DIRT DAWG SPORTS
"Practice Hard Win Easy"
Onix Mercado grew up in Puerto Rico but was recruited to play high school baseball in FL. After high school Onix was awarded a scholarship to play college baseball but was soon drafted into the Minor Leagues where he played for the GCL Reds, Billings Mustangs, Daytona Dragons and Stockton Ports. From there he was called up to play for the Cincinnati Reds Major League Organization where he was a catcher for the 2003 season. Onix stayed on with the Reds as a Catching Instructor, and bullpen catcher before moving into the Independent Baseball Leagues. There he played for the North Shore Spirit, Elmira Pioneers, El Paso Diablo’s, Winnipeg Goldeyes and Worcester Tornadoes. Upon return to Puerto Rico he ran his own professional baseball clinic. Dirt Dawgs is now his home base where he offers Strength and Conditioning clinics, Catching Instruction, Pitching, Hitting and Fielding instruction as well as coaching AAU teams.
Born in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico on August 15, 1940. Jose had an eight-year career in major league ball, three years with the Athletics and five with the Red Sox. José Santiago became a professional baseball player in 1957. He was signed by Kansas City scout Félix Delgado. In 1965, he started the season with the big league club, but only appeared in four games. His record was 12-13, with seven complete games to his credit and 119 strikeouts. José was selected as Red Sox Pitcher of the Year. In 1967. Dick Williams named José Santiago as his starting pitcher in the first game of the 1967 World Series. Santiago pitched a solid game, allowing the Cardinals just two runs in seven full innings. It was his misfortune to be paired against Bob Gibson, who allowed but one Red Sox run - a third-inning solo home run by José himself in his first-ever World Series at-bat. In 1968, Santiago appeared in just 18 games, every one as a starter. His record was 9-4 with a sterling 2.25 ERA. Dick Williams named Santiago one of his seven pitchers for the 1968 All-Star Game, but he developed tendonitis in his right elbow in early July and did not pitch in the game.
Santiago also managed the Puerto Rican national team for some time, and was pitching coach as well. During the 1980's, he served as Press and Publications Officer for the Sports and Recreation Department of the Government of Puerto Rico. In fact, after leaving major league baseball, José has been very energetic with an almost bewildering array of activity. Among other things he has been: Voice of the San Juan Senators for five years, General Manager and Voice of the Santurce Crabbers for almost 10 years, named Narrator of the Year three times, President of Little League baseball for 20 years, Manager of the Puerto Rican national team, Manager of a number of AA Amateur Baseball League teams, including Coamo, Juana Díaz, Río Piedras, Juncos, San Sebastian, and Río Grande, Pitching Coach for the Chicago Cubs Daytona Beach Class A team in 2000 and Voice of the Carolina Giants in the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League team 2004-2006.
Hillary is a 2014 Rivier University graduate with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Social Work. Hillary works as a director at Senior Living Residences.
Hillary brings her experience of over 12 years of pitching and 10 years of pitching with the late UCONN pitching coach Peter Looney. Hillary was the four year starting pitcher for Cardinal Spellman High School where she pitched a perfect game and helped lead her team to four Catholic Central League Titles. Hillary was named Team Captain, Team MVP, and was named to the 2010 Enterprise All-Scholastic team. She continued on to be the starting pitcher for Rivier University in Nashua NH where she led her team to both GNAC and ECAC tournaments, had 6 shutouts and received the coaches award in 2011.
Dirt Dawg Sports Management
The management team at DDS has a combined track record of over 50 years of successful business management. During these years members of the management team have covered the gamut from managing Fortune 500 companies to Entrepreneurial startups.
On the baseball side of the business, the management team consists of a combined 75+ years of playing-managing-coaching at all levels of the game. Members of the team have played at the professional level; and managed at professional, college, Legion, Babe Ruth and all youth levels of the game. We have and continue to sit on various youth baseball boards in the surrounding communities, from President to T-Ball Director.
It is this mix of business and baseball knowledge, focused on the customer experience, which is the cornerstone of our business.
While we are most recognized for our AAU and Club teams that is only a small portion of what we are about. We are first and foremost a training facility. We embrace all levels of the game and aim to work with every local community program to partner with to help raise the level of skill and make the experience better for all players and families. Additionally, our goal is to provide players the opportunity to work on their games to maximize their playing experience. If players look to play at a higher level, whatever that level might be, we are the right facility. Our personal goal is to create a fun family experience that can prosper into a prolonged family enjoyment of the game. If together we are able to add a few years to the Softball and Baseball Family experience our goal has been achieved , be it youth ball –high school ball –college ball or beyond.
Don is a graduate of Catholic Memorial High School and Boston College where he earned a degree from the School of Business in Business Management, with a concentration in Computer Science. Having worked in the corporate world for 25 years as well as in his own entrepreneurial business, DC Enterprises, he now brings his business skills to Dirt Dawg Sports. Don combines this business savvy with his baseball and softball managerial experience of 30+ years coaching and volunteering for Legion, Senior Babe Ruth, Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken and Little League. He also held positions on the board of Directors as President, Vice President, Player Agent, Tournament Director-, and League VP. He continues to be an advisor to local baseball and softball programs. Don has 3 sons who he coached through various sports and currently has one son playing varsity baseball in college.
Kyle Graduated from Curry College with a degree in Business Management and was a 4 year starter at Curry College in Centerfield and on the mound. Kyle was the Stoughton High School varsity baseball captain 2009 & 2010, then went on as a freshman starting center fielder and pitcher for the Curry College Colonels. Kyle was named to the CCC All Conference Squad both his freshman and sophomore years, and was a part of the 2015 Curry College Baseball CCC Championship team, helping the team achieve the win with a walk off single in the championship game. Hes made his mark on the game with his ability to play the outfield both mentally and physically, hes been a successful hitter, and base runner at a high level and has had success on the mound as well and brings all his teachings and tips to the Dirt Dawg family. Kyle’s love for baseball started at a very young age. He currently shares his passion and enthusiasm for the game with current Dirt Dawg players and has boundless energy both on and off the field. And has also been given the opportunity to work with Stoughton High School, where he will volunteer as an assistant coach and help with the pitchers and outfielders as well.
Son of former MLB Boston Red Sox Player 1967 Jose Santiago. Born and raised in Baseball. His baseball summary as a player includes more than 30 years of experience playing baseball. Played every position started as a Pitcher and finish as Catcher. Catcher of the 1982 Puerto Rico Big League Team World Champions and selected All Star Catcher. Played for 18 years at the Puerto Rico Semi Pro Baseball League. Three National Titles at the Puerto Rico Semi-Pro Baseball League with Juncos team (1989-1990-1991). Two Runner Up Titles at the Puerto Rico Semi Pro Baseball League with the Juncos team (1988-1992). Selected to participate as a player on 8 All Star Games. Member of the COLICEBA National Team Champions Stan Musial Tourney B.Creek, Michigan (1985). Selected as the All Star Catcher. Inducted to the Puerto Rico Semi-Pro Baseball League Hall of Fame in 2009 and his hometown of Carolina Hall of Fame of Sports in 2013.
As a Manager and Coach more than 20 years of experience managing or coaching. Manager and Coach of Little League Baseball and Softball teams from 9 to 18 years old since he was 13yrs old. Manager and Coach of several Juvenile Baseball Teams from ages 16 to 18. Manager of the Puerto Rico Big League National Team.(1989-1990). Manager of the Year Guardianas of Dorado Puerto Rico Women’s Baseball League (2008). Selected to manage the first Women’s Baseball National Team (2009). Silver Medal Puerto Rico National Team Pan-American Women’s Baseball Tournament Venezuela (2009). Gold Medal Cuban Olympic Games Puerto Rico National Team Women’s Baseball (2010). Manager of the Year West Region Puerto Rico Semi Pro Baseball League Patrulleros of San Sebastian (2012). 7th Place 2010 Women’s Baseball World Cup Puerto Rico National Team Women’s Baseball (2010). Manager of the Year West Region Puerto Rico Semi-Pro Baseball League Tiburones of Aguadilla (2010). Manager, Coach and Instructor at Dirt Dawg Sports since 2012. Coach of the 2013 NEAAU 14U Dirt Dawg Team Champions.
Graduate of Xaverian Brothers High School where he was a multi sport athlete. Rich was a standout player in both baseball and hockey in high school. Rich focused on Hockey at a younger age and was drafted by the New Jersey Devils of the NHL. His career was cut short by career ending leg injury. It was at this point that Rich’s passion for baseball took root. Rich has coached at all levels of the game for the past 31 year, certified at the Babe Ruth , Cal Ripken and Little League level. Rich has volunteered for the past 25 years to local programs and boards. Rich’s volunteer spirit stems from his mother’s passion for the game as she was the President and one of the founders of Stoughton Little League. Achievements: 17 League Championships at the Little League, Babe Ruth ,Suburban and Hockomock Levels 3 Babe Ruth State Titles NEAAU Titles as well as various Tournament Championships Nationwide. 2013 & 2015 NEAAU 14u Championship.
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