KANSAS - Family, friends and teammates gathered (after their temperature and names were taken) to celebrate Rowdy Blackbird signing with Bacone College in the Kansas Event Center.
Blackbird singed for a four year scholarship ($10,000 per year) to play baseball for the Warriors in Muskogee.
Kansas, Oklahoma has been home to Blackbird throughout all his school years. He began playing baseball as a Kansas Comet in the 6th grade, pitching or playing third base, finishing his senior year for the Comets as the 2020 3A All Region Pitcher and the 2020 Oklahoma Native All-State.
Comets Coach Austin Graham will miss this player.
“So many great things I could say about this young man, but we will miss him, not only on the field, but how he led our team by his actions as a young man," said Graham. "I’m going to miss his incredible work ethic along with his quiet demeanor with the ups and downs that baseball throws you as a young player.”
Blackbird returns the compliments as he says of Coach Graham: “He’s helped me a lot about life, definitely he is part of my success and I thank him.”
Another coach, James Parnell, Blackbird’s Travel-Ball coach had made an initial contact on his behalf to Bacone College, which eventually led to talks beginning round March, culminating in May.
As the final steps took place on June 15, Blackbird said “It’s great to be able to do a signing,” referring to the impact of COVID-19.
His new Warriors baseball coach, Tyrell Cummings, conducted the signing in the Event Center and said he was excited to be signing Blackbird, as Blackbird fills an important vacancy he had on the team.
He was able to watch Blackbird pitch in D-Bat Tulsa, Metro Scout League and was impressed by what he saw just three weeks ago.
Coach Cummings went to say “He pitches in the 80’s [mph] and after another year or two at Bacone he will have his velo [velocity] up in the 90’s [mph].
He will have opportunities to play at a higher level, if he continues to improve the way I believe he will.”
Blackbird will major in Criminal Justice at Bacone, eventually wanting to become an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman.
When asked if currents events across the nation cause him worry or his parents, Thomas and Melissa Blackbird worry.
He responded “It makes my parents worry more, but it just makes me want to do it more, to make a difference, to help.”
It sounds like he will continue to lead by his actions, as he has done for his team during his years as a Kansas Comet.
Obviously, he will be missed around Kansas, but his presence may once again be felt in the future, if he gets to live his dreams.