For some of the Bombers, Liberty Park is a new experience. For one Bomber, it’s home.
Jordan Dey is back in Sedalia and back on the field where he played for Smith-Cotton, the field that is called Dey Field in honor of his family’s contributions to the sport.
“It’s awesome,” Jordan said. “It’s a good feeling. I’ve missed it. I was going to college. The fields there are great but there’s nothing like the field where I grew up playing. It brings out a lot of memories that I’ve gone through all the years.”
Added to the feeling of playing in front of the home crowd, he gets to play in front of his grandfather, former Travelers manager Bill Dey.
“I didn’t get to see him play much in college this past year,” Bill said. “It gives me the opportunity to see him play a lot of ball.”
Jordan said it also gives him a chance to get some constructive criticism from his grandfather.
“We sit down and talk baseball quite a bit,” Bill said. “He’ll ask questions about how I did it and how his dad did it. He works out all the time on this. He lives the game of baseball.”
Jordan is the son of the late Ross Dey, who was the Smith-Cotton baseball coach when current Tigers and Bombers coach Jud Kindle wore the S-C uniform.
“Being a son of a legend, you’re around it all the time,” Kindle said. “Even when Ross was my coach, (Jordan) was out at the ballfield when he was five or six watching practices and being part of the game. When it comes to knowing the game of baseball, he’s been around it his whole life and is already a very good baseball player.”
“He’s been very knowledgeable about the game since he was a young kid since he was coached by his father who was a tremendous baseball coach,” Bill said. “(Jordan’s) been a student of the game his whole life.”
After graduating from Smith-Cotton, Dey went to Crowder. This summer for the Bombers, Jordan is hitting .229 with two home runs and seven RBI and has an on-base-percentage of .337.
He wants to get some work in this summer before returning to college, getting more at bats in. Kindle would like to see Dey improve with the glove in the outfield this summer, but said his hitting is right where it should be, despite playing with a wood bat instead of the aluminum bats he swings at college.
“He’s done a good job making adjustments,” Kindle said.
That work is being done in the uniform of the team he used to watch.
“It was always cool to watch the guys play in front of me and think, hey, maybe I can be a Bomber some day,” Jordan said. “It’s just a dream come true. I get to put on that jersey and represent Sedalia in a positive way.”