On Saturday, December 1st, 2007, Joseph A. Verdino, Jr. suddenly passed away in his sleep at the age of ten. Joseph had a deep love for life and a special love for baseball. A giver and never a taker; Joseph always lifted the spirits of his family, friends, and neighbors.
In Joseph's life, all who came in contact with him were greatly inspired and emotionally touched by his unyielding zest for life, sports and family. Joseph was a selfless child with a heart of pure gold and wise beyond his years. Joseph was good natured, kind, and would light up a room with his beautiful smile.
In October 2005, Joseph was hospitalized at Cornell Medical Center with a viral encephalitis. Joseph was hospitalized for three months during which he spent six weeks in a medically induced coma. In what doctors called "nothing short of a miracle"; Joseph fought his way back. His healing process was slow and steady and Joseph was well on his way to a full recovery. Joseph's first words after awaking from the coma were "South Shore Little League" and then he asked "Did I make the Majors"? These words were true to form; since Joseph's passion was baseball. Joseph's favorite team was the Yankees and his favorite player was Yankee captain Derek Jeter. In what turned out to be Joseph's first medical recovery test, he successfully named all the Yankee players; adding their numbers and positions.
Joseph was released from the hospital on December 30th, 2005. In April 2006, Joseph was back playing for South Shore Little League. Joseph was an exceptional baseball player, well above average. Although heavily medicated at the time, and not playing up to his ability, that did not bring Joseph's spirit down on the field. Joseph played with all his heart and soul.
To be in Joseph's company was like being with an Angel. To honor Joseph, and commemorate his life while giving back to the community he loved; the Verdino family has started the Joseph Anthony Verdino, Jr. Field of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization. Our mission, is to raise funds to build a state of the art little league baseball stadium at SSLL and improve little league facilities and community baseball fields throughout all of New York City.
The Joseph Anthony Verdino, Jr. Field of Dreams Foundation will inspire young athletes to reach their goals and follow in Joseph's footsteps. The foundations purpose is to encourage children to achieve greatness and sportsmanship, a quality that defined Joseph. With your generous contributions, we can make Joseph's passion a dream come true. Joseph will always be our Angel in the Outfield overlooking all little league players on Staten Island and beyond.