Baseball in the past ... baseball in the future?



Julian Trebach sat near the backstop of Lehman College’s baseball field — the diamond that doubled as the home field for his American Studies baseball team — reflecting on his career with the Senators.

“The seasons go by so fast,” said Trebach, the Senators’ captain this past season. “The days kind of blend together, and you just remember the highlights of the seasons. For baseball, it would be like March hits, and in the blink of an eye we’re in June, and it’s over.”

After four years as a key player in the Senators program, Trebach has run out of high school seasons as he is set to graduate and turn his attention to college this fall.

But before he would take his final high school bow, Trebach looked back on a career that saw American Studies become one of the more dominant teams in the Public School Athletic League.

“I have some great memories here,” said Trebach, who also works at the Riverdale Veterinary Group during his summer breaks. “I’ve been to a city championship game and played with some great players. There was the game against our rivals at the time, Bronx Science, that was an amazing memory.”

As a freshman, he remembers then Senators pitcher Eli Kimbell shutting down Bronx Science. 

“I was in awe,” Trebach said. “Then, of course, there is the whole Yankee Stadium experience. Baseball has really given me a lot of my best experiences.”

That memorable trip to Yankee Stadium came in the PSAL city championship game in Trebach’s freshman season. And though American Studies lost 7-0, that day to East Side, playing at the House That Ruth Built, provides a lifelong memory.

“That was amazing,” Trebach said.

But that is all behind Trebach now as he heads off to Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. Baseball, his constant companion all these years, will now be more of an afterthought. He wants to do other things now, despite his coach, Pete Nizzari, pushing him to try out for the team.

“It’s just something I don’t see happening in my future,” Trebach said. “I enjoy playing baseball, but I’m not sure the life of a Division I athlete is the right way for me to continue down the path that I want to continue on. I want to focus more on academics. But playing on their club team will still satisfy my joy of playing baseball.”

But Trebach also likes to run, and Lafayette has a running club he hopes to be a part of, not to mention ultimate Frisbee. 

Trebach’s final high school game came in the form of a 10-6 loss to Petrides in the second round of the PSAL playoffs. 

But even that ending came with a certain amount of closure for Trebach, all thanks to an unexpected visitor.

“My old coach, Howard Blitz, came to our last game in Staten Island, and after the game, everyone was a little emotional, the seniors especially,” Trebach said. “And Mr. Blitz came up to me and said, ‘Julian, you’ve come a long way since that day in Brooklyn.’ And I knew exactly what he was referring to.”

It was the day Trebach, then a 14-year-old freshman, made his high school baseball debut with the Senators.

“He as referring to the playoff game we had at James Madison High School,” Trebach said. “It was the semifinals, and we were playing our rivals, Bronx Science, and in the first inning our second baseman, Noah Gordon, got hit in the face with a ground ball and broke his nose. So as a freshman, I came into the game. 

“It was cool that he was there for my first game, and my last game.”

But as Trebach prepares to leave his high school days behind, he does so with an appreciation of the teammates he played with at American Studies.

“With the way things ended, I’m fine with that,” Trebach said. “I don’t really have any regrets in what I did the past four years in terms of baseball. I know I gave it everything I had. 

“The part that makes me sad is that I’m not going to be able to take the field with that same group of guys again. I’m not going to be taking throw downs from the catcher or turn double plays with my second baseman. Those things I won’t be able to get ever again. 

“But I’m glad that I got to have the experience of being the captain for this great group of guys.”