By Nicole Mitchell, Sussex County Miners
Every year we take time to celebrate the people who matter in our lives. With this in mind, today is National Brother’s Day. Brothers are the guys in our lives who not only picked on us when we were young, but the guys who picked on anyone who messed with us. You might have one or you might have many, but brothers are held dear to our hearts. And even if you don’t have a brother, perhaps you have someone like a friend or relative who made you feel like you weren’t alone, and that’s why brothers are being celebrated today. This season, brotherhood takes on a whole new meaning as the Sussex County Miners will be the baseball home to Pedro and Audy Ciriaco.
January 26, 2019 — The 2018 Can-Am League Champion Sussex County Miners officially signed former Major League infielder Pedro Ciriaco. However, this decision not only brought his 14 years of professional baseball experience to his new team, but it also brought two brothers together to play baseball for the first time in America. Pedro’s younger brother Audy was a huge contributor during the Miners; Cam- Am League championship run last season as he batted .432 (16-37) with three doubles, nine runs scored and nine RBIs.
In a recent interview Audy explained to me that not only did his older brother play baseball, but so did his father. With that in mind, it is safe to say that family involvement in the sport is a long-time family tradition. His mother played the tougher role by making sure that the boys had all their homework completed before they could go outside to play baseball. When I asked Audy who was the more studious one, he claimed that it was him by saying, “That’s me for sure.”
Growing up in the Dominican Republic, the Ciriacos would practice and play together, but since Pedro was a few years older and the more outgoing one according to Audy, they didn’t really play together until he was about 13-14 years old. As for a sibling rivalry, Audy said that their brotherly dynamic was normal and would make them play harder and they would become more competitive. The first time they played against each other in professional baseball was in 2012, while Audy played for the Toledo Mudhens, (Detroit Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate, International League) and Pedro played for the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox Triple-A affiliate) “It was fun[and] it was weird because I wanted him to [play] good but if hit the ball to me, I would try to get him out.” Audy really enjoys being on the same field as his brother because it makes him proud that they are both living their dreams on the baseball diamond.
It came as no surprise to Audy when his brother signed for the Miners to play with him. They had talked previously about it during the 2018 season being that Pedro came to watch his younger brother play but unfortunately was not in the position to play at that time. However, he will soon be joining his brother on the field and honestly Audy couldn’t be happier about it. It is the first time that the duo will have the opportunity to play ball together in America. Audy is thrilled to be teammates with his brother at last. Even when they played against each other it did not negatively affect their relationship, and now being teammates will be bringing them even closer.
With today being National Brothers Day, Audy advises other sets of brothers who are doing the same sport/activity together by saying, “Make sure that you enjoy what you are doing and have fun, be serious, but always make sure your having fun doing it.” There is no question the Ciriacos will bring great energy to The Sussex County Miners’ 2019 season and their new brotherly revelry will result in exciting teamwork. As the season continues, we look forward to seeing this duo finally play together.