The Hurricanes baseball team is off to a historic start under first-year head coach Gino DiMare.
DiMare tied Perry Moss’ mark in 1955 for the most wins in the first 11 games of his Miami coaching career with a 9-2 record.
While the Hurricanes are much improved on the field under DiMare, off the field, student manager Jake Yardeni has made his impact felt among the organization.
Yardeni, a senior majoring in sport administration, is in his second year with the Canes baseball team.
The Oceanside, New York native fell in love with baseball at an early age. Yardeni, who started playing baseball at four years old, recalls spending countless afternoons going to the New York Yankees and Mets games at the old Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium.
When arriving at the University of Miami, Yardeni knew he wanted to be a part of the baseball program. Director of Baseball Operations Robert “G.M.” McDaniel afforded him the opportunity.
“When I first met him I thought he was a good kid,” McDaniel said. “He came off as very responsible and that hasn’t changed from the day I met him until now.”
Yardeni has quickly garnered the respect from the Hurricanes’ coaches, players and support staff.
Through his strong work ethic and friendly personality, Yardeni has become part of the UM baseball family.
“He does a lot of behind the scenes stuff and does whatever he is asked,” sophomore infielder Tyler Paige said. “He is one of us. He is one of the guys.”
“He’s one of the nicest people I know,” fellow student manager Andrew Gold said. “He’s just a loving guy. He loves being at the field and among all the guys. There is always a smile on his face.”
Yardeni arrives at the ballpark before the players, grabbing bats and buckets of baseballs for the dugout, setting up pitching machines for batting practice and assisting McDaniel and the coaching staff in anyway possible.
For a typical Friday or Saturday evening game, Yardeni gets to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field by 2:30 p.m. ready for a long day at the ballpark.
After the Hurricanes wrap up batting practice, Yardeni assists McDaniel and the other student managers with grabbing Miami’s pregame meal and helping the opposing team.
“I would consider him like a brother to me,” McDaniel said. “Everyone loves him.”
When game time approaches, Yardeni spends his time either in the dugout—helping McDaniel with laundry and grabbing water for the umpires—or behind home plate with a radar gun, charting the Hurricanes’ pitches.
“My favorite part is probably sitting in the dugout with all of the guys and watching the game,” Yardeni said. “It’s just fun to be in that type of environment.”
When the game ends, Yardeni hoping for a Hurricanes victory, he is one of the last people to leave the field. Just as he did setting everything up, Yardeni will make sure everything is returned just the way he found it to start the marathon the very next day.
Yet, despite the long days at The Light, Yardeni wouldn’t want it any other way.
“My whole life has been encompassed in baseball. I don’t really ever leave baseball,” Yardeni said, laughing. “I eat, sleep and breathe baseball. I want to work in baseball after college because that’s the sport I can see myself working 12 to 15 hours a day. I enjoy coming out to the field every day and taking in the smells and sights of baseball.”