Local baseball player signs with Pittsburgh Pirates | News
WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Western Mass News is your Local Sports Authority.
One local baseball prospect is following his dreams of playing professional baseball and is not forgetting his roots that helped propel his success.
There are only 16 active major league baseball players from Massachusetts. Nick Dombkowski, a graduate of West Springfield High School, is hoping to add his name to that list one day while continuing to play the game he loves.
“Just keep believing in yourself, and anything’s possible,” Dombkowski said.
Dombkowski, a 2017 graduate of West Springfield High School, is playing out his childhood dream of playing professional baseball. He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization in July.
“Put a lot of hard work in over the years to get to this position, and you know I was just ecstatic to play professional baseball,“ Dombkowski said.
The left-handed pitcher made an immediate impact for the team’s low-A affiliate, the Bradenton Marauders, helping lead them to a championship this fall.
“I’m a person who always wants to play, always wants the ball. So getting in there and being able to contribute to a team right away especially making a playoff push and ultimately winning the championship was definitely surreal,” Dombkowski said.
At West Springfield High School, Dombkowski helped lead the terriers to a 2016 State Championship never shying away from the spotlight.
“During that state run, that was Nick. He was like, hey if I’m good on rest I want the ball I don’t care who it is I don’t care what situation it just gives me the ball and we’ll get the job done,” West Springfield High School baseball coach Garrett Kendziera said.
Kendziera knew Dombkowski was special early on and attributes his hard work for his continued success.
“Everybody’s going to practice, but it’s what you do when no one‘s watching or what are you gonna do that separates yourself from everybody else,” Kendziera said.
Dombkowski’s western Mass. pride is strong. He played summer ball for the Westfield Starfires in 2020.
“You know, Nick is a terrific kid, and he was instrumental and us rallying the local fanbase coming out of a pandemic,” Westfield Starfires co-owner Chris Thompson said.
He’s giving back to the community,, however, he can, training with local talent and coaching western Mass. kids in the offseason.
“The town is super supportive, just reaching out to my family and wishing you the best of luck. It’s amazing to just be from a close community like this,“ Dombkowski said.
Dombkowski’s current focus involves getting stronger and working on his secondary pitches and keeping his baseball dreams alive.
“Try to go one step at a time but hopefully continue playing baseball at something that I love,” Dombkowski said.
Dombkowski will also be honored locally in November when he’s inducted into the West Springfield High School Athletics Hall of Fame.