Brendan Ryan (baseball)

Last updated

Brendan Ryan
Brendan Ryan-Yankees-11-09-2013.jpg
Ryan with the New York Yankees in 2013
Born: (1982-03-26) March 26, 1982 (age 37)
Los Angeles, California
Batted: RightThrew: Right
MLB debut
June 2, 2007, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
June 14, 2016, for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
MLB statistics
Batting average .233
Home runs 19
Runs batted in 203

Brendan Wood Ryan (born March 26, 1982) is an American former professional baseball infielder. He played 10 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels. Ryan won the Fielding Bible Award in 2012.

Professional baseball is played in leagues throughout the world. In these leagues and associated farm teams, baseball players are selected for their talents and are paid to play for a specific team or club system.

An infielder is a baseball player stationed at one of four defensive "infield" positions on the baseball field.

Major League Baseball Professional baseball league

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901, respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the major league clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.


While he has typically fielded at shortstop in his professional career, Ryan has been known to play at second and third base and on a rare occasion as a first baseman. Ryan has earned a reputation as one of the finest defensive players in the league. [1]

Shortstop defensive position in baseball and softball played on the left side of the infield between second and third bases

Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball or softball fielding position between second and third base, which is considered to be among the most demanding defensive positions. Historically the position was assigned to defensive specialists who were typically poor at batting and were often placed at the bottom of the batting order. Today shortstops are often able to hit well and many are placed at the top of the lineup. In the numbering system used by scorers to record defensive plays, the shortstop is assigned the number 6.

Second baseman defensive position in baseball and softball, played on the right side of the infield near second base

In baseball and softball, second baseman is a fielding position in the infield, between second and first base. The second baseman often possesses quick hands and feet, needs the ability to get rid of the ball quickly, and must be able to make the pivot on a double play. In addition, second basemen are usually right-handed; only four left-handed throwing players have ever played second base in Major League Baseball since 1950. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the second baseman is assigned the number 4.

Third baseman defensive position in baseball and softball, played on the far left end of the infield near third base

A third baseman, abbreviated 3B, is the player in baseball whose responsibility is to defend the area nearest to third base — the third of four bases a baserunner must touch in succession to score a run. In the scoring system used to record defensive plays, the third baseman is assigned the number '5'.

Early and personal life

Ryan was born in Los Angeles on March 26, 1982, to Katie and Jim Ryan. He is the youngest of their four children. Ryan attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California. His father was an infielder for Loyola Marymount University and holds the school's single-season record for the most hits with a wooden bat. One of his uncles, Willie Ryan, was a National Champion First Team All-American first baseman for the USC Trojans baseball team; his other uncle, Dr. Patrick Ryan, was a college sprinter at UCLA and Michigan State.[ citation needed ]

Notre Dame High School (Sherman Oaks, California) Private, day, college-prep school in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, United States

Notre Dame High School (NDHS) in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, is a co-ed Catholic college preparatory high school founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1947.

Loyola Marymount University Jesuit university in Los Angeles

Loyola Marymount University (LMU) is a private Jesuit and Marymount research university in Los Angeles, California. It is located on the westside of the city and is scenically positioned atop the bluffs overlooking Playa Vista. LMU is also the parent school to Loyola Law School located in downtown Los Angeles.

USC Trojans baseball baseball team of the University of Southern California

The USC Trojans baseball program represents the University of Southern California in college baseball. Established in 1888, the team is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Pac-12 Conference. USC home's field is Dedeaux Field, which is named in honor of former head coach and National College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Rod Dedeaux.

College career

In the fall of 2000, Ryan enrolled at Lewis–Clark State College to play college baseball in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. In his first season, he batted .375 with 5 triples, the third most ever by a Warrior. As a sophomore shortstop, he hit .359 with 34 RBIs and hit .378 with runners on. During the 2002 season, he hit safely in 18 straight games. Beyond his solid offensive numbers, Ryan gained a reputation as a good defensive infielder.

Lewis–Clark State College

Lewis–Clark State College is a public college in Lewiston, Idaho. Founded 126 years ago in 1893, it has an annual enrollment of approximately 3,600 students. The college offers more than 130 degrees and is well known for its social work, criminal justice, education, nursing, and technical programs.

College baseball Baseball that is played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education

College baseball is baseball that is played on the intercollegiate level at institutions of higher education. In comparison to football and basketball, college competition in the United States plays a smaller role in developing professional players, as baseball's professional minor leagues are more extensive, with a greater history of supplying players to the top professional league. Moving directly from high school to the professional level is more common in baseball than in football or basketball. However, if players do opt to enroll at a four-year college to play baseball, they must complete three years to regain professional eligibility, unless they reach age 21 before starting their third year of college. Players who enroll at junior colleges regain eligibility after one year at that level. In the most recently completed 2017 season, there were 298 NCAA Division I teams in the United States.

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics North American college athletics association

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a college athletics association for small colleges and universities in North America. For the 2018–2019 season, it has 251 member institutions, of which two are in British Columbia, one in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the rest in the conterminous United States. The NAIA, whose headquarters is in Kansas City, Missouri, sponsors 26 national championships. The CBS Sports Network, formerly called CSTV, serves as the national media outlet for the NAIA. In 2014, ESPNU began carrying the NAIA Football National Championship.

In the 2002 summer season, Brendan played collegiate summer baseball for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks in the Alaska Baseball League.[ citation needed ]

Collegiate summer baseball leagues are amateur baseball leagues in the United States and Canada featuring players who have attended at least one year of college and have at least one year of athletic eligibility remaining. Generally, they operate from early June to early August. Players use wooden baseball bats, hence the common nickname of these leagues as "wood bat leagues".

Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks

The Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks are a collegiate summer baseball team which was founded in 1960 as an independent barnstorming team. The Goldpanners were charter members of the Alaska Baseball League at the league's inception in 1974. The Goldpanners play their home games at Growden Memorial Park in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. They also host the annual Midnight Sun Game at their home venue.

The Alaska Baseball League (ABL) is an amateur collegiate summer baseball league. Players in the league must have attended one year of college and must have one year of NCAA eligibility remaining.

Professional career

In 2003, Ryan entered the MLB amateur draft and was selected in the seventh round (215th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals.

St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team in St. Louis, Missouri, United States

The St. Louis Cardinals are an American professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. Busch Stadium has been their home ballpark since 2006. One of the nation's oldest and most successful professional baseball clubs, the Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships, more than any other NL team and second in MLB only to the New York Yankees. The team has won 19 National League pennants, third-most of any team. St. Louis has also won 14 division titles in the East and Central divisions.

Ryan hit .311 for the Cardinals' rookie league affiliate, the New Jersey Cardinals, in 2003. In 2004, he was promoted to the Cardinals' Class A affiliate, the Peoria Chiefs. With a .322 batting average and 30 steals in the 2004 season, another promotion came for Ryan, this time to the High A Class team, the Palm Beach Cardinals, where Ryan was selected as a Florida State League All-Star. He was promoted again during the middle of 2005 season to the Class AA Springfield Cardinals.

In 2006, Ryan suffered a wrist injury in spring training limiting him to 28 games spread among four stops in the minors. That same year, Ryan appeared in 28 games for the Peoria Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League and batted .310 (39-for-126) with two home runs, 19 runs and 20 RBI. His 39 hits were tied for tops for the 2006 AFL season. He collected two four-hit games and hit safely in his first eight AFL games (.425 BA) and 10 of his first 11 (.396).

St. Louis Cardinals

Ryan playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007 Brendan Ryan and Craig Counsell (3572673601).jpg
Ryan playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2007

Ryan was originally called up on and made his major league debut for the Cardinals on June 2, 2007, against the Houston Astros. He was later sent down on July 27, 2007, but was recalled on August 12, 2007, and remained with the Cardinals for the rest of the season. In his rookie year, he hit for a .289 batting average with 4 home runs and 11 runs batted in. Ryan also scored 29 runs and recorded 7 stolen bases without being caught stealing. He batted significantly better against left-handed pitching in his first season with a batting average of .354, as opposed to his .232 average against right-handers. His first major league home run was a game-winner in the top of the 11th inning off of Scott Schoeneweis of the New York Mets on June 26, 2007. His second home run also came rather dramatically, as he contributed to a four run comeback on July 4, 2007 when the Cardinals were at one point behind 4–1. The Cardinals won the game 5–4 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ryan opened the 2008 season on the 15-day disabled list with a right oblique strain suffered in spring training. He rehabbed injury in the minor leagues in the first month of the season until called up on April 23. [2] He was the Cardinals' primary utility infielder for the most of the season, although he played three games in the outfield. He was optioned to Memphis on August 6 and recalled again on September 2.

Ryan started the 2009 season in St. Louis. He went on the 15-day disabled from April 30 through May 15 with a left hamstring strain, making a rehab stint in Memphis. By June, he moved up to be the everyday shortstop, batting over .300 and playing spectacular defense. On August 20, 2009, in the second inning of the Cardinals and Padres Game, Ryan hit his first career grand slam off of San Diego pitcher Tim Stauffer. On September 19, 2009, Ryan hit a walk off single off Chicago Cubs closer Carlos Mármol. Ryan also had a home run in the 2–1 win. His game-winning single was the first walk-off hit of his career.

By the end of the 2009 regular season, Ryan's defense at shortstop had been recognized as a major factor in the Cardinals' divisional title. However, in February 2010, he underwent a procedure to debride dead tissue from his right wrist performed by Dr. Steven Shin in Los Angeles. [3] The start to his 2010 spring training debut was delayed due to the surgery. He made his 2010 Grapefruit League debut on March 20, but he showed no lingering effects. [4]

Ryan, during his tenure with the Seattle Mariners in 2013, warms up before a game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland. Brendan Ryan warming up.JPG
Ryan, during his tenure with the Seattle Mariners in 2013, warms up before a game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland.

Seattle Mariners

On December 12, 2010, Ryan was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Maikel Cleto. [5]

On July 26, 2011, Ryan broke up CC Sabathia's bid for a perfect game with a base hit with one out in the seventh inning.

On August 2, 2011, during a game against the Oakland Athletics, alert play by Ryan led to the unusual result of his reaching third on an infield hit. Ryan hit a ground ball fielded by Oakland shortstop Eric Sogard, but Sogard was left off-balance and his throw to first was late. Behind the back of Oakland first baseman Conor Jackson, Ryan ran for second which was left uncovered by Sogard, and then immediately for third as that base was also uncovered. While referred to in the media as an "infield triple", the play was officially scored as a single and fielder's choice. [6]

In 2011, Ryan finished second for the second straight year in the voting for the Fielding Bible Award.[ citation needed ]

On April 21, 2012, Ryan was the final out of Philip Humber's perfect game. He was called for a swinging third strike on a checked swing, though the ball was not caught cleanly. Rather than running to first base, Ryan momentarily argued umpire Brian Runge's decision that he had swung, allowing catcher A.J. Pierzynski to throw the ball to first base for the final out. On June 8, he entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning of the Mariners' combined no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers and made one of the game's closest putouts by throwing Dee Gordon out at first base. On August 15 of that same year, he scored the game's only run in the third inning of teammate Félix Hernández's perfect game, the Mariners defeating the Tampa Bay Rays.

In 2012, he won a Fielding Bible Award as the best fielding shortstop in MLB. [7] In 2013, Ryan was replaced as the starting shortstop by Brad Miller mid-season, as Ryan had been hitting around the Mendoza Line. [8]

New York Yankees

Ryan's pitching debut Brendan Ryan on the mound.jpg
Ryan's pitching debut

On September 10, 2013, Ryan was traded to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later. [9] On November 18, 2013, he agreed to a new contract with the New York Yankees, and on November 27, 2013, he finalized a deal worth $5 million over two years. His deal also includes a club option for $2 million, and a player option for $1 million, for the 2016 season.

Ryan opened the 2014 season on the 15-day disabled list with back issues. As of May 2, 2014, he was on the 15-day disabled list with cervical spine nerve damage and was playing rehab games at AA Trenton. Ryan played only 49 games in 2014, batting .167 with 8 RBI.

Ryan began the 2015 season on the 15-day disabled list due to a right calf strain. On August 25, 2015, Ryan made his MLB pitching debut in the eighth inning against the Houston Astros, throwing two scoreless innings. [10]

Ryan exercised his $1 million player option for the 2016 season. [11]

Chicago Cubs

On December 17, 2015, the Yankees officially announced that Ryan had been the player to be named later in their trade with the Chicago Cubs for shortstop Starlin Castro. [12] He was released by the Cubs on December 23, 2015. [13]

Washington Nationals

On February 2, 2016, the Washington Nationals signed Ryan to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. [14] [15] He did not make the team, but accepted an assignment to the Syracuse Chiefs of the Class AAA International League. [16]

Los Angeles Angels

Following an injury to Andrelton Simmons, Ryan was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, in exchange for cash considerations and a player to be named later, on May 10, 2016. [17] He was designated for assignment on May 28, but was called back up on June 1.

Detroit Tigers

On December 19, 2016, Ryan signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers, worth $625,000, which included an invite to spring training. [18] He elected free agency on November 6, 2017.

Personal life

Ryan is married and has two children [19]

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