Dean Zipes, nephew of Bruce Zipes, owner of Bruce's Bakery in Great Neck, is a rare combination of honor student, baker, and strikeout artist. Yes, strikeouts as in 8 to 10 per game. Dean also has the unbelievable ability to get batters out on ground balls. His ground ball to fly ball ratio is an astonishing 6 to 1. He is also a control pitcher with an unprecedented 23 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. Besides studying, working at Bruce's, and playing baseball, Dean has a very rigorous training schedule, consisting of daily throwing, cardio, weight lifting, speed training, resistance cord work, medicine ball, plyometrics, and flexibility training.
As a 6 foot, 185 pound, recently turned 16-year-old pitcher, he has command of his hard breaking, 12 to 6 curveball, a great circle changeup, and excellent movement and control on his variety of fastballs.
When asked the secret to his success, Dean replies: "I identify the batter's weaknesses and attack them with pure precision. It's important to me that every pitch must be a quality pitch, and getting ahead in the count is essential. It's almost like baking; it's truly an art."
Dean is striving for a college scholarship and eventually hopes to play for the Yankees. "It's amazing!" says Bruce. "He's supposed to be pumping the jelly into the doughnuts, and then you see him shadow pitching between the racks." Bruce depends on Dean to show up at work at 4 a.m. on weekends and holidays. After an eight hour shift of hard bakery work, Dean runs to the baseball field to either practice or pitch for the local Great Neck North team. "He is one of the hardest workers I have," says Bruce. "Always on time, with a great work ethic and a positive attitude. Imagine, he fries, fills, and even sells the doughnuts too." His baseball coach agrees, Dean is a winner on and off the field!