James was born on May 24, 1993 in Staten Island, New York. He is the first child born to his parents, and the first grandchild on both sides.As a small child, James enjoyed playing with his toys, watching his favorite TV shows, spending time with his grandpa and his cousins, and most of all playing catch with his dad. His love for baseball started very early as he joined his first team at the age of 5 with the YMCA South Shore of Staten Island. He played for the YMCA until 2005 when James and his family moved to Jackson, New Jersey where he began playing for Holbrook Little League. He continued to play for Holbrook throughout his middle school and high school years while also playing on travel teams and eventually for Jackson Memorial High School where he played Varsity.
In addition to playing baseball, James excelled in school, receiving numerous academic awards. He enjoyed spending time with his friends whom he called his “brothers”, creating videos, playing video games, and listening to his favorite music (Springsteen, country, and classics). He had a quick wit and sense of humor that made him fun to be around.
One of James’ favorite vacation places was Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where he spent time every year with his family at his grandparents home. It was there he learned how to deep sea fish, and when he was 15 years old caught one of his biggest catches, a 42 inch barracuda. His grandpa trophied it for him, and it still hangs in his room today among many of his other loves in sports.
James was a role model for his siblings, Justin, Jaclyn, and Jessica who loved spending time with him. He was adored by his grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and most of all his parents. James left a big impact on the lives of his closest friends and even people who didn’t know him well. As one of his best friends John Mucia wrote about him: “James was the teenager everyone loved and wanted to be. He was scholar, a varsity athlete, and had impeccable moral values. James was always there when you needed a hand; he was a hard working person and put others before himself. Although James never asked for much, God always made sure that he had what he needed. There was not one person who disliked James, he had great intentions and always was very considerate to others”.
James put a quote on his Facebook page from the poem “The Dash”. It reads: “When you die, there’s going to be a tombstone. it’s going to have your name, it’s going to have the year you were born, and it’s going to have the day you died. In between, there’s going to be a dash. and that dash is going to represent everything that you did in your life; good and bad. It’s how you’re remembered. What do you want your dash to represent?”.
Although James’ life was way too short on earth, his dash was larger than most people who live well into their old age. For that, his spirit will live on in all that knew and loved him, and the legacy he left behind will never be forgotten.