by Cori Hilsgen
Young boys who play T-ball and baseball often dream about how far they will go in the sport of baseball. In St. Joseph, many of them dream about when they might play for the St. Joseph Joes, St. Cloud Rox or the Minnesota Twins.
Joey Stock grew up to be a young man that is getting to fulfill some of those dreams by spending time pitching with the St. Cloud Rox in the Northwoods League, a college summer baseball league, this year.
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved playing baseball,” Stock said.
His experience with the St. Cloud Rox began in mid-July.
While working in the St. John’s University alumni relations office, where his father, Tom Stock, also works, Stock got called to speak with Al Newman, who at the time was the manager for the St. Cloud Rox. Newman also formerly played for the Minnesota Twins.
Stock believes Pat Schneider from the St. Joseph Joes amateur baseball team spoke with Newman. His father, Tom, was then the catalyst for setting up his experience to meet with Newman.
After speaking with Newman, Stock joined the team.
Stock is a pitcher who has hit a speed of 94 mph a couple of times.
“That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen myself throw,” he said.
Stock usually throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball as his primary pitches. He also has a curveball and has been developing a changeup since he joined the Rox.
“My favorite or go to pitch is my two-seam fastball,” Stock said. “It’s two to three miles an hour slower than my four-seam, but has a little more movement.”
Stock shared an experience he had while playing at his first game with the St. Cloud Rox. In the sixth inning of the game, he was in the bullpen with all the other relief players getting loose, getting mentally prepared and stretching by the fence next to the first base line bleachers when a young boy asked him for a baseball. Stock flipped the boy a baseball and said he could tell from his facial reaction when he caught it that he had just made the boy’s day.
“That was a great feeling,” Stock said. “I grew up cheering for the St. Cloud River Bats and when I would go to games I was one of those kids who would go stand next to the bullpen and watch guys get their workouts in and yes, ask for a ball or two. I just always dreamed of being one of those guys on the other side of the fence and to actually get that opportunity is a dream come true.”
Stock started playing baseball in Cold Spring when his family moved there when he was 7 years old. He later played in Cold Spring little leagues and travel leagues.
He also played Legion ball in St. Joseph from eighth grade until he graduated high school.
He didn’t really get a lot of attention from college scouts while playing in high school while attending St. John’s Prep School which is a Class 1A. He had a few discussions with other colleges but played for St. John’s University, a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III school.
When he was 17, he was asked to play amateur baseball for the St. Joseph Joes team for three seasons with coach Pat Schneider.
Stock says he learned a lot from that experience and had a lot of fun.
This year, he was asked to pitch for the Cold Spring Springers amateur baseball team. He said he “had a blast playing ball for his home town again.”
His plans were to originally also play for the Bismarck Larks Northwoods League team with college roommates, but that didn’t work out when an injured player was able to return sooner than expected.
Stock is not sure where his baseball career will take him, but he is still dreaming.
“I hope I can just become the best ball player I can be, work as hard as I can while I can, and just see how far I can go,” he said. “I never thought I would ever make it to the Northwoods League and am just excited to see what else my career has in store.”
Stock attended St. Joseph Catholic School and St. John’s Prep school from sixth grade until graduating high school.
He is currently a junior at St. John’s University and is majoring in communications.
His father, Tom, played baseball for North Dakota State University and amateur baseball for St. Joseph and Regal. His mother, Lori, graduated from the College of St. Benedict with a nursing degree. Stock’s brother, Jake, graduated from St. John’s University in 2017 and is attending graduate school at New York University.
“My grandparents, Dick and Joyce Stock, live in St. Joe and are my biggest fans and have never missed a game,” Joey said.