How did two players with so many things in common wind up with the Quincy Gems?
Austen and Elias Martinez are not brothers.
The two are not even related.
“We get asked that all the time,” the both said with a laugh.
They do have a lot in common, however.
The two are both right-handed pitchers for the Quincy Gems this summer.
They both have aspirations of playing in the major leagues.
And they both are from New York.
How did two players who live 15 hours away land in Quincy for the summer playing in the Prospect League?
“My high school coach is actually his (Elias) trainer in the off season,” Austen said. “And he (Greg Modica) actually played here about ten years ago so he had connections with Jimmie (Louthan), who then offered us a spot on the roster.”
Louthan is one of the owners of the Gems and is responsible for the construction of the Gems roster.
Elias is a redshirt senior at New York Institute of Technology with one semester of playing eligibility remaining.
Austen will be entering his sophomore season at Gateway Community College in Arizona.
Both players mentioned it didn’t take long to realize fans in Quincy love their baseball.
“The entire atmosphere here is great,” Austen said. “It’s really friendly and homey. The entire town has a lot of love for the team. It feels nice to be able to wear the colors of the Quincy Gems.”
Said Elias, “I feel like everyone here loves the game. It feels comfortable. In New York there is a lot of people and a whole bunch of teams so you don’t see the kind of dedication there from the fans as you do here in Quincy. The way the town here gets behind you makes us feel like we are on a big ball club.”
Elias is spending the summer with a host family, Lisa and Ty Jones, while Austen is hosted by Louthan’s father-in-law.
Both are enjoying driving around the area in cars, instead of the busy city life of taking subs and public transportation.
“I drove my own car here from New York,” Elias said of his way of getting around town.
The Gems are helping Austen get from place to place in his rare downtime.
“Jimmy was nice enough to give me his car for the summer,” he said. “Everywhere I turn, I am just seeing more and more benefits of being a Quincy Gem.”
Another common connection the two New Yorkers share this summer is their favorite place to visit.
“JJ’s cafe for sure,” Elias said without hesitation. “It’s the best. We get half off and the pork tenderloin is awesome.”
Austen also enjoys the tenderloin, but also found another favorite item to order.
“Definitely the strawberry banana smoothie,” he said. “You have to get it.”
The two also share the same idol of the game.
“Pedro Martinez,” Elias said of who he models his game after. “He was great and was an animal. He went right after hitters.”
Austen wears Pedro’s No. 28.
“My dad had his jersey and I had his jersey growing up as well,” Austen said of wearing his idols’ number. “But now that he is out of the game, I also look up to Marcus Stroman. Just the way he approaches the game. He is not the biggest player, but he is a competitor and just gets the job done.”
Aside from all the similarities, the two Gems pitchers do not share the same hidden talents off the field.
“I like to write poetry,” Elias said with a smile. “I like to get deep in my thoughts sometimes.”
While Austen has some skills in other sports.
“I am mainly about the books and baseball right now, but I did play volleyball one semester and did some cheerleading,” he said with a laugh.
But no doubt, both share the same of for the game of baseball.
“If I was not here this summer I would definitely be playing somewhere,” Elias said.
Austen added, “I wouldn’t dare think about spending a week without wearing the cleats. I’ll be on a team somewhere for as long as I can play.”