Nashua’s De La Rosa doing double diamond duty this summer
At some point down the line this summer, Albert De La Rosa might ultimately need to make a choice.
That would mean good things are happening for Nashua baseball.
Fresh off strong freshman season with the varsity at Nashua South this spring, De La Rosa has done nothing but fortify an already gaudy baseball resume with two teams.
While others wing their way around the country trying to boost their games, the slick De La Rosa has been busy at shortstop for both the state champion Nashua 14s Babe Ruth team and the District B regular season champ Post 124 Senior Legion team.
The common thread: Both clubs have the name “Nashua” on the front of the jersey, and it’s rare but it matters.
“He wants to play baseball for his city, and that’s huge,” said Legion coach Tim Lunn, whose club will host the State Senior Legion Tournament beginning Friday at Holman Stadium. “He’s representing Nashua on two teams.”
De La Rosa’s summer on the diamond picks up in intensity this week, first on Thursday. The Nashua 14s play at 2:30 p.m. in the Regional semifinal. It’s single-elimination.
Win two games, and the team is off to Alabama for the Babe Ruth World Series.
He’ll most likely be hustling over the next two weeks, and that suits De La Rosa just fine.
“I’m just having fun playing baseball, and that’s what I like to do,” said De La Rosa, who came to Nashua from the Dominican Republic three years ago.
“I played (in the Dominican) since I was seven years old. I’m just happy these two teams gave me the opportunity to play here.”
De La Rosa has been the key cog on a team that decimated its in-state opposition at the Babe Ruth level and lost just once in three games at the regional during pool play.
At the Babe Ruth level, he is 16 for 31 with seven extra base hits and 11 RBIs for coach Todd Holbrook’s club.
While most players his age would love to play at the Junior Legion level, De La Rosa stepped right in with the big boys, too.
“He’s one of the more athletic, more skilled players we have,” said Lunn of the youngster, who points to Derek Jeter and Francisco Lindor as his favorite big leaguers.
“He loves being at the ballpark and he loves playing baseball.”
De La Rosa is a one-sport athlete at South, and he admits he is baseball-driven.
But he’s also pushing himself in the classroom, catching up and learning as he goes along, starting with the language.
“I’m doing pretty good in school. I like it,” he said. “I understand a lot more English now than I did.”
Baseball is a universal language, and it continues to pay dividends. De La Rosa has made friends through the game, and he continues to back to his two teams.
Talk about a win-win … for De La Rosa, for baseball and for the city.