T-Bones sign two for 2019 season

The Kansas City T-Bones recently signed outfielder Daniel Robertson and infielder-outfielder Nick Basto for the 2019 season.

Robertson’s 11 years of professional baseball experience includes some time in the major leagues with the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners.

Most recently, Robertson played for the Reno Aces, an Arizona Diamondbacks AAA affiliate in the Pacific Coast League. He hit .253 in 26 games with one home run and eight RBIs with the Aces. He played 73 games with the Jackson Generals, hitting .265 and stealing 14 bases. He also recently played for the Sugarland Skeeters of the Atlantic League, where he hit .219 in 21 games.

Robertson graduated from South Hills High School in West Covina, California, and attended Concordia University in Irvine, California, where he played three seasons before transferring to Oregon State University his senior year.

Basto, a Florida native, was the White Sox fifth-round pick in 2012 from Archbishop McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches, Florida. He spent parts of seven seasons with the Chicago White Sox organization, reaching AA Birmingham.

In 2018, he played for the White Sox Southern League club in Birmingham, Alabama, and the Washington Nationals High Club at Potomac in the Carolina League.

Basto played in 35 games with the AA Barons, hitting a home run. He hit .212 at Potomac with one home run and six RBIs in 19 games.

In 2017, he played 129 games for AA Birmingham, hitting .247 with 14 home runs and 51 RBIs. He played 50 games at first base, 34 games in the outfield and nine at third base.

T-Bones full and half-season 2019 ticket packages, as well as mini plans, are on sale online or by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting the T-Bones Stadium offices. Group ticket sales are also on sale. Wyandotte County residents will be able to purchase individual game tickets beginning Tuesday, March 19, at 10 a.m., and the general public on Thursday, March 21. Opening day for the T-Bones is set for Friday May 17, at T-Bones Stadium when the T-Bones play host to the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks to open the 2019 season.

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Sweeney joins T-Bones for 2019 season

The Kansas City T-Bones have signed outfielder Darnell Sweeney for the 2019 season.

Darnell Sweeney comes to Kansas City, Kansas, with an impressive resume, including service time in the big leagues. Sweeney was drafted in the 13th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 but most recently was with the Toronto Blue Jays organization.

In 2018, Sweeney spent the majority of the season with the AAA Buffalo Bison in the International League where he hit .236 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs after signing a minor league contract on April 3.

He had his contract purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays on June 29, 2018, but was optioned back to AAA on July 2. He was recalled on July 31st, but was then designated for assignment on Aug. 2. After clearing waivers, he was outrighted to Buffalo two days later and then was placed on the temporary inactive list from Aug. 9 – 13. In his two big league stints, he would go 0-for-2 but work a pair of walks in two games.

The Cincinnati Reds invited Sweeney to spring training in 2018 as a non-roster invitee, but he was released from AAA Louisville before the season started. The 2017 season, the Florida native started the season at AAA Oklahoma City with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization but saw his services traded to the Reds on May 28, 2017.

In 38 games at OKC he hit .227 with four home runs and 15 RBIs and stole seven bases (out of eight attempts) in the Pacific Coast League. Back in the International League with the Louisville Bats, Sweeney hit .281 in 81 games with seven long balls and 29 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. He was third on the club in walks with 35 and third in stolen bases.

In 2016 Sweeney spent the entire year with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in the International League, the AAA club of the Philadelphia Phillies. In 118 games he hit .233 with six home runs and 35 RBIs. The Phillies shipped Sweeney and Darin Ruf back to the Dodgers in exchange for Howie Kendrick on Nov. 11, 2016, following the 2016 season.

The 2015 season was eventful for Sweeney. He started the season with the Dodgers organization, playing in 116 games at AAA Oklahoma City. He hit .271 with nine home runs and drove in 49 runs. Sweeney led the club in walks with 42, and his 32 stolen bases led the team and placed him third in the PCL in that category.

Although his season was just beginning with the Dodgers system, Los Angeles traded Sweeney to the Philadelphia Phillies, along with RHP John Richy, for second baseman Chase Utley and cash on Aug. 19, 2015.

The Phillies selected his contract a day later and sent Sweeney to the big leagues. He made his debut on that night as a pinch runner in a 9-7 Phillies loss at Miami. His first Major League hit would come two days later on Aug. 22 as a pinch hitter, when he took the Marlins’ Justin Nicolino deep in the 8th to cut a 2-0 Miami lead to 2-1. The Phillies went on to win 4-2.

Following his selection by the Dodgers, Sweeney began his climb up the organizational ladder, reaching AAA in 2015. In the AA Southern League Sweeney played in 132 games for the Chattanooga Lookouts with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs and carried a .288 clip for the season. He stole 15 bases to lead the club and finish third in RBIs. His .387 on-base percentage was tops on the club ahead of future breakout star Cory Seager, who was second with a .381 mark. Sweeney scored a team and league-leading 88 runs as a Lookout in 2014 and was selected to the mid-season All-Star Team in the Southern League.

In 2013 Sweeney spent the entire season at High A Rancho Cucamonga in the California League. He stole 48 bases and drove in 75 runs with 11 homers, carrying a .275 average on the season. His 48 stolen bases led the Quakes and placed him third in the California League.

Following the draft, Sweeney split time at rookie-level Ogden in the Pioneer League, hitting .303 in 16 games and then adding another 51 games at Low A Great Lakes in the Midwest League where he hit .291 in 51 games and added five home runs. Combined at the two stops, he swiped 27 bases in 67 games.

Sweeney hails from Broward County (Miami area), Florida, and was born in Carver Ranches, Florida. He played at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he was drafted after his junior season. Sweeney started all 61 games at shortstop for the Knights in 2011 and 2012, his final two collegiate seasons. He hit .261 with 35 RBIs and stole 20 bases, a career high in college. Sweeney was named to the Coral Gables All-Regional Team and was a Conference USA Preseason First Teamer.

He played a season of high school ball at Fort Lauderdale High School and finished his prep career at American Senior High in Miami. Sweeney was drafted in the 41st round in the 2009 draft by the Florida Marlins but did not sign. He was ranked the 243rd prospect nationally by Perfect Game Crosschecker in 2009 and was selected to the 2009 Rawlings Preseason High School All-American High Honorable Mention list. His senior season he hit .421 with 24 RBIs.

Full and half-season 2019 T-Bones ticket packages, as well as mini plans, are on sale now online or by calling 913- 328-5618 or by visiting the T-Bones Stadium offices. Group ticket sales are also on sale now. Opening day for the T-Bones is set for Friday, May 17, at T-Bones Stadium when the T-Bones play host to the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks.

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T-Bones partner with KCKCC to offer free tickets for teachers

The Kansas City T-Bones and Kansas City Kansas Community College have announced a season-long partnership to embrace education for 2019 honoring the community’s education professionals.

The T-Bones along with KCKCC are honoring area teachers and educators on a nightly basis at each home game and deliver an educational tip of the day.

In addition, educators and staff (at any school) can receive a free nightly ticket in the Blue Devil Den section by showing their ID at the box office for any Sunday through Friday home game, based on availability. The offer must be redeemed on the day of the game and cannot be combined with any other coupons, vouchers or group tickets.

“Educators impact every person in our community, and we’re proud to work with our KCKCC neighbor, to recognize that commitment by offering free tickets for 2019 in the Blue Devil Den,” said Adam Ehlert, T-Bones’ president. “We thank the Community College for their help on this initiative, and sponsorship of the ‘Blue Devil Den’ seating section.”

On the heels of last year’s successful STEM-Education Day last year, the T-Bones are furthering the concept of supporting education in the community by becoming teammates with the Blue Devils, according to a T-Bones spokesman. KCKCC is a great component of the community and the college is an educational bridge, affording students the first step toward advanced education —much like the T-Bones, according to the T-Bones spokesman.

The T-Bones are a professional stepping-stone for baseball players, seasonal staff, interns and front office professionals alike — as eight T-Bones players had their contracts purchased last year by MLB organizations, according to the spokesman.

The educational opportunities of the Kansas City T-Bones intern program have seen students rise to success in the sports industry. The T-Bones have former two former interns in Major League Baseball front office jobs and two from the class of 2017 in graduate programs in sports media at two Division 1 NCAA universities.

The 2018 class has seen former interns hired at AAA in the Pacific Coast League and as a whole, former interns are well-distributed throughout the sports industry. KCKCC and the T-Bones are leaders in helping students of the area achieve greater career and education heights, according to the spokesman.

“Educators are a vital part of our community and should be recognized and celebrated. Through our community partnership with the T-Bones, we are thrilled to offer free admission for Sunday through Friday home games to all educators, and KCKCC students, faculty and staff. We look forward to seeing our guests in the new Blue Devil Den at the T-Bones Stadium,” said Dr. Greg Mosier, president of KCKCC, in a statement.

Full and half-season 2019 ticket packages, as well as mini plans, are on sale now online or by calling 913-328-5618 or visiting the T-Bones Stadium offices. Group ticket sales are also on sale now. Opening day for the T-Bones is set for Friday, May 17, at T-Bones Stadium when the T-Bones play host to the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks to open the 2019 season.

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