November 24, 2003
Boston College junior Ryan Morgan can be affectionately called an “SSBC rat,” having first started training at the South Shore Baseball Club when he was seven years old. Morgan’s come full circle, going from a pre-Little Leaguer to “Seadogs” AAU star.
Ryan’s father (Rick) and SSBC president Frank Niles, Jr. grew-up together in Weymouth. Dad brought his little boy to his friend’s training facility (SSBC) and, as they say, the rest is baseball history.
“I grew up there (at SSBC) and they – Frank, Del (Rick DelVecchio) and Tim Daley — pretty much taught me everything I know about baseball,”Morgan said. “I played on the AAU teams (Seadogs) there from the age of 11 through 16. When you play with and against the best, it brings out the best in you. I was coached by the best coaches, too. The knowledge I got from them really helped in my development.”
Morgan and his present B.C. teammates, Drew Locke and Jason Delaney, teamed to captured the Massachusetts Division 1 High School Championship as members of B.C. High. Ryan was MVP of the state championship. A two-time AAU All-American player with the Seadogs, he was a member of the Seadogs’ 16-and-under national Bronze medal winning club, which also included Locke and Delaney, as well as minor league prospects Michael Conroy and Mark Rosen.
“When I got hired at Boston College my No. 1 priority was to successfully recruit the top players in New England,” B.C. head baseball coach Peter Hughes said. “The first place I looked was the South Shore Baseball Club. They develop ‘ready made’ players that can make an immediate impact at the collegiate level. Boston College baseball has reaped the benefits of the South Shore Baseball Club’s fine work.”
After his senior year at B.C. High, Ryan was drafted in the 41st round by the Atlanta Braves, but he decided to take a pass on the pros, at least at that point, to attend Boston College. “It was pretty special having the option of signing a pro contract or going to Boston College,” he remembered. “Getting drafted was an awesome experience. Looking back at school, the coaching I’ve received and the weight lifting instruction there, I’d do the same thing (go to B.C. rather than sign with the Braves out of high school). It’s a no-brainer.”
The 6-3, 195-pound Morgan has played infield and outfield for the Eagles’ while also holding down the closer’s role. Last season, he batted .289 while leading the team in both homeruns (7) and RBI (35). He also saved 9 games. Ryan, of course, is eligible for the MLB draft after this coming season.
“I try not to think about it,” he remarked, “but I hope I get drafted again next year. My goal as a high school player was to become a professional some day. If the right opportunity presents itself, I’d sign a pro contract after this coming season, but it has to be the right opportunity. If I play as a senior at B.C., I’d be eligible for the draft again after my senior season.”
The last two summers Morgan has played in the highly competitive Cape Cod League. This fall he returned to his baseball roots as an SSBC instructor.
“It’s cool,” Morgan concluded. “I can remember how I felt when the older guys were teaching me and now I’m one of the older guys teaching young kids at SSBC. I love it. When I can’t play baseball, I’d like to stay involved in the game, probably as a coach. Someday I’d like to bring my son to the South Shore Baseball Club because of all the resources there.”
Now that’s really coming full circle.
“Ryan is a great kid and a tremendous role model for the younger players at SSBC,” stated SSBC President Frank Niles. “He always had that determination and work ethic that you like to see. He’s certainly earned every bit of his success.”