South Bend Cardinals Teammate Story

Cardinal Mates Have Pushed Each Other

By MIKE MURPHEY
Roy Hobbs Baseball
RHWS 27

South Bend Cardinals

Greg Wagner Photos Jason Murray (L) & Kevin Renn: Long-distance friends & teammates.

When Kevin Renn and Jason Murray met at the 2010 Roy Hobbs World Series, they each found a kindred soul. Since then, their baseball destinies have joined the same team and the same path, right down to surgeries each has had to overcome to continue playing the game they love.

In 2013, Jason had hip surgery and Kevin had rotator cuff surgery. But they both recovered to share a spectacular moment for the South Bend Cardinals in the 2014 edition of the World Series Veterans Division in Fort Myers.

“We kind of pushed each other,” said Jason.

They met when a group from South Bend, Indiana, combined with a group from Cincinnati to form a 35+ Roy Hobbs World Series team in 2010 and they found themselves teammates.

“We started talking about baseball,” Kevin said, “and found out we like just about everything else the same, too.”

“We are kind of built the same in terms of personalities and styles,” said Jason. “We share a lot of the same opinions. We like the same music. There are lots of similarities about how we were raised.

“And we both love to work at the game.”

Murray and Renn

Greg Wagner Photo Jason Murray (12) & Kevin Renn (17)

Their bond of friendship has led to Kevin spending a lot of drive time so he can play on both his new team and his old team. Kevin lives in Noblesville, Indiana. He drives 2 hours to South Bend to play with the Cardinals on weekends, and drives 2 hours to Cincinnati mid-week to play with his team there.

“It’s just the love of baseball and the love for my teammates,” he said. “I can’t replace those guys.”

Jason’s left hip had been bothering him for some time before he had surgery in 2013 to correct the problem and then began the process of rehabilitation. Kevin, a pitcher, injured his shoulder while hitting and learned he had a significant rotator cuff tear. He had shoulder surgery in 2013 and said the rehabilitation was difficult.

“I don’t want to go through that ever again,” he said.

Along with the painful rehab came the worries over whether he would be able to pitch again.

He returned to pitching tentatively late in 2014 season, but said he was still uncertain when he took the mound in a playoff game for the Cardinals on Saturday in the World Series.

Kevin pitched a 2-hitter that put the Cardinals in the championship game of their division.

“That was probably the fifth game I had pitched following my surgery,” he said. “That was pretty amazing for me. I didn’t know if I would ever get to the point again where I could pitch well enough to help the team.”

Jason had a strong performance during the 2014 World Series as well, and said, “My hip has been great. I don’t think there’s anything either one of us wouldn’t do to keep playing.”

The returned to Fort Myers in February this year to play in the Sunshine Classic, and are counting the days for the start of the 2015 Roy Hobbs World Series.

Teammates 2015

Kevin Renn

Age: 40
Hometown: Noblesville, Indiana
Occupation: Golf Course Superintendent
2015 World Series Team: South Bend Cardinals
Positions: Pitcher, shortstop & catcher
Favorite Baseball Memory: Pitching semi-final game for Cardinals in 2014 World Series following shoulder surgery the year before. Struck out 9 and allowed 2 hits.
Quote: “Baseball is my life. Everything I do revolves around baseball to some degree or another.”

Jason Murray

Age: 40
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Occupation: Financial Advisor
2015 World Series Team: South Bend Cardinals
Position: First Base
Favorite Baseball Memory: Winning a playoff game 2 years ago in our local league against a team we’d never been able to beat in the regular season. I went 0-3 that game, but it’s my favorite because our team came out and played so well.
Quote: “You probably won’t meet two people who want to play as bad as Kevin and I do.”

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