Cunningham Goes from St. Joe Mustangs to Media

Published 07/01 2013 08:53PM

Updated 07/05 2013 02:12PM

(ST. JOSEPH) Tossing the first no-hitter in Mustangs history is a feat in itself, but Cody Cunningham topped it with a banner year in 2012.

He led the MINK League in wins, ERA, and took home pitcher of the year honors.

"He was just a guy who would come out and compete," Mustangs pitching coach and former teammate Kyle Jackson said. "Like a three or four pitch mix that he throws all over the strike zone. He commands the ball really well and just goes after hitters." 

With two championship rings on his hand already, Cunningham aimed to be part of a third as St. Joe's ace this summer.

That is, until a complication before his spring season at Union University in Tennessee. 

"In February, right before the season started, I popped my elbow," he said. "It hurt pretty bad, but I didn't really ever notice it throwing. Doing everyday things, just using my elbow, that's when it bothered me."

After getting one opinion from a doctor in Tennessee, the Texas native met with Rangers Head Physician Dr. Keith Meister. He confirmed he had bone chips in his elbow and some tearing in his ulnar collateral ligament. 

Cody opted for a simple cleanup prodcedure over "Tommy John Surgery" to avoid redshirting his senior year. 

That still took away his summer season in the process.

"It's been hard, but, at the same time, I kind of know that's what I need. I haven't picked up a baseball in two months, and I haven't done that since I was 11 or 12."

Cody still made his way to St. Joe this summer thanks to a big interest beyond the field. He found an interest in media after taking an introduction class at West Texas College.

"We had a news station and a radio program at our junior college. It happened to have a classroom attached to it and I thought: 'That'd be pretty cool to do radio."

That interest led to some basketball play-by-play opportunities at Union and soon evolved into television. 

After appearing on KQ2 with "Mustangs Minute" segments last season, Cunningham chose an internship with the station this summer. 

Now, he's finding himself right back at Phil Welch Stadium while beefing up his experience for a potential career in sports broadcasting.

"Being on that other side of the fence covering them is definitely a different feeling because you really want to be out there. At the same time, it's really given me a reality check on if this is what I really want to do. It's kind of boosted my confidence in my decision of where I'm going."

Cunningham plans to play out his senior season at Union and return to the Mustangs next summer. 

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