After four years as the ace in the Boulders' starting rotation, veteran Richard Salazar will be moving on after being offered a position in the Minnesota Twins' organization. The new opportunity brings Salazar’s playing career to an end after 17 professional seasons, during which he became the Boulders’ all-time leader in victories with a 36-18 record in his four years with the organization, the last two of which he doubled as pitching coach.
While serving as an assistant under Manager Jamie Keefe, Salazar solidified his popularity among Rockland fans and made baseball history, being selected as the Sprint Opening Day Starter in fan balloting before the start of the 2017 season. The veteran lefty came through for the home faithful, allowing two runs in 5.0 innings and earning the win in the Boulders’ 10-3 decision over the Sussex County Miners.
“This is such a great opportunity for him,” beamed Keefe, “a full-time position with great benefits in the Twins’ organization. Rich paid his way here and I felt that we worked so well together over the past two seasons.” Though losing a key component of both his pitching and coaching staff, Keefe remained philosophical. “A great pitching career comes to an end, but we’re very excited for him, it’s everything we hoped for him and more.”
“Richard brought such an immense sense of pride every time he put on a Boulders uniform,” added Team President Shawn Reilly. “This is the kind of opportunity we want for everyone who comes through our team, and I know our fans and the whole Boulders community wish only the best for him and his family.”
Season eight of Boulders Baseball officially gets underway on Thursday, May 17, 2018, when Rockland’s team hosts the Sussex County Miners for a 6:30 pm start. In addition to their Opening Day opponent, the Boulders will face Can-Am rivals such as the New Jersey Jackals, Quebec Capitales, Ottawa Champions, and Trois-Rivieres Aigles, and Showcase opponents featuring the Dominican Republic and Salina Stockade.