Kyle Conley: Minor League Check-In
One of the all-time great Husky sluggers, Kyle Conley, sent us this report from his summer in the Minor Leagues. Here's what he had to say:
Kyle Conley here checking in from Palm Beach, Fla., where I'm fortunate enough to be playing for the Palm Beach Cardinals (St. Louis Cardinals). We're on game 125 down here, and are in the playoff hunt chasing former UW pitcher Jason Erickson's Bradenton Marauders team (Pittsburgh Pirates). We're looking at a season within a season as the next 15 games have the ability to erase memories of a tough first half for us, and hopefully we can make a run at the Florida State League Championship.
Palm Beach has been a great place to play baseball. The nice ballpark, sunny warm weather, and great group of teammates and coaches has made it a fun and positive experience. Our pitching coach is Dennis "El Presidente" Martinez, who had a 23-year MLB career, threw a perfect game, and is regarded as one of the best Latin players ever to play the game right up there with the likes of Roberto Clemente. In Spring Training I got to work with Mark McGwire a bit on my swing and hitting approach. It's been a fun experience just being around people who were so successful in their careers at the game everyday and picking up on the little things.
Our team has been comprised of guys from all over the US, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Cuba, and Colombia. It's fun to practice and play with guys from different places and really has shown me the game of baseball is universal and made me realize how special of a game it is and can be. My understanding and appreciation of Latin America and its different cultures has grown exponentially from my experience here and building great friendships with teammates.
Personally this season has been very challenging after missing all of last year with an injury. I started in the Low A Midwest League in Davenport, Iowa, and had to battle through inconsistencies in performance which were not unreasonable to expect. The organization showed faith in me with a move to High A Palm Beach in April and I'm trying to get back on track with my career and progression through Cardinals the minor league system. With baseball being a finesse game based on failure, it's easy for guys to get discouraged, frustrated, down, up, and everywhere in between, but I've committed myself to just giving it my best honest effort and dealing with the results, positive or negative.
I'm looking forward to the off season here soon in the Northwest and watching the Huskies ball club come together this fall, but still have 15 games left to win or lose here. That's kind of the theme in pro baseball: always another game tomorrow. Hopefully will have another update for y'all here soon with good news about the playoff run, and always...GO DAWGS!!!!!
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