Mike Conroy announces retirement
KWCH 12 Eyewitness Sports
11:26 AM CST, January 21, 2013
Wichita Wingnuts veteran outfielder Mike Conroy has announced his reirement from professional baseball.
Conroy played 11 seasons from 2001-12, spending a year away from the game in 2007. The 30-year-old collected 879 base hits in 914 career games, while averaging 85 runs scored, 27 doubles, 11 triples, 79 RBI, 17 stolen bases, and 59 walks per 162 contests. His 28 triples during four seasons in the American Association are tied for the most in league history.
"It's going to be tough not seeing Mike Conroy's name penciled into our lineup this season," said Wingnuts' manager Kevin Hooper. "He left all he had on the field day after day, and played the game the way I want it to be played. Mike will truly be missed by all of us in the Wingnuts' organization, and we wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors."
"I want to thank the City of Wichita and their great support system," said Conroy. "Without them, we wouldn't have the opportunity to play the game we love. To end it with the Wingnuts really means the world to me. My best two years have come with the Wichita Wingnuts, and I'm very fortunate to have had them in my life. That's a testament to the organization and how they run things, from the bat boy all the way up to the owners."
Conroy's professional career started in 2001 when he was drafted 43rd overall by the Cleveland Indians out of Boston College High School in his home state of Massachusetts. Conroy tallied six seasons with the Indians' organization, enjoying strong campaigns in 2003 and 2004. The Weymouth native ranked fourth or better in base hits, RBI, and total bases in the New York-Penn League in 2003, while finishing fifth in triples in the South Atlantic League the following year.
Conroy and the Indians parted ways after 2006, leaving the outfielder unsure about his future. Looking for a change from baseball--but one that would allow him to continue playing sports--Conroy enrolled at the University of Connecticut where he walked onto the Huskies' football team as a wide receiver. The 24-year-old "freshman" embraced his experience both on the field and back in the classroom, but the longer Conroy was away from baseball, the more he realized how much he missed it.
"I went back to play college football, and it was the best thing that happened for my career and my personal life," said Conroy. "I understood that baseball meant so much to me and it re-established the love and passion I had for the game."
Conroy revived his baseball career in 2008, earning a roster spot with the Atlantic League's Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. Just a few weeks into the season, he was traded to the expansion Grand Prairie AirHogs in the relatively new American Association. Conroy hit .294 for Grand Prairie, and helped the first-year club reach the league's championship series. In 2009, Conroy again split time with Southern Maryland and Grand Prairie, hitting a combined .300, and leading the American Association in triples.
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