To many current fans of Mizzou Baseball, Ryan Fry's name has come up in only two ways:
• During outfielder Evan Frey's career with the Tigers, play-by-play man Tex Little never quite broke the habit of slipping up and referring to him as Ryan Fry, much to the puzzlement of newbie fans, and much to the merriment of long-time fans.Ryan Fry at Mizzou
• Ryan Fry's name came up frequently during the 2008 season, when senior Jacob Priday demolished some of Fry's MU career records.
■ Only one week after he completed an impressive fall workout, the Missouri baseball team's most valuable newcomer was in the hospital. (Columbia Tribune, 11/4/94)
Freshman pitcher Ryan Fry, a right-hander, was diagnosed as having a bloodclot in his right shoulder earlier this month. Fry spent four days at Columbia Regional Hospital undergoing observation and medication.
``It surprised me a lot,'' Fry said. ``I didn't know what to think.''
Fry was diagnosed Oct. 19 with an occlusion of the vein beneath the right clavicle. The only symptom was a swollen arm. MU coach Tim Jamieson said Fry's right arm was two inches larger than his left. Other than the discomfort associated with swelling, Fry said he did not feel any pain.
Doctors told Fry that the risk of losing mobility in his arm is low because the clot is located high in his shoulder and in a vein. However, they have restricted rigorous activity on the arm for three months, after which Fry will begin throwing or consider surgery, he said.
. . .
Fry told Jamieson that he plans to play in the spring. After his injury, Fry said that the stress of pitching might be too much for his arm. Yet, Fry could find a home in left field, Jamieson said.
``The first and most important concern is Ryan Fry,'' Jamieson said. ``Second, and maybe even lower that, is how this will impact the baseball team.''
Fry was named MU Newcomer of the Fall. He batted .360 and played solid defense. Working short relief, Fry pitched 20 innings, striking out 21 and walking only three.
A graduate of Oak Grove High School, Fry was an all-state pitcher during his sophomore, junior and senior years. Last year, he was valedictorian of his class and named Male Athlete of the Year by the Kansas City Sports Commission.
■ At the start of his tenure as Missouri's baseball coach, Tim Jamieson thought he forged a formidable pitching staff. (Columbia Tribune, 5/18/85)
■ Missouri right fielder Ryan Fry used to be a pitcher, a pretty good one (Columbia Tribune, 3/13/96)
Fresh off a 1994 ERA of 5.34, the worst in his five years as MU's pitching coach, Jamieson signed three top Missouri pitchers to back up his marquee left-hander, senior Jason Meyhoff. Jamieson said he was certain he stabilized a questionable starting rotation and bullpen.
But as Jamieson moved from lofty expectations last June to this February's cruel reality, all three prospects were out of Missouri's pitching picture and Meyhoff was gone chasing a professional career.
. . .
Three of the four pitchers that Jamieson expected to lead MU back into the Big Eight fray, however, took their services elsewhere. The other, freshman Fry, suffered a blood clot in his pitching shoulder during the winter. The bloodclot receded but left him in left field for the season.
The remaining staff struggled, posting the Big Eight's highest ERA and giving up 83 more runs than the Tiger offense produced.
Fry discovered the clot two days after 1994 fall practice. After playing racquetball, his upper arm swelled up to the point where it was ``really abnormal looking,'' Fry said. Doctors prescribed blood thinners and an end to the pitching. A remedy for his batting woes was not forthcoming.
That didn't come until last summer in Clarinda, Iowa. It was there, in the Jayhawk
summer league, that Fry played 70 games and pretty much slept with his bat every night. He came back to school with a sweet, compact swing and a firm hold on the No. 3 spot in the batting order.
``You learn through repetition,'' Fry said, ``and the difference for myself --and the entire team -- this year is experience, just relaxing and letting the game come to you.''
■ After the 1996 season, Ryan Fry was named to the All Big 8 team (1st team), and to the NCBWA Smith Super Team (1st team).
■ For three years, senior outfielder Ryan Fry has been the perfect barometer for the Missouri baseball team (Columbia Daily Tribune, 2/18/98)
Fry is moving defensively from right field to center field, but he doesn't think it will affect his offense. Fry had the fall season to acclimate himself to the new position.
``I've gotten a lot of work there this spring,'' Fry said. ``Coming into the spring, I didn't feel quite as comfortable. But I've adjusted a little better now.''
Of course, changing positions is nothing new to Fry. Last year, he played some at third base as Jamieson juggled the lineup. That was one of the reasons to which Jamieson attributed Fry's 70-point drop in batting average.
■ In 1998, Fry set seven offensive records, including career marks for hits, runs, RBI, extra-base hits and at-bats. His 27 homers during his senior year were good enough for the single-season record. (Columbia Tribune, It was a very good year, 12/31/98)
After the 1998 season, Fry was named to the 1st team All Big 12, Dallas MorningRyan Fry in Professional Baseball
News Big 12 Player of the Year, Big 12 All-Academic team, ABCA/Rawlings NCAA
Division I 3rd team, Collegiate Baseball-Louisville Slugger 3rd team
All-America, NCBWA All-American 2nd Team and the 3rd team GTE All-Academic
Fry was drafted by the Kansas City Royals. He played 47 games for the Spokane Indians, hitting .233 (34-for-146), with 25 R, 34 H, 8 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 26 RBI, .466 SLG%. After his rookie season, he left minor league ball behind him. He never returned to the game, choosing instead to continue his other dream, pursuing a law degree.
For a time during the 1999 Mizzou Baseball season, Fry joined Tex Little in the radio broadcast booth, sitting in as a color commentator.
Where is Ryan Fry today?
■ Quick 5 Questions for Ryan Fry (Examiner.net, 10-6-2009)
Ryan Fry, an attorney with Cochran, Oswald and Roam, will become the chairman of the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce in 2010. He was also an accomplished athlete, a prep baseball and football star at Oak Grove High School from 1991-1994 and all-American baseball player at University of Missouri.