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Guilford resident and former Indians’ baseball player Ryan Brockett is retiring from the game after six years of playing professional baseball across North America. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Brockett )
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Ryan Brockett has had a lengthy baseball career that’s seen him play the game at multiple levels, including the last few years in the professional ranks. Following a six-year run in the pros, the Guilford native is ready to begin the next chapter of his life.
Ryan grew up playing baseball at Guilford High School, where he helped the Indians win a state title as a junior in 2007. Ryan then played college baseball for the University of New Haven (UNH), before graduating in 2012.
Ryan began his professional career when he signed with the Worcester Tornadoes of Massachusetts from the Canadian-American (Can-Am) Baseball League in 2012. He spent the next three seasons with the independent Gary Southshore Railcats of Indiana in the American Association, helping the team win the league’s crown in 2013. Following the 2015 campaign, Ryan headed back up north to the Can-Am League to play for the Ottawa Champions, after which he was traded to Trois-Rivieres Aigles of Quebec, where he played for the rest of the 2016 season and the entire 2017 campaign.
This year, Ryan decided to hang up his cleats and pursue the next phase of his career. Ryan, who recently earned his master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York, is working as a para-professional teacher at Guilford High School. He feels thankful for all the memories that he made while playing baseball across North America.
“It was a dream come true. It was great to play so long and see so many places. I met so many great managers, players, and host families,” says Ryan, who finished his six-year pro career with a .259 batting average and a .338 on-base percentage. “My first appearance as a professional was actually pinch-running for [former Major League baseball slugger Jose Canseco]. That was a cool first moment. Winning the title with the Railcats was great. I also played with many current MLB players, and it’s cool to stay in touch with guys like that.”
Ryan had to face a new series of challenges with each step that he took up the ladder. However, Ryan faced the challenges with a competitive fire and kept coming back for more, while putting his best foot forward every day.
“The college game is a quicker pace of play and better players than high school,” Ryan says. “I was 22 when I started as a pro, playing against guys that were 28, 29, 30 years old. The competition and pace of play picked up even more, but I loved the chance to rise to the occasion.”
Greg Tagert, who was Ryan’s manager with the Railcats, says that Ryan was a key piece of his team’s title run. Tagert adds that Ryan also served as terrific template for his teammates as far as the right way to play the game.
“Ryan was a wonderful addition to our ballclub and made a huge contribution to our 2013 championship team,” Tagert says “He has outstanding character and is the kind of example I use when signing future players. He’s everything we want in a player and individual. I have no doubt Ryan will be successful in any endeavor he chooses.”
Ryan got the opportunity to experience the other side of the dugout by spending two seasons as an assistant coach for the LeMoyne College baseball squad. Ryan says that he loved passing on what he’s learned about the sport to plenty of promising young ballplayers who were also trying to get to the next level.
“It was cool coaching, because I played in the same conference as UNH [the Northeast 10 Conference], and to teach the game was awesome,” says Ryan, who was also a graduate assistant at LeMoyne. “I learned little pieces of the game from so many different people, so it was great to pass that on to eager players in college.”
Although a decade has since gone by, Ryan hasn’t forgotten about the time that he spent with baseball team at Guilford High School. Ryan says the Indians’ 2007 championship season was fueled by a group of athletes who had great chemistry, along with a coaching staff that made sure everybody was on point.
“We were fortunate to have a good team at Guilford that always stuck together and held each other accountable,” Ryan says. “Our head coach, Pete Civitello, held us to a high standard and demanded excellence. It was an awesome team.”
Now, Ryan is playing a different ballgame at Guilford High School. As he moves into his new profession, Ryan wants to help his students achieve victories in classroom, just like he helped the Indians see success on the diamond.
“I knew I was getting older, so I never took my eye off of life after baseball and what I wanted to do,” says Ryan. “Getting the MBA helped prepare me for a life in business, and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”
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