In the profession of minor league baseball all players are looking for consistency. On the top of all 26 line-up cards Manager Pop Warner has posted, there's been a consistent last name up top: Danielson. The Palm Beach Cardinals FSL Web site caught up with the speedy centerfielder this week and discussed everything from stealing bases to his hometown of Irving, Texas. He later starred with the Graham Roughnecks in the 2004 Texas Collegiate League.
Sean Danielson is beginning his second year in the Cardinals organization after being signed as a non-drafted free agent in June 2005. He caught the tail end of the 2005 season, playing 46 games total with New Jersey (40) and Quad- Cities (6). Danielson finished with a .342 average and 20 stolen bases as a lead-off man, helping him land a top the Palm Beach lineup in 2006.
Danielson is a native of Irving, Texas, where is father retired after working in the upholstery business. Sean helped his father from the age of 12 commenting, "It's tough work, but it allowed me to gain a closer relationship with my father." His mom currently works as a flight attendant for American Airlines. Sean's of Mexican/American decent with his mother being from Mexico and the family often spends times in areas such as Mexico City and Puebla. He also spoke highly of other family members, his half brother John and nephew Clint, both of whom are living in the Dallas area.
The most important person going in Sean's life currently is his girlfriend, Ashley Thomas, who was a student at University of Texas-San Antonio when Sean enrolled for his senior campaign. Sean developed a relationship with her by hanging out with a group of friends and it's grown into a full year's relationship. She currently is involved with the Ms. Texas Galaxy pageant as a contestant.
Sean's path to UTSA had a few stops along the way, playing two years at Northlake JC in Irving before making his way to Manhattan, Kan., to play at Kansas State. Danielson spent a year in Manhattan.
Opportunity would present itself after his year as a Wildcat as he played in the 2004 Texas Collegiate League. That's where UTSA coach Sherman Corbett spotted the young leadoff man. Corbett remembers trying to get Danielson by saying, "We heard he was available after Kansas State had given him a release and my associate head coach said he could really run and had a plus outfield arm." Corbett got his man, signing him to a scholarship to play baseball and was thrilled to get such a commodity, "During the off-season, speed and the outfield were two areas we needed to address and he filled that role perfectly."
Sean finished the season helping the program win the Southland Conference Tournament and go on to the NCAA Division I Regional Tournament in Waco, Texas. "He brought experiences from playing in the Big 12 and I really think he helped guys believe they could compete at the highest level", Corbett said. "Even though small in stature, he made believers of a number of people because he had the abilities to do so."
At the top of the Palm Beach lineup, Danielson's job is to reach base and steal others. "I remember certain things that pitchers will do when I'm out there and I'm always looking at the catcher," Danielson smiles. "A lot of the time, the catcher will tell you everything you need to know about a certain pitch (signs)." It also helps a base stealer to have a great contact hitter behind him and Juan Lucena fits that role perfectly. "He creates opportunities for me, because he can make contact regardless of the count.". As a first year player in the Florida State League he looks for guidance from players like Terry Evans. "He knows the teams from spending all of last year here and helps me a lot in terms of outfield positioning."
Finally, the PB Web site interviewer had to ask what he gets more pleasure out of: stealing a base or throwing a runner out at home. He quickly replied, "Without question, throwing a guy out at the plate".
So far in 2006, Danielson is currently fourth in the Florida State League with eleven stolen bases. His stolen base numbers should remain high, because Manager Pop Warner expects Danielson to create a single into a double, by stealing bases.
Story written by Jeff Grant - Media Relations for the Palm Beach Cardinals