GARY, Ind. 11-30-2010 – Gary SouthShore RailCats career batting leader and outfielder Mike Massaro has become the first RailCats player ever to sign an American Association contract, Manager Greg Tagert announced today.
Massaro, 26, returns for his third season in a RailCats uniform after excelling in his first two campaigns in Northwest Indiana. Massaro improved on his best season as a pro in 2009 with arguably a better 2010, batting .312 with an outstanding .372 on-base percentage. Massaro, along with fellow RailCats outfielder Adam Klein, set a club record for hits in 2010 (119). A basketball coach at Pueblo East High School in the off-season, Massaro is also the career batting average leader (.307) after two seasons with the ‘Cats.
“Signing Mike to a new contract was a top priority,” said Tagert. “He has become a cornerstone of our ballclub and as we move forward through the off-season and into our first year in the American Association, this gives us a great start.”
The former Triple-A outfielder for the Oakland Athletics came roaring out of the gate as a RailCat in 2009, beginning a 15-game hitting streak on May 18 and finishing the streak with a .394 average just three weeks into the season. Massaro was voted as a starter in the Northern League All-Star Game in July and followed that up with a blazing start to the second half that included 12 multi-hit games in an 18-game stretch from July 11-30. Massaro finished the year with 34 multi-hit games – including a pair of four-hit nights – and led the RailCats with 10 hits and a .294 average in the postseason.
Originally selected in the 13th round of the 2005 Major League Entry Draft by the A’s, Massaro improved steadily throughout his four years in the Athletics system and was an All-Star for the Midwest League’s Kane County Cougars in 2007. The next year, Massaro played primarily at High-A Stockton but appeared in 24 games at Midland (AA) and hit .280 in 15 games for Triple-A Sacramento. A veteran of more than 500 minor league games, Massaro is a .291 lifetime hitter.
Massaro starred for three years at Division II Colorado State-Pueblo where he was a three-time All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selection. A native of Pueblo, Massaro made his Triple-A debut just outside his hometown against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and went 4-for-5 with a triple in his first Triple-A game.
Stop by U. S. Steel Yard this Saturday, December 4 starting at 10 a.m. for Rusty’s Second Annual Steel “Yard Sale” where the RailCats will be offering merchandise and other gear at unheard of prices. Everything Northern League must go and be sure to get there early as the best items are sure to go fast! For more information call 219.882.2255 or visit www.railcatsbaseball.com