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St. John’s Alumni and Student-Athletes Earn National Sports Recognition

Always Dreaming crossing the finish line to win the Kentucky Derby
Always Dreaming crossing the finish line to win the Kentucky Derby
Monday, September 18, 2017

At the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby this past spring, Anthony Bonomo ’80C, ’84L watched his thoroughbred cross the finish line to win the first leg of the Triple Crown.

Anthony Bonomo

“It was surreal,” Mr. Bonomo said of seeing his horse, Always Dreaming, win the race on May 6 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. The St. John’s community joined in congratulating Mr. Bonomo, who played baseball as an undergraduate at the University. “Even Coach Carnesecca called me,” he said.

Mr. Bonomo was only one of several Red Storm alumni and student-athletes to earn recognition in the athletics arena this past year. From Churchill Downs to PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA, from Safeco Field in Seattle, WA, to Marlins Park in Miami, FL, the Red Storm continued to maintain a high profile.

Paul J. Evanson ’63CBA, ’10HON, a St. John’s Trustee and the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Allegheny Energy, also made national sports headlines in the spring.

Paul J. Evanson
Paul J. Evanson

Mr. Evanson is a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the first hockey team in nearly two decades to win a second consecutive Stanley Cup championship. The Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators on June 11.

Having lived and worked in Pittsburgh for the past eight years, the Queens, NY, native is passionate about the city’s sports scene. “There’s nothing like playoff hockey,” said Mr. Evanson, who was in the team’s victory parade—with more than 650,000 people along the route. “It’s been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Mr. Evanson is also a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Student-Athletes Advance to the Next Level

Jesse Berardi ’18TCB
Jesse Berardi

Over the summer, the St. John’s Red Storm Baseball program saw three of its student-athletes selected in the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft while two others signed minor league contracts.

Troy Dixon ’17CPS
Troy Dixon

Junior Jesse Berardi ’18TCB was a 10th-round pick of the Cleveland Indians. In addition, the Seattle Mariners selected Troy Dixon ’17CPS in the 20th round, while Michael Donadio ’17TCB was picked by the Miami Marlins in the 30th round. 

Michael Donadio ’17TCB
Michael Donadio

Ryan McAuliffe ’17CPS, St. John’s standout pitcher, signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets. “St. John’s provided a tremendous opportunity for me to grow not only as a baseball player, but also as a person,” said Ryan. “I will be forever grateful to my coach, Ed Blankmeyer, and will always remain a part of the St. John’s family.”

Ryan McAuliffe ’17CPS
Ryan McAuliffe

In mid-July, Kyle Cunningham ’17CPS became the fifth member of the 2017 Red Storm baseball team to head to the professional ranks when he signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies. 

Kyle Cunningham ’17CPS
Kyle Cunningham

“It’s always a point of pride to have our young men be able to fulfill their dreams of playing professional baseball,” observed Coach Blankmeyer, the winningest coach in St. John’s baseball history.