MANSFIELD — This year’s World Series is already a nail-biter for one Mansfield couple. And it’s about to get a lot more intense for them.
Their son, Noah Syndergaard, is living his dream — as the New York Mets starting pitcher Friday.
“It’s surreal,” said his mom, Heidi Syndergaard. “His first world series [happens] the year he gets called up. So it’s kind of unbelievable.”
Unbelievable, except that Noah’s father, Brad, spotted talent early. Really early.
“Probably when he was three years old he could pick up a baseball and throw it like a full grown person,” Brad Syndergaard said.
He said for years they would play catch each night when Brad came home from work at a horse farm.
“I wouldn’t play catch with him now,” Brad smiles.
Not now that Noah has the fastest average fastball velocity of all big league starters at 97 mph. He’ll hit 102 mph.
Five years out of Mansfield Legacy High School, he’ll soon stand in the World Series spotlight.
“His high school coach will tell you it was peanut butter and jelly,” Heidi joked. He had PB&J and milk every night.
Whatever it was, Noah grew to a powerful 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, with long blonde hair. New York Mets teammates call him “Thor.”
“We call him bumpy,” his mom said, because he bumped into things.
Plus, the family dog was already named Thor.
“We thought it fit. Ultimately we ended up with two Thors in the house,” Heidi laughed.
The Syndergaards worried when Noah got drafted the day he graduated. He was just 17 when they dropped him off at modest motel in Florida to start his minor league journey.
Batters worry now. And even opposing pitchers. He’s also a power hitter. The ball from his first major league homerun at Citi Field in New York now sits on a shelf in Mansfield.
It was a birthday gift to Dad.
The Syndergaards hope Thor, or Bumpy, delivers more gifts in the World Series.