MANHATTAN, Kan. - Former St. Edmond and Iowa Central standout Joe Flattery is moving on to the professional baseball ranks.
Flattery, who recently completed his senior season at Kansas State University, has signed a rookie free agent deal with the Detroit Tigers.
"I'm flying out of Des Moines on Tuesday for Florida," Flattery said. "After that, I'll likely be going to Connecticut, which is where they typically send their college kids. But I could go to a couple of other different leagues.
"I've basically signed for a plane ticket and a shot at hopefully playing professional baseball."
Flattery helped lead the Wildcats to a Big 12 regular season conference title and a berth in the postseason. Kansas State advanced to the Super Regionals, but were denied by Oregon State.
"It's been a rollercoaster ride these last two weeks," Flattery said. "To go from a disappointing loss one game away from the College World Series, to getting a phone call asking if you can come to Florida for the Tigers - there have been a wide range of emotions."
Flattery took the ball in the series opener of the Super Regional in Corvallis, throwing five innings and striking out three. He allowed just one earned run and scattered five hits as Kansas State earned a 6-2 victory.
"(Super Regionals) was a lot of fun," Flattery said. "It really hasn't sunk in how big of a game that was, but I fully enjoyed being in it."
The 6-foot-3 lefty had put together a strong two seasons in the Big 12, as he was a regular starter and appeared in over 35 games. After not being selected in the MLB Draft, Flattery believes his head coach, Brad Hill, helped land him a spot with the Tigers' organization.
"The Detroit scout who contacted me had a good relationship with Coach Hill," he said. "I think he trusted what my head coach told him and they were confident enough in that to pick me up."
After a standout career with St. Edmond, Flattery played two seasons at Iowa Central. With the Tritons, he went 14-8 with an ERA just over three and 131 strikeouts.
"Everything I learned from baseball came from having good people growing up," Flattery said. "From playing at Patterson Field with Jerry Patterson, and then moving on to high school and getting to play for Joe Shanks and St.?Edmond and against Fort Dodge and (former) head coach Matt Elsbecker - I've been around quality baseball my whole life.
"Coach (Rick) Pederson at Iowa Central was my biggest influence baseball-wise. He was just huge for me."
Flattery also stressed the importance of not giving up.
"Being from Fort Dodge, you're always a bit of an underdog," he said. "I hope the kids back home realize you have all the resources you need right there; you can make it.
"College baseball is a ton of fun and you have all the potential in Fort Dodge to get there. It's definitely something worth striving for."