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John Piacentino

When the universe aligns, it can be a wonderful thing. For Cherry Hill, New Jersey native and Penn State Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management major, Johnny Piacentino, the universe aligned exactly as it was meant to be. Baseball and Penn State.

Johnny Piacentino Batting

“I always knew I wanted to go to Penn State,” said Johnny. “It seems like everyone in my family went to Penn State. I always knew this was where I wanted to be.” An elite high school baseball player and veteran of the Cal Ripken-Babe Ruth youth leagues, Johnny started attending tournaments as a high school player and was quickly noticed by college scouts. “Baseball is different than some other sports,” he said. “You go to tournaments and camps to get noticed.” When the offer came from Penn State, Johnny said, “It’s what fit the most. I knew it was right.”

A starter at center field for the Nittany Lions, Johnny began his collegiate baseball career being named Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American. Along the way he has received accolades for records both on the field and as an Academic All-Big Ten honoree. With the completion of his internship this summer and his Bachelor’s degree all tied up, he hopes to continue his baseball career either with professional baseball in America or with the Italian league where he already received an offer.

Johnny Piacentino

To meet the RPTM degree requirements, Johnny is completing his internship this summer with Babe Ruth League, Inc. in Trenton, New Jersey. The Babe Ruth organization oversees community baseball and softball leagues across the world for participants aged 8 through 18.

The younger division (ages 8-12) is called the Cal Ripken league. The Babe Ruth League is for players from 13-18. According to Johnny, young athletes who are serious about baseball and are looking to advance their careers often play Babe Ruth around their interscholastic seasons.

His duties at Babe Ruth headquarters include office support, preparing team packets, league travel arrangements, and tournament operations. All of this will eventually lead up to the International World Series later this year. 

After baseball, Johnny hopes to put his RPTM degree and experience to use either through coaching or working at a training facility, organizing leagues, etc. “My takeaway from Penn State is how much I learned,” he said. “I met so many different people from different places and learned about networking and interacting through group projects and discussions in class.” 

Penn State. Baseball. Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management. A home run in any universe.