsity and varsity levels, as well as post-graduate and freshmen programs.
Depending on the team, competition includes national, regional and local competition. More than 20 student-athletes and alumni have been drafted by Major League Baseball organizations since 2005, including Pedro Alvarez and Kyle Kendrick. Goldberg will begin orientation at IMG Aug. 25 and hopes to make a top team.
During his freshman year at Salesianum School, Goldberg pitched for the junior varsity squad. His fastball was clocked at an imposing 72 mph. His sophomore year, he made the varsity team, which finished 12-6 during the regular season. His first varsity start was against Conrad School, which resulted in a 7-2 loss for Salesianum.
“I was nervous, so I ended up walking a lot of kids,” he says. But he ended the season with an impressive 5-1 record, which included a quarterfinals win over Hodgson Vo-Tech. Salesianum went on to the semifinals, losing 1-0 to Conrad.
Goldberg, 16, is entering his junior year with a fastball that now registers 86 mph on the radar gun. He says playing baseball at IMG should help him reach his full potential.
“I am 6-foot-2 inches tall and weigh 192 pounds,” he says. “I am lanky and have room to put some strength on.”
Although he’s going to miss his family—“they are my rock”—and his teammates, he’s looking forward to a fresh start.