“The Shit Show” Pecos League – Where Are They Now?

Last month, I wrote a post about the Pecos League and their reality show. https://indyballisland.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/the-shit-show-the-pecos-league-and-reality-tv/

The show itself follows the 2013 Trinidad Triggers, including 7 players who are featured extensively. My original post was very well received, and I began getting requests to do a follow-up of the players from the show. Below is a recap of what these guys have done since the show and their time with the Triggers ended.

Tony Smith (P) played in the Frontier League during the 2014 season. He was a huge part of the championship winning team, the Schaumburg Boomers.  In 24 regular season appearances (6 starts), he finished with a 6-2 record and 3.28 ERA. He also appeared in 4 of the Boomers’ post season games. This offseason, Tony is back home in Twentynine Palms, CA coaching, working, and playing slow pitch softball. He does plan on returning to Schaumburg for the 2015 Frontier League. season.

tony smithtony and sam

Frank Florio (OF) also spent the 2014 season in the Frontier League playing with the league’s travel team, the Frontier Greys. In 62 games, Frank batted .233 with 8 HRs and 32 RBIs .  While he is still unsure about baseball, he is currently studying to take the LSAT for admission into law school.

frank florio

Sam DiMatteo (OF) had surgery on his elbow after the 2013 season that required rehabbing during the winter and beginning of 2014 season.  After recovering, Sam joined the Fort Worth Cats in the United League at the end of June. In 38 games, he finished with a .293 average.  He is spending the offseason back home in Pittsburgh where is he is a baseball instructor.

sam dimateo

Jacob Fabry (OF) also moved on from the Pecos League and played in the United League in 2014.  Jacob had a great season with the Grande Valley White Wings.  In 72 games, he batted .322 with 28 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.

fabry

Richie Serritella (C,1B, 3B, P) was traded to the Les Rochelle Boucaniers in France for the 2014 season. He had an amazing season topping every offensive hitting category. He won the league batting title (.584 avg – 84 points higher than anyone else), was named the “Hitter of the Year” and also led the league in slugging percentage (1.000), on-base percentage (.640), runs scored (39), hits (45), and RBIs (42). He also stole 26 bases in 28 attempts.  On the mound, he pitched 15.1 innings, had a 1.76 ERA (2nd on the team) and struck out 22 batters. Richie is looking to play baseball closer to home for the 2015 season.

richierichie2

Andrew Azzopardi (C,Utility) spent 2014 with the Tiffin Saints of The Independent Baseball League as both a player and as an assistant coach.  Since the season ended, Andrew has retired from baseball.  Now, he is still coaching while looking to open up a baseball academy in Ohio where he currently lives with his girlfriend.

10442920_10152483483284543_925033113791709066_n

John Sullivan (P) retired from baseball after the 2013 season with the Triggers.  He is now (recently) married and living back in North Carolina.  John is still pursing his music dreams and plays small shows throughout the Charlotte, NC area.  He was also invited to sing the National Anthem before the UNCC football home opener this season.  You can check out his music here: http://www.reverbnation.com/johnsullivanjr?profile_view_source=header_icon_nav

sullysully2

Advertisements

From Baggage Handler to Miner to Storm Chaser, Matt Fields is Now Trying to Become Royal

Current Kansas City Royals AAA prospect Matt Fields makes crushing home runs and getting on base look easy for the Omaha Storm Chasers. However, many people don’t know the long and often difficult road that has led him to this point in his career. Drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2004, Fields spent six years in the organization. With the Rays, he reached as high as AA before being released in 2010.

After his release, Fields took his talents to the independent Frontier League. He spent the entire 2011 season with the Southern Illinois Miners;  However, Fields soon learned that independent baseball is a whole different world than affiliated ball. Although he had a great season, hitting .272 with 17 home runs in 57 games, he realized that independent ball can make a player feel stuck and complacent. There are many players who know that they aren’t going anywhere else, so they have a “whatever” attitude.  Those players do whatever they want and don’t play with as much drive and desire as players in an affiliated organization.

Feeling fed up with baseball and trying to please his then- fiancée, Fields started losing his love for the game. After the 2011 season, he decided to retire from baseball and take a job as a baggage handler at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport.  He found out pretty quickly that loading luggage or working a normal 9-5 wasn’t something he was ready to do. He wasn’t ready to give up his childhood dream just yet.  If he did, he knew he would regret it for the rest of his life. His friends and family, especially his mother, encouraged him to give baseball another shot. He was too young and too talented to just give up.

When the 2012 season rolled around, he left that normal life behind and returned to the Southern Illinois Miners.  This time, Fields decided that he was going to make the most out of his second chance. He wanted to just go out there and have fun again. No matter what happened, he planned on making it a year to remember. 31 games into the season, the Royals saw something special in Fields and purchased his contract. He was sent to high-A Wilmington where he finished the season hitting .281 with 17 home runs and had one of the most memorable years of his pro ball career.

He spent the 2013 season crushing home runs with the AA Naturals in Northwest Arkansas. He was named a Texas League All-Star, won the home run derby, and set the single season home run record (31) for the Naturals.  After that stellar year, Fields played the entire 2014 season in AAA Omaha with the Storm Chasers.  Here, his power continued. He hit 28 home runs while batting .262 for the Pacific Coast League champions.

2014 was a big year for him off the field as well. On May 13th, Fields was married to Elizabeth Elizalde Fields. Through all of the ups and downs with baseball and life, she has been his source of happiness while being his rock and supporting his dreams.

Fields has just re-signed with the Royals and has been invited to his first Major League spring training. Currently, he is playing Winter Ball for the Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Winter League with a .238 average.

Fields is just one step away from the major leagues with the Royals. It hasn’t always been an easy road, but he wouldn’t change it for anything.  When asked if he has any regrets about returning to baseball, he simply said “none. At all.”

Advertisements

Writing and sharing stories about Independent Baseball.

Advertisements