Major League Baseball is back, and all this Islip resident can remember is the play that landed him on national television last season.
He wasn’t the Thumbs Down Guy, but his story is pretty good, too.
Last summer, Tom Regolino, a big Yankees fan, cut out of work early to join his friends in watching the Yankees’ cross-town rivals play.
“I told my office that I had a doctor’s appointment,” said the 23-year-old, on the little white lie he created.
He got the OK from his job, and he met up with friends. Everything was going according to plan, except he had to wear his buddy’s Mets jersey as a contingency for the tickets to the Mets-Giants matchup.
The game stretched until the 13th inning and then that’s when it happened: Mets outfielder Dominic Smith crashed into teammate Amed Rosario on a pop-up play allowing the Giants to score the go-ahead run and win 2-1.
“I turned to all my die-hard Mets friends and told them this is a classic example of another disappointing loss,” said the Yankees fan.
Seconds later, the television broadcast panned to a 23-year-old donning Blue and Orange gear and shaking his head in disgust. That happened to be Regolino.
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“I had no idea I was on TV until I got an email from an intern I work with,” he said laughing. “The email went, ‘I guess you’re not at your doctor’s appointment’.”
Not only did MLB Network share Regolino’s reaction, but so did ESPN’s “Not Top 10 Plays,” where the play and his reaction ranked No. 1.
As the video circulated, the Newfield High School graduate’s phone got flooded with texts and phone calls. He even said people recognized him from TV a few days later when he went on a business trip to San Fransisco.
Some of the people he didn’t want to see it, like his bosses, did catch a glimpse of the replay.
But “my bosses were laughing about it,” he said.
Regolino has since started a new job. So he’ll probably have more doctor’s appointments in the pipeline. Especially if the Yankees make a deep postseason push.