Monday, September 12, 2016

Ryback's athletic roots trace back to baseball

With his hulking figure manning the third base coach’s box, WWE superstar Ryback appeared to be out of place at MCU Park in Brooklyn; however, the current Intercontinental Champion couldn’t have been more at home than on the baseball field. Ryback, aka Ryan Reeves, played baseball in college at the College of Southern Nevada, the alma mater of Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper, before a leg injury derailed any hopes for him following in the family trade.

“That was the first real skill I learned sport wise as a kid growing up coming from a baseball family,” Ryback said at MCU Park.

Ryback at MCU Park / N. Diunte

His baseball lineage is traced to his mother’s side, as both his maternal grandfather and uncle played in the major leagues. His grandfather Ebba St. Claire was a catcher for the Boston Braves in the 1950s, and his uncle Randy St. Claire pitched for five major league teams in nine seasons. Ironically there was a family connection for Ryback at MCU Park, as New York Mets Hall of Famer John Franco who was also in attendance, was his uncle’s teammate in 1988 with the Cincinnati Reds.

Ryback was at the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones as part of MCU’s Second Annual Civil Servant / Celebrity Softball Challenge, which benefited WFAN’s morning radio show host Craig Carton’s Tic Toc Stop Foundation. While fans wanted to see Ryback relive his old glory and swing for the fences, his recovery from a recent injury and preparation for Sunday’s SummerSlam limited him strictly to coaching duties.

“Unfortunately with SummerSlam around the corner, just coming back from a serious staph infection, and having shoulder surgery years ago, Sunday is where my focus is at. Coming out today, showing face, and letting all the kids have a good time out here today is all in the name of a good cause.”

*Note - This piece originally ran in August 2015 on


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