Ruairi O'Connor is a senior outfielder at Florida State University. A native of River Forest, Ill., O'Connor is a team captain this season for the Seminoles. He appeared in 33 games a season ago with seven starts. O'Connor batted .300 with three doubles, two homers, 19 runs and eight RBI. He batted .296 in 2007 after missing all but two games in 2006 following surgery for a fractured wrist. Both of his parents attended Florida State. O'Connor has made ACC Academic Honor Roll each of the past two years. O'Connor is majoring in literature.



May 25, 2009

No Rest for the Weary


It’s 3:00 a.m., and as boredom mounts, so does the weight of every eyelid transfixed on the uniforms of 32 guys that have long been sound asleep. The job at hand is to prepare the players’ uniforms for the upcoming game hours later. This is the job of the student baseball managers, and it’s not one of celebrated glory. It is merely one of endless duties that offer only anonymity and appreciation from the program. Even so, this has never deterred Florida State’s most selfless men from carrying the burden of the program on their backs, doing the important invisible work behind the scenes.


Under the tutelage of the best equipment manager in the nation Dane Smith, our student managers, Danny Scott, Josh Adkins, Mike Foreman, Matt Shifrin, Dave Stark, Adam Neiberg, Drew Strouse, Brandon Roth and Alex Mookas have evolved into an essential part of the Seminole program.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the interworkings of a Division I baseball program, it would be impossible to list all the tasks and necessary jobs they complete that are so important to our great baseball program.


In order to grasp their importance to our overall success, the role they play for the team is analogous to that of a garbage man for a community. Equally essential and unappreciated, without them, how could our society operate efficiently? Neither is a glamorous occupation, either. Our managers are indispensable. They are led by Dane who orchestrates many events, large and small, to ensure the smooth day-to-day operation of the Seminole baseball team. They do their job well whether in preparation for a game or practice, at home or on the road, in good weather and in bad.


Throughout the long season, there are times when arriving at the ballpark at 2 o’clock for a 6 o’clock game and leaving whenever the game ends can be grueling for a full-time student. It may seem even more so when the players are lifting or receiving treatment after a game or practice, keeping the managers at the field for hours. Despite the long hours we players put in at Dick Howser Stadium, it pales in comparison to the time that each and every student manager dedicates to the program throughout the year.


Working hard together to reach a common goal engenders mutual appreciation from which friendships evolve into relationships that may last a lifetime between players and managers. Danny Scott, a fine athlete in his own right, has been there every step of my own personal five-year journey at FSU. I will always remember Dane Smith working hard whenever I first arrived at Dick Howser Stadium, and working harder as I get ready to leave six hours later. Their dedication is true and it makes me proud to be a Seminole.


Despite the long hours, lack of pay and recognition, the managers fulfill their commitment because they know that just like every one of the 32 players, the team could not reach its full potential without them. There has never been a moment when I didn’t receive what I wanted, or more importantly, what I needed. Although I have always tried to express gratitude for everything that these men have done for me and the team, it doesn’t seem to suffice. This article is my thank you to the managers, my expression of unending gratitude for the selfless work that has graced this program during my time with you.


Ruairi O'Connor

(photo courtesy of FSU Media Relations Office)