New York Mets and New York Yankees

From the city of Angels to the Big Apple, this week’s Bells in the Bigs looks at two former Bells who are playing for Major League organizations that play 10 miles apart in New York.

Right-handed pitcher Justin Courtney pitched for the Bells in 2015. He appeared in eight games including two starts and registered a 2.81 ERA.

After four years at the University of Maine, Cortney signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Angels in 2021 and began his career with the California League single-A Inland Empire 66ers.

He played 22 games with the 66ers, had a 3-1 record and posted 46 strikeouts over 40 innings. At the end of the 2021 season, he was released from the 66’ers and one month later was assigned to the Florida Complex League (FCL) Mets.

Courtney is scheduled to begin the 2022 season with the FCL Mets.

Catcher Chase Illig has been in the minor leagues for two seasons, both in the New York Yankees organization.

Illig was a Bell for most of the 2017 season and was a West Coast League All-Star. He batted .347 and raked 15 home runs in 47 games.

Illig was selected in the 29th round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees and began his minor league career with the FCL Yankees. He was moved to the single-A short season affiliate Staten Island Yankees by the end of 2019.

He appeared in 24 games and batted .246 in his first season and started the 2021 campaign with the single-high-A affiliate Hudson Valley Renegades.

Illig advanced to the double-A affiliate Somerset Patriots after two games with the Renegades. After 11 games with Somerset, Illig was moved up to the triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Illig is slated to start the 2022 season with the RailRiders.