Cropley's No. 2 number gets retired

Cropley returns home for 'cool' surprise
Posted on 12/15/2023

As a student at Bishop Heelan High School, Tyler Cropley recalled reading the baseball record books, dreaming of his name in there someday.

The next time Cropley visits his alma mater, the Kansas City Royals catcher will see his name and number hanging up on the outfield wall. 

The Crusaders retired his No. 2 jersey number on Tuesday at halftime of the boys basketball game against Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the O’Gorman Fieldhouse. 

“It was so cool to take this whole night in,” Cropley said. “That’s a cool thing for me and my family.” 

Cropley found out his number was being retired by complete surprise. The 2014 Heelan grad was at the football state championship game with his family when baseball coach Andy Osborne told him and his family that this was happening. 

“It didn’t really hit me until I was driving home that night,” he said. “I was so focused on the football game (against Williamsburg). I got to thinking about it and picked a date.” 

Cropley remains deeply connected to his beginnings, appreciating the academic, faith and athletic foundation he received from Bishop Heelan.

While with the Crusaders, he hit .466 with four homers and 37 RBIs his 2014 senior season. He had an outstanding pitching season, too, earning four wins and having an ERA of 0.89. The Crusaders went 31-8 in 2014. 

He drove in 142 total runs for the Crusaders, including a career-high 43 in 2012. His 142 RBIs is tied for the most in program history in a career. 

Cropley also co-owns the single-season doubles record (20) with Ian Gill.

Cropley became the third Crusader to have his number retired. Don Wengert was the first in 2020, then Joe Bisenius earned that honor the following summer. 

Cropley also joined Wengert and Bisenius to play at the major league level. In September, the former Iowa Hawkeye was called up and started a game against Cleveland. 

During that game, Cropley drove in the game-winning run and earned his first major-league hit. 

“I know some guys get up there and get one game and never end up getting that hit,” Cropley said. “I was glad I was able to get two big ones out of the way right there in that first game. Now that first RBI and first hit and seeing them all come back into the dugout having a pinch runner for me, I was able to soak it all in.”

His first hit came after spending most of the summer at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He was called up in early September for a brief stint, then recalled back to Kansas City later that month due to an injury by Salvador Perez.

“I was just really happy for myself knowing all the hard work is finally paying off and getting the hit,” Cropley added. “It's a pretty big deal when the opportunity comes up to get into a big league game.”

Cropley has started his offseason workout routine to get ready for 2024. He works out at Dugout Sports in Fairfax, Iowa, a suburb of Cedar Rapids. 

He isn’t sure where he’ll start the season, but he wants to make sure he’s ready for whatever his Opening Day assignment will be.

“I’ve been doing a lot of hitting, because that’s obviously what will keep you up at the big leagues,” Cropley said. “I’ll be back getting into the catching side of things, but I want to make sure the hitting goes a long way.”

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.