MoonDogs Fick Happy To Be Back
The Mankato MoonDogs Cody Fick is a great example of just how quickly life can change. Fick had an outstanding freshman season at Jefferson (MO) Community College in 2007, being named Team MVP, and was preparing for his sophomore season when one February morning he woke up with a swollen and discolored right arm. Doctors found blod clots in his arm due to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a disorder which affects blood flow and nerve response to the arms due to compression in the shoulder area and can be life-threatening. The disorder is not common for normal people but, while still rare, is not uncommon in the baseball world having recently affected major league baseball players Kenny Rogers, Hank Blalock and Jeremy Bonderman.
Baseball was the furthest thing from Fick’s mind initially as the blood clots spread all the way to his lungs making it even more serious. The doctors moved quickly as an 8-hour surgery was needed and they removed his first rib to help clear up the blockage. Just one month after the successful surgery he picked up a baseball for the first time and began his rehab. Fick had signed to play at the University of Evansville during the fall of 2007 and was forced to redshirt in his final season at Jefferson.
“I used sitting out as a learning tool. It was, in a way, a blessing in disguise as I learned a lot and get three years to play at the DI level for Evansville,” Fick said. “The biggest thing was just staying positive through it all.”
This spring Fick had an outstanding first season for the Purple Aces and was named second team all-MVC at third base after being one of the top newcomers in the Missouri Valley Conference. Fick finished the year at UE hitting .307, while pacing the squad and ranking among the Valley’s leaders in doubles (2nd-19), home runs (6th-nine), total bases (3rd-120), hits (7th-70), runs scored (9th-44), and RBI (7th-46). He recorded 17 multi-hit games, while also leading the squad with 13 multi-RBI contests, and his 19 doubles rank as the 10th-highest single-season total in Evansville history.
Prior to his surgery Fick was a two-way player, pitching as well as playing in the infield. While he hasn’t had any physical complications he has not been able to regain his form on the mound. After taking a year off from pitching his mechanics and feel for the ball was just not there this spring in the four short appearances that he made.
“I haven’t figured that out yet but it has seemed to take more of a toll on my elbow,” Fick explained. “But I’m just happy to be playing and will take whatever I can get.”
This summer with Mankato, Fick is solely an infielder. On June 3rd he came a triple short of the cycle, going 4-5 with a run and three RBI in a victory over the Rochester Honkers. He was named the NWL Player of the Night.
Fick’s attitude, enthusiasm and hustle have been a big part of the MoonDogs being in first place in the North Division so far this season and will be even more important as the summer grinds on.
“Cody sets an example by how he plays,” said Evansville Head Coach Wes Carroll in an interview this spring with the Evansville Courier & Press. “He plays with an extra motor we’d like all our players to match.”
Fick, who remains on blood thinners, will continue to bring his hard-nosed style of play and positive outlook to the MoonDogs as they make a run at a first half North Division title and look to make a repeat appearance in the NWL playoffs.