Justin sits in his dorm next to his brother Nick as they toss a baseball back and forth between their beds. Their room makes the shape of an L, as Justin’s bed lays horizontally against the window, while Nick’s bed starts at the end of Justin’s and lays perpendicularly pushed up against the corner of the wall. This isn’t a typical dorm setup, and these aren’t typical brothers. The two started out as wombmates, then roommates and now collegiate teammates.
Within their first few moments, the twins proved they were more than ready to tackle life together. In fact, they were so eager that they came six weeks early to the surprise of their parents. To arrive early and unexpectedly would be one thing in and of its own, but these two came into the world in the middle of a snowstorm in February. With no other choice, their mother had to give birth in their own home, with only their father there to deliver. Nick was born first, and just four minutes later Justin followed, and from that day forward the Harvey family was complete.
The crazy story of their birth wouldn’t be the last time the twins showed they were a unique set. As kids, they were used to sharing just about everything. Clothes, gear, food and their bedroom. Even when their older brother moved into a different room of the house and they were given the opportunity to separate, the pair opted to stay together and just knocked down a wall in the house to make an even bigger room to share. It’s easy to imagine how this closeness helped form an unbreakable bond. As Justin puts it, “We’ve been best friends since we were born. I see how some twins don’t get along and I just don’t get it, because Nick and I are so close.”
Like most other aspects of their life, they started their baseball careers together. At 6 years old, the twins started playing tee-ball. When they got a little older, they started playing for a summer all-star team. After that, at around 11 years old, they began to play for a travel team. However, baseball wasn’t the only sport that impacted these growing tweens. In middle school they both ran cross country, and by the time they reached eighth grade they also both played football, basketball and volleyball.
Despite being multi-sport athletes, they both ultimately chose to play baseball exclusively. Justin said it’s because they’ve been playing baseball the longest. “It’s one of the only sports I watch consistently,” he said. “I’ll watch football, but I like the game of baseball better than all of them.” The twins are loyal Mets fans, and don’t even get them started on how much better Pete Alonso is than Yankees’ Luke Voit.
Perhaps one of the most special things about the duo is that Nick is a pitcher and Justin is a catcher, and it’s been that way since they received their positions in third grade. Their father would take them to the local field where they would practice, and even today they still go to help each other out and take ground balls. At 12 years old, they had a spectacular game together, where Nick threw a perfect game and Justin caught him.
Justin thinks it’s easier to catch Nick because he knows what’s coming.
“From being able to have such a good game together, I feel like it showed everyone else that you can’t really separate us,” he said. “Just from seeing him since such a young age, I just know everything he’s going to throw. I know how his ball moves in certain ways. There are a lot of guys that you can’t really tell where they’re going to throw the ball…they’re very wild. With Nick, we’re usually right on the same page all the time.”
When it came down to choosing where they’d be continuing their baseball career, SUNY New Paltz was a top choice. Colleges knew they were a package deal, and they ultimately chose New Paltz after enjoying an open workout with the coach. The brothers just finished their first ever off-season where they continued to pitch and catch to each other, and where they were lifting partners.
Justin is a finance major at New Paltz and Nick is a biology major. Justin feels like New Paltz was the best decision for him.
“For the amount of experience I can get being on the field, rather than being off of the field, I feel like I’m being given the best opportunity,” he said. “The athletics here are a perfect fit for me.”
Justin feels welcomed by every one of the guys on the baseball team, and that everyone gets along together as one united team.
There is certainly something to be said about a strong pitcher-catcher connection, but even more to be said about the strength of the bond between twins. New Paltz students, get ready to follow these two for the next four years.