Former College of Staten Island baseball star Joey Falcone, a member of the team during the 2011 season, signed a free agent contract with Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees, it was announced today.  Falcone earned CUNYAC and ECAC Division III Metro Rookie of the Year honors in 2011 and subsequently transferred to Columbia University, where he shined for the Lions for the past three years.  Now a Yankee, Falcone was assigned to the club’s Gulf Coast League affiliate in Tampa, Florida.

Falcone enjoyed a tremendous season in 2011.  He batted .336 for the unit with 42 hits that included 12 for extra bases including a team-high seven triples.  He added 29 RBI and 19 runs scored with six stolen bases.  The Dolphins finished 23-19, en route to the CUNYAC Championship and an ECAC Postseason appearance.

Perhaps more than Falcone’s power at the plate and finesse on the basepaths, was his personal story, one that included three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a United States Marine.  A Brooklyn native, Falcone returned home in 2010 and joined CSI as a 24-year-old freshman.  He parlayed his Division III experience on the diamond to a successful career at Columbia, where he became the first All-America from the Ivy League since 2006.

“I am not surprised,” commented CSI Head Coach Michael Mauro.  “I think his time at CSI prepared him well, getting the rust off and getting him back to baseball and the sport he loved.  Baseball is in his blood and he had a great impact on our program.”

Falcone’s personal story was highlighted by the New York Daily News in 2011, and upon the conclusion of the 2011 athletic year at CSI, he was bestowed with the CSI Inspiration Award, given to him by the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at their annual awards banquet.