By Jerry Del Priore
Ex-Brooklyn Cyclone and St. Petersburg native Joe Jiannetti is in his second semester of pharmacy school at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton campus, where he is currently studying for a doctorate degree.
Opting to spend a few more years in college to pursue a higher level of education, Jiannetti feels it will pay off in the long run.
“Well, to be honest, I didn’t want to get a business degree and chase the same 50-thousand-a-year job that everyone chases and nobody gets,” Jiannetti said. “If I stay in school a few years longer, and get a doctorate in Pharmacy, I have a chance to make some real money.”
Jiannetti, 34, spent four seasons and a spring with the Mets’ organization, two of which were with the Cyclones, the New York Mets’ short-season A affiliate in the NY-Penn League, before attending 2007 spring training with the Detroit Tigers.
Overall, the former infielder and outfielder played 11 years of professional ball, slugging 102 long balls for his career.
Now, Jiannetti said he spends most of time studying, and uses his downtime on Sundays to play golf, sporting a 15 handicap. He also said he had the pleasure of playing with LGPA’s Brittany Lincicome and her husband, Dewald Gouws, a South African-born long-driver.
A Type I diabetic since the age of 15 and one of the athletes in my book, Running Through Roadblocks: Inspirational Stories of Twenty Courageous Athletic Warriors, Jiannetti, a Cyclone on the inaugural team, hopes to work with diabetics somewhere down the line.
“That is something that interest me and affects me personally day to day,” he said. But I am “keeping all of my options open.”