A Troy man was honored this spring with induction into the Greater St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.
Rick Kavanagh’s name will be added to the rolls of this prestigious recognition whose new home is under construction at Busch Stadium in their new Ballpark Village.
In his biography, Kavanagh was the starting pitcher for Buchanan High School all four years (1968-1971). He also earned all-conference honors all four years. He compiled a 35-3 record in high school, threw three no-hitters and in one complete seven inning game, he struck out 21 batters. He still holds several pitching records at the school. In 2000, he threw out the first pitch at the new Buchanan High baseball facility.
He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1971 after he was selected in the 13th round and played professional baseball in the Indians organization for five years. That year, he was selected to the Gulf Coast League all-star team.
He returned to the area where he was a player-manager in the East Missouri Baseball Association from 1975-1985. While playing, he was selected to the all-star team eight times and pitched for the 1977 champions in Flint Hill. After retiring as a player/manager, he served the association as treasurer and vice-president through 1998. He has also been involved in American Legion, Troy Baseball and Association and is the current president of the Lincoln County Athletic Association.
Kavanagh was inducted into the St. Charles County Amateur Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
In his remarks at the induction ceremony, Kavanagh said he had hopes and aspirations of having a long and extended career in the major leagues. “I never really thought about making a lot of money, I just wanted to play baseball,” he said. “Those dreams did not materialize. It was an extreme disappointment for me, because I had lost a dream that I had since I was five years old. I felt like I had let everyone down because I had failed. I heard Sparky Anderson say just because you fail at baseball, doesn’t mean you are a failure.”
“I also believe that just because you’re not successful at one thing doesn’t mean you can’t be a success at life. Some believe that success is measured in achieving goals, fame and fortune, but I believe true success is measured in how a person lives their life. At one time I thought that success was the key to happiness but happiness is the key to success. It took a long time for me to realize that maybe God had other plans for me. I now know that the most important thing in life is your faith in God, your family and doing whatever the Lord asks you to provide service to Him and to others.”