Bridgewater, NJ – Right fielder Ryan Radmanovich has been named #4 on the Patriots Top 15 list, a part of the team’s 15th Season Anniversary, designed to celebrate the best players in team history as voted on by fans, Patriots players and coaches, and team officials.
“Playing for the Patriots for four years always felt like family to me. To be selected is definitely an honor because of that family atmosphere from the grounds crew, to Sparky, to the entire front office. It was a very special place to be,” said Radmanovich.
Radmanovich was one of the greatest power hitters in Patriots history and was one of the biggest threats in the middle of Somerset’s line up each year from 2003-2006 and for the championship run in 2008.
Before joining the Patriots, Radmanovich played in 25 Major League games for the Seattle Mariners and had six seasons of Triple-A experience. The Patriots were his first time in independent minor league baseball.
“After playing at the highest level and all of a sudden you are looking for a job and end up in the independent minor leagues, I didn’t know what to expect. Once I showed up, it really felt like I was treated like a big leaguer. Even though my goal was to get back to the Big Leagues, I found myself wanting to be in Somerset. If I wasn’t in the Majors, the Patriots were the number one place to be in my view,” Radmanovich said.
Radmanovich’s best season with the team came in 2005 when he hit .319 with a then team season high 28 home runs. He drove in 89 runs that season and provided Somerset with most of its offense during the 2005 Playoffs with a .400 batting average, three home runs, and nine RBI in six playoff games. He hit a game-winning three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a tie with the Atlantic City Surf in a deciding Game Three of the South Division Championship.
“It was a very memorable time in my career. Anytime you do well in your career you remember those good times. You remember all the players that helped you succeed. You can be successful as an individual, but you need your team around you to make you that much better. That lineup was not one that teams were able to pitch around anybody from top to bottom,” said Radmanovich.
Radmanovich was a three-time All-Star for the Patriots and always a legitimate MVP candidate for the league. He is one of just three Patriots who have won three championships in their time with the team.
“I played 17 years professionally and the only championships I had came during my time in Somerset. You remember the guys on those teams, and being retired now, that is what I miss the most, the camaraderie. A bunch of players working together towards a goal and attaining it. It was all very special,” Radmanovich added.
He finished his career in Somerset with a .288 average, 473 hits, 97 doubles, 96 home runs, and 299 RBI in 457 games.
Throughout the 2012 season, the Patriots will be counting down the Top 15 players in team history and then highlight the chosen players on baseball card giveaways and a special lithograph during the year.