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Shady Side Academy grad Giel set to suit up in Yankees farm system

West Deer resident and Shady Side Academy graduate Tim Giel, shown here pitching for Columbia University, has signed to play in the New York Yankees organization.

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Monday, June 17, 2013, 11:33 p.m.

West Deer's Tim Giel used to get teased when he'd wear New York Yankees apparel to school at Shady Side Academy.

Giel liked the Pirates, too, but remained loyal to his “other favorite team.”

“I was a Yankees and Pirates fan growing up,” said Giel, 22. “I got a lot of crap in high school for wearing my Yankees hoodie.”

The Columbia University graduate will get the last laugh over old classmates now. He'll be wearing the full uniform, pinstripes and all.

The hard-throwing right-hander signed as a free agent with New York last week and is awaiting word on his assignment.

Chances are he'll join the Staten Island Yankees of the short-season Single-A New York-Penn League or the Gulf Coast Yankees of the Rookie League.

A step above would be the Tampa Yankees (Single-A advanced).

“A lot of my coaches helped me to get my name out there,” said Giel, who graduated in May with a degree in computer science. “They helped me through the process.”

Giel has been on the radar since a successful college stint.

This past season, he helped Columbia win the Ivy League championship and post its first victory in the NCAA Tournament. For his college career, he was 10-9 with a 4.03 ERA and six saves. He was a starter for three seasons and a closer during his sophomore year.

Giel, who was an all-star with the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League last summer, said he was considering playing in the Frontier League with the Washington Wild Things before the call came from the Yankees.

Now, he'll try to climb the ladder in Major League Baseball's most successful franchise.

“I don't know what they'll have me do yet,” Giel said. “Could be anywhere from closer to starter to middle or late relief.

“I am happy to have the opportunity to keep playing baseball.”

Giel is the son of Avonworth athletic director Tim Giel.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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