Tag Archives: independent baseball

Sean Conroy Pitches a Complete Game Shutout on Pride Night

sean conroy 2

(Photo: James Toy III, Associated Press)

23 year old rookie, Sean Conroy, made his first professional start on June 25th. Conroy, a pitcher for the Sonoma Stompers in the Pacific Association, had pitched exclusively out of the bullpen earning four saves before his start on Thursday.

The rookie’s starting debut was impressive. He pitched nine scoreless innings, striking out 11 and only allowing three hits in the Stompers 7-0 victory during their Pride Night celebration.

Why is the fact that his first start came on Pride Night so important?

Conroy just so happens to be baseball’s first active professional player to come out as gay.  Even though he is the first, he doesn’t seem concerned about it.  Openly gay since 16, Conroy has always been upfront and truthful about his sexuality with his teammates throughout school.  He didn’t feel as if it should be any different after he joined the Stompers.

He just wanted to help his team and set an example for any other players or people in the same situation.

“It’s not that I wanted it to go public, but I didn’t care if it was open information. It’s who I am,” Conroy said, according to the AP. “I am definitely surprised that no one else has been openly gay in baseball yet.”

“I’ve always played baseball because it was fun, and I loved the sport,” Conroy told The Press Democrat. “Being gay doesn’t change anything about the way I play or interact with teammates.

“I hope that in leading by example, more LGBT youth will feel confident to pursue their dreams, whatever those dreams may be.”

In order to allow Conroy to focus solely on his pitching, the Stompers did not make any special announcement. There weren’t even obvious signs that it was Pride Night at the ballpark except for the rainbow socks and arm sleeves that some players wore in honor of the celebration.  However, one player who didn’t wear anything special was Conroy.  He wanted his performance to speak for itself.  And it certainly did.

While Conroy will probably never make the major leagues or even affiliated ball – he only throws around 84-85 mph – there is still no denying that his impressive start was important in more ways than one.

Frontier League Draft Class Part Three – One Month Later

We are about one month into the Frontier League season, so it is time to check in to see how the players from the 2015 draft are doing with their teams.

14 drafted players started the season on a roster for Opening Day, but as of June 12th, only 10 remain.

The four players released were:

  • Sheehan Planas-Arteaga, OF, Windy City, R2 – Released on May 22nd after going hitless in 2 games with 3 AB.
  • Zach Stoner, C, Windy City, R2 – Released on May 25th after playing in 5 games.  He was batting .235 in 17 AB.
  • Connor Jones, OF, Frontier Greys, R1 – Released on May 26th after 5 games and 10 AB. He was batting .200.
  • Robbie Buller, RHP, Gateway, R2 – Released on May 31st after pitching in 5 games (7.1 IP) with a 3.68 ERA.

Here are the updates for the remaining 10 players in the league:

  • Nick Grim, RHP, Rockford, E – Has pitched in 5 games (4 starts) with a 0-2 record. In 16.2 IP, he has a 5.94 ERA.
  • Kevin Jefferis, RHP, Normal, R1 – Was placed on the DL from June 2nd – 10th.  Has appeared in 5 games with a 1-0 record. In 9.2 IP, he has 15 K and a 3.72 ERA.
  • Scott Harkin, RHP, Gateway, R2 – Has pitched in 8 games with a 0-1 record. Despite the 1 loss, he has the lowest ERA on the team at 1.28 with 14 K in 14 IP.
  • Ty Nelson, OF, Lake Erie, E – Has played in 20 games. In 70 AB, he has a .257 avg and is leading the team in HR with 4.
  • Joe Iorio, RHP, Washington, R1- Has appeared in 5 games with 7.2 IP.  His current ERA is 5.87.
  • Kyle Bogese, RHP, Frontier Greys, R2 – Has pitched in 6 games (4 starts) with a 0-4 record. In 18.1 IP, he has a 5.40 ERA.
  • David Russo, LHP, Rockford, R2 – Has appeared in 7 games with a 1-0 record. In 8.1 IP, he has a 5.40 ERA.
  • John Fidanza, C, Washington, R1 – Has played in 13 games. In 41 AB, he has a .244 avg.
  • David Duncan, RHP, Florence, R1 – Has pitched in 5 games (2 starts) with a 0-1 record. He has a 7.71 ERA in 11.2 IP.
  • Jack Clearly, C, Joliet, E – Has played in 17 games with an impressive .314 avg in 51 AB.

(All stats courtesy of Pointstreak).

I look forward to following these players more as the season progresses and as we draw closer to the All-Star break.  In the upcoming weeks, I will be doing individual posts with some of these players.  My first post will be with the Washington Wild Things draft picks –  Pitcher Joe Iorio and Catcher John Fidanza.

You can also check out Part One and Part Two of the Frontier League draft class by clicking on the links.

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