Local talent present as Schaumburg Boomers open another baseball season
The Schaumburg Boomers open their season with a 6:30 p.m. Friday home game against the Traverse City Beach Bums, and the team will definitely have some local flavor this year.
Outfielder Kyle Ruchim is a Stevenson and Northwestern University grad and Rob McDonnell, a pitcher, is a Barrington native.
In addition, it'll be the rookie season for St. Viator alum Cosimo Cannella, a right-handed hitting first baseman.
"He (Cannella) looks good right now," Boomers manager Jamie Bennett acknowledged. "Still working on a few small things with his timing but showed a lot of plate discipline and power this spring."
That Cannella has advanced to the professional ranks is no surprise to his former coach, St. Viator's Mike Manno.
"I would say that main thing that led to this is his work ethic," Manno said. "He has the drive and passion to live out his dream."
The Boomers, who won the Frontier League championship in 2014, will hope to continue their success in independent baseball at the gate while looking also to improve their fortunes on the field.
Schaumburg finished with a sub-. 500 record in 2016 but sill set an attendance mark while leading the league with 172,996 fans.
"We should be a very athletic club," Bennett said. "We have a lot of guys who can do a lot of things on the field. We have several new arms along with a few returners on the pitching staff.
"We lost a couple of key guys from our bullpen so we are hoping for positive results out the guys filling those roles."
The Boomers will continue to promote a fan-friendly atmosphere by offering a slew of promotions, including the popular "Bark-in-the-Park" on June 25 and Marshmallow Fight Night (Aug. 5), among other events.
They'll also take on a more serious tone as well by adding some new draws such as "Faith and Family Day" and "Autism Awareness Night," in addition to having a fireworks show most Fridays and Saturdays.
But the main draw will come with success on the field, and some players who enjoyed standout years with the Boomers are back for 2017.
Among them Ruchim and infielder Josh Gardiner.
"Both (of those) guys were picked up by affiliated clubs last year," Bennett said. "So we are anxious to see them perform this year.
"Our lineup should be stretched out very well and I really like our depth and versatility."