Sean Stidfole: “I’m retiring”
The 48th annual York Area Sports Night was not without a surprise Thursday evening at Heritage Hills Golf Resort. During the Q&A portion of the celebrity dinner and reception, now former Revolution reliever Sean Stidfole was put on the spot about his preparations for the upcoming season by M.C. Wayne McCullough of WOYK. To Stidfole’s credit, he did not dance around the question with a cliched response, but rather gave it to the crowd straight:
I’m paraphrasing a bit: “Actually, I’m retiring,” Stidfole said to the crowd, the first announcement of his intentions for 2012. “It feels awful right now, because I’d never thought I’d stop playing baseball. But I’ve gotten as close to the big leagues as I’m going to get. I do have a job I’ve already started, and it’s just time to move on,” he continued, showing some understandable emotion.
The crowd intervened before McCullough could wrap up the interview with a nice ovation and applause upon hearing the news. The Penn State educated Stidfole is already working full time in Perry County (Pa.). His attended high school at Susquehanna Township, in Harrisburg.
Stidfole’s impromptu announcement does come as a surprise to some around the organization and Atlantic League, coming off two good seasons in a set-up role, and an occasional closing role out of the Revolution bullpen. He appeared in 128 games in his two Revolution seasons, an amazing number. He set the league record for appearances in 2010 with 68, only to watch it be broken by teammate Ronnie Morales last season. In a moment in the comments below, Darrell Henry will weigh in with Stidfole’s statistical contributions and significance, and his place in Revolution history. Darrell and myself named Stidfole as the reliever on our Revolution Fifth Anniversary Team. His qualities as a good teammate are unquestionable.
Again, paraphrasing as we polished off some very good food (thank you Heritage Hills, great job): “I was on two championship teams my final two years,” Stidfole said. “That’s a pretty good way to end it. I had so much fun, and played with great teammates each year (in 2010 and ’11). I won’t want to be around it too much my first year out, otherwise I’ll want to play again. But I’ll be back on opening day to get my ring, and here and there.”
Stidfole’s remarks certainly reasonated with the crowd even amongst the other celebrities who spoke, including Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame defensive lineman Randy White, University of Maryland Head Football Coach and Glen Rock native Randy Edsall, Cincinnati Reds outfielder and Lancaster County native Chris Heisey, former Phillies catcher and all-around hilarious guy Darren Daulton and the Revolution’s own Scott Grimes. But it was only Stidfole who got the extra round of applause as congratulations for a great career.
After playing at Penn State, he was selected in the 2005 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, ascending as high as Triple-A in 2008 and 2009 before spending the last two seasons in York. He calls it a career after seven professional seasons.
The Revolution certainly have a big gap to fill in the bullpen, in the clubhouse and in the community with Stidfole’s absence.