Let the good times keep rolling.
That’s what former Berkeley Carroll baseball star Richie Palacios wants, because that’s what he’s experienced since he left Brooklyn. After high school, he made his way to Towson University in Maryland, where he has excelled in his first two seasons for the Tigers. As a freshman in 2016, Palacios became the first player in Towson history to be named Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Year. He followed that up this year by hitting for a .338 average with five home runs, 29 runs batted in and 19 stolen bases.
Earlier this summer, Palacios trekked to Massachusetts to play in the Cape Cod League, because he felt the big-league style of play would help him sharpen his game, and broaden his life experiences.
“The baseball is super competitive, that’s the first thing,” he said. “But the sightseeing is also a nice thing to have, to spend time with your teammates on off days and get to know the area.”
Palacios, an infielder, recently debuted for the Bourne Braves, one of 10 teams made up almost entirely of players recruited by their college squads to play in Massachusetts for the summer.
Palacios shares a dugout at Bourne with players from some of the top college baseball programs in the country — including Oregon State, Louisville and Florida State — a situation, he believes, that can only improve his professional chances.
“It’s an awesome experience and it’ll also help me in the future, hopefully if I get to play professional baseball one day,” he said.
Palacios has a major league pedigree; his father made it to Triple-A with the Detroit Tigers, and an uncle made it all the way to The Show with the Kansas City Royals in the late 1980s.
If he plans to follow in their footsteps, Palacios is in the right place; the Cape Cod League is arguably the most historic amateur baseball loop in the country, with roots dating back to 1885. At one point or another throughout its storied history, more than 1,000 Major Leaguers played on the same fields Palacios currently calls home. He uses that fact for self-motivation.
“It definitely is an honor, and it reminds you that with hard work and diligence, you can achieve the same things that the guys that have played here have achieved,” he said.
In the short term, Palacios has his sights set on helping his Towson team — which struggled to a 20-34 record this year — win a conference title and make an appearance in the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.
“I would love to make a regional, win a championship as a team,” he said. “We just have to improve every day. We’ve got a lot of guys playing summer ball, working on their game to help the team.”
Palacios credits much of the success he’s had so far — and any he might achieve in on the baseball diamond in the future — to “that Brooklyn mentality, [which means] you gotta work hard and do what you can do to achieve the things you want to achieve and not rely on other people for those things to happen.”