View Full Version : Hometown story on Sweeney signing

07-12-2003, 09:03 AM
Sweeney to sign deal with White Sox

By John Riehl
The Gazette
Friday, July 11, 2003, 10:22:26 PM

CEDAR RAPIDS -- Ryan Sweeney had just finished
practicing with his Cedar Rapids Xavier baseball
teammates Thursday night when his phone rang.
His father, Gary, was calling. He didn't need him to
run an errand for the family before returning home. He
had much bigger news than a simple request to pick up
a gallon of milk.

"Dad called me on the phone and said,
'Congratulations, you're a White Sox.' I was like,
'Sweet,' " Ryan said.

Sweeney, a second-round pick (52nd overall) by the
Chicago White Sox in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft,
reached a contract agreement with the major-league
organization Thursday night. Today, Sweeney will sign
a professional contract, which features a $785,000
signing bonus and full college tuition, with the White

Sweeney, an outfielder, said a player always thinks
he's worth more money than he gets. But he's happy
with his signing bonus, which is more than six signed
players who were drafted ahead of him in the second
round, according to Baseball America.

Princeton University pitcher Thomas Pauly, who was
picked one spot ahead of Sweeney, signed for $660,000.
Former Iowa City High pitcher Zach Hammes, who was
selected 51st in the 2002 draft, received a $750,000
signing bonus.

"They slotted $675,000 (for my pick) and I got more
than that -- over $100,000 more," said Sweeney, who
had the option of accepting a college scholarship to
play for former major-leaguer Tony Gwynn at San Diego

"It's a big relief. It took a while, but I think it's
all worth it in the end. I had the best both ways. I
played a little of the high school season and now I
can play in the minors."

But his Xavier career is over. Sweeney, who leaves his
teammates with mixed emotions, didn't play for the
Class 3A top-ranked Saints Friday against Cedar Rapids

Sweeney was batting .489 with nine home runs and 49
RBIs in 32 games. As a pitcher, he was 4-1 with 0.62
earned run average.

"He feels the guys can do it without him," Gary
Sweeney said. "I hope they remember him and put his
name on the state championship trophy."

Ryan Sweeney said, as of Friday afternoon, that the
White Sox hadn't yet told him whether he'll report to
their Rookie League team in Great Falls, Mont., or
Bristol, Va.

Sweeney is ready to go wherever he'll be playing.

"I've been waiting for a long time for this to
happen," Sweeney said.

The White Sox, who were surprised Sweeney was still
around in the second round, feel they're getting a
special player in the Iowa product.

"He's a great kid, very personable," White Sox scout
Nathan Durst told MLB.com. "His confidence reminds me
of (former first-round pick) Kris Honel, where Kris
has the supreme confidence in his ability. Ryan has
that as well. He has the chance to be an impact

07-12-2003, 09:51 AM
I'll say this right now......just reading the stories and hearing
the quotes so far from him.....I like this kid. Already, my 2 favorite players in the minors are Honel and now this kid. We'll see where he ends up. My funny Honel story is from SoxFest, and Honel had just been drafted the year before. A former co-worker went to school with Honel, and saw him just standing around and we talked to him. My nephew was with me, and my ex-coworker wanted to take some pics, so I took a few shots, and I made my nephew take a pic with him. Afterwards, My nephew asked me why I made him take a picture "with that kid".
I told him he was a Sox Draft pick, and he'd see him soon enough.....