MLB scout from NYC ‘humbled’ by support for sick daughter

If Steve Connelly didn’t exist in actual life, a screenwriter finally would have created him.

“He has the New York accent,” Billy Blitzer, the longtime Cubs scout who additionally possesses such an accent, mentioned in a phone interview of Connelly, the Diamondbacks’ newbie scouting supervisor. “He’s got the chip on his shoulder. He’s stubborn, but if he’s your friend, he’ll do anything for you.”

“He called me a scumbag and I still hired him. Several times,” Deric Ladnier, the Diamondbacks’ director of newbie scouting, wrote in a textual content message.

Yes, Connelly is revered for his authenticity, his true grit, the Astoria native having made fairly the affect within the sport he all the time has beloved. And when household adversity compelled Connelly and his spouse Linda to publicly ask for assist, the Connellys witnessed that reverence first-hand.

Madison Connelly, Linda’s and Steve’s 18-year-old daughter, suffers from CMT4J, a uncommon genetic illness that results in important immobility. Madison depends on a specifically constructed wheelchair and, with so little identified about this affliction, typically has to journey by van (the wheelchair’s dimension prevents her from flying) from the household’s North Carolina residence to the University of Iowa, which employs specialists who possess one of the best grasp of managing it. She hasn’t eaten strong meals in a couple of yr.

“There’s no cure for it,” Connelly mentioned of the illness. “We’ll just pray for a cure.”

The bills add up, which is why the Connellys determined to launch a GoFundMe page that has raised over $100,000 to date.

MLB Steve Connelly
Steve Connelly (high) with daughter Madison (l.,) spouse Linda (c.) and son Steven (r.)
Courtesy of Steve Connelly

“People that I grew up with, people in New York who I haven’t spoken to in a long time, high-school teammates, they made donations when word got out,” Connelly mentioned. “It’s been amazing.”

Connelly performed catcher for Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in Queens, then for three totally different schools, together with Queensboro Community College, earlier than teaching at LIU Brooklyn, Cardinal Hayes and Christ the King. In 1998, he turned an space scout for the Brewers and likewise labored for the Royals and Blue Jays earlier than becoming a member of the Diamondbacks below Lanier, with whom he additionally labored in Kansas City. His two proudest signings on the newbie facet are Royals reliever Greg Holland and Padres outfielder Wil Myers, the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year with the Rays.

“He is the old soul of scouting that will not change the way he was brought up in the game,” mentioned Ladnier, who added Connelly’s favourite work phrase: “You are only as good as your opinion.” In 2013, Connolly acquired the Turk Karam Scout of the Year award from the New York Pro Scouts Association.

Steve met Linda, a North Carolina native, on task whereas within the Tar Heel State they usually have been married for 19 years; Madison has an older sister, Haley, and a youthful brother, Steven.

Madison Connelly
Madison Connelly

It hasn’t been a simple life for Madison, who’s autistic and has battled bipolar problems even earlier than her prognosis a couple of yr and a half in the past. Nevertheless, her dad and mom marvel at her upbeat nature. “Her personality, it’s infectious,” Steve Connelly mentioned of his daughter. “With all the different doctors she sees, she’s so polite. She’s always upbeat. She’s smiling, She’s a special kid.”

The product, clearly, of particular dad and mom. With Steve’s job requiring him to journey a good quantity, Linda runs the household and leads the way in which in caring for Madison. “She’s the real trooper here,” Steve mentioned of his spouse.

Steve, although, makes essentially the most of his time when he’s off the clock. “As you know, you have to get to know him, but I trust him with my life,” Linda mentioned of her husband. “He’ll do anything for his family, anything and everything.”

“Heart of gold,” Ladnier added. “One of the most caring people I have ever met. Just make sure you bring your boxing gloves when you get him going.”

Wil Myers and Greg Holland
Wil Myers and Greg Holland are amongst Steve Connelly’s finest newbie signings.
Getty Images

Nothing will get Connelly going, differently, like his household, which appreciates the appreciable support it has acquired from the baseball group, New Yorkers and plenty of others. Said Connelly: “It’s very humbling, it really is.” It’s not shocking, although, to those that have crossed paths with him.

This week’s Pop Quiz query got here from Howard Rotblatt of New York City: A 1963 episode of “The Beverly Hillbillies” options legendary supervisor Leo Durocher taking part in himself and an actor portraying the Dodgers’ normal supervisor on the time. Name that Dodgers GM.

Before the Yankees and White Sox face off August 12 on the “Field of Dreams” sport in Iowa, the pop-up discipline will host a game between a pair of 14U groups, one from New York and one from Chicago. The New York staff will come from DREAM, previously Harlem RBI.

Just Baseball is a brand new sports activities media firm on the Den of Geek Network. Among the contributors is Mr. Marlin (and temporary former Met, when you recall) Jeff Conine.

Your Pop Quiz reply is Buzzie Bavasi.

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