2017 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
Matt Connolly was born and raised in Richmond Hill and attended OLPH Elementary School. Matt and his two brothers, Brian ’84 and Pat ‘87 all attended McClancy H.S.
Matt captained both the JV baseball team and the Varsity baseball team as a senior infielder. He was a CHSAA All-Star in 1986. Upon graduating from McClancy in 1986, Matt attended Queensboro C.C.
While at QCC, Matt played for one of the most influential head coaches of his career, Lou Santos.
Coach Santos suggested that Matt become a full-time pitcher. After a couple of years of hard work and dedication, Matt was a Region XV All Star, graduated QCC and was awarded a full-scholarship to NY Tech in Old Westbury.
While at NY Tech, Matt met another coach that had a tremendous impact on his life and baseball career, Pat Shortt. Coach Shortt’s guidance and commitment to Matt allowed him to continue to develop and mature as a pitcher. After graduating from NY Tech in 1991, Matt signed his first professional contract to pitch in the NY Penn League.
After a successful rookie season in the NY Penn league, Matt signed with the Colorado Rockies in their inaugural year, 1992. Matt was one of the four original players to sign with the Rockies organization. Matt also has the distinction of being the first player ever traded by the Rockies organization.
Matt played for the Florida State League Champion Daytona Cubs where he led the league in ERA for most of the 1995 season. Later that season, Matt was promoted to the AA Orlando Cubs of the Southern League and played there for the remainder of his career.
Matt was named to the AA Southern League All Star game in 1996. Matt’s career ended later that year when he underwent Tommy John Surgery. Matt currently resides in Manhasset with his beautiful wife Daria and their three children Kate, Matt Jr. and Lauren. Matt looks back to the days at McClancy as some of the best days of his life. Matt would like to thank his parents and siblings for all their support, as well as every coach and teammate that he had along the way!