Conner Anderson, a 2011 graduate of Missoula Sentinel, is the subject of the Missoulian sports Q & A this week. The 20-year-old former Missoula Maverick has been playing baseball for two year’s at Keuca College in upstate New York and got a gig with Cooperstown Dreams Park this summer working baseball operations.
Basically Anderson will be running little league baseball tournaments all summer in the shadow of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but you can check Sunday’s sports section for more about that. This post is a few notes from my conversation with Conner this week that didn’t fit in the Q & A, mostly about non-Hall of Fame related business.
Conner manned third base as a sophomore this spring for the Storm, which play their home ball in Keuca Park along the shores of – you guessed it – Keuca Lake, one of New York’s famed Finger Lakes. He led the team in walks (18) while ranking in the team top five in runs (17), RBIs (16), doubles (4), steals (5) and, unfortunately, strike outs (16).
He also led the team in farthest away origin from Keuca Park, N.Y. Not a lot of Montana boys on that roster?
“Just me,” the sports management major said with a laugh. “The farthest (west) besides me, we’ve got two from Ohio, a couple guys from Maryland, but no one else west.”
In fact the Columbus, Ohio, area gives Keuca its most western non-Montanan – and that’s not even across the Mississippi River. Of the 28 players on this spring’s roster, 23 come from within the state of New York.
So how did Conner end up all the way out east, more than 2,200 miles from home? He loved baseball and the Storm gave him the opportunity to keep playing.
“I’ve been playing my whole life,” he said. “I played football for a couple years when I was little, I played basketball all the way through high school, but baseball has always been my game.
“I guess I’ve just always had passion for it, even when I was growing up. … My dad’s always helped push me a lot and that’s meant a ton. I’ve met great people through the game, so I guess it’s just always been a huge part of my life.”
The baseball love truly does run in the Anderson family. Little brother Ryan, a sentinel junior, is swinging the bat for the Class AA Mavs this season.