On Sunday August 16th, just two years after his retirement from professional baseball the Long Island Ducks retired Ray Navarrete's #16 Jersey prior to the start of their game against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Navarrete, the current owner/creator of the Digmi fashion line as well as coach and instructor at Zoned Sports Academy in Bridgewater, is the team's all-time leader in hits, home runs, RBI, runs scored, doubles and games played. In addition to his LI records, the two-time Atlantic League champion holds the league's all-time record for doubles and runs scored. Honored and humbled to have his number retired, Coach Ray sat down to give us a little insight into his 8 year career as a Duck and how much the Long Island organization means to him and what it meant during his playing career.
What does getting your jersey retired mean to you? And how important is it to be in long island?
It truly means the world to me to have my #16 jersey retired by an organization that has meant so much to my family and me. I had an incredible experience playing for the Long Island Ducks and to think that the number 16 jersey will never be worn again is an incredible honor.
What is the best moment of your LI Ducks career?
Wow! There are so many unforgettable moments during my 8 year career with the Long Island Ducks. From breaking some franchise records, playing for Hall of Famer Gary Carter and playing in All Star Games. But by far, the greatest moment of my career was winning back to back Atlantic League Championships in 2012 and 2013. Going out on top is what every athlete dreams about and I was fortunate to experience it.
Who was the most important person during your time in long island? And why?
I know this sounds cliche, but honestly the entire organization was equally important. From the front office and management, to the training staff and all of my teammates. I had an incredible support system the entire time. They are my family.
If you could describe your career in Long Island in 1 word what would it be?
Which of your 8 seasons was your favorite and why?
2011 hands down. What's crazy is that we didn't win the championship that year, but that team was by far the most talented and best personality team I've ever worn a uniform with.
Did you have a favorite manager and who was it?
I am grateful for all of the managers I played for during my time with the Long Island Ducks. Don McCormick, Dave LaPoint wrote my name in the lineup every day. And playing for Hall of Famer Gary carter was awesome as he was super supportive of me as a person and player. And of course Kevin Baez who was my last manager for the last 3 years of my career. Each of these guys meant a lot and I'm grateful for their support.
Coach Ray Navarrete will forever go down as one of, if not THE best player to put on a Long Island Duck uniform. The passion, intensity and excitement he brought to the game and the Long Island fans was something special and something that can never be duplicated. The Zoned Sports Academy coaching staff and employees are honored to have Ray as a member of their coaching family and extend a special congratulations to coach Ray on an outstanding professional career on and off the diamond and the retirement of his number #16 jersey.
Have a general question? Need help deciding what's the best option for you or your child? Fill out the form below and a Zoned representative will contact you as soon as possible.