From Cape Coral High MVP to All-Star Game starting pitcher

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Shane McClanahan throws to a Boston Red Sox batter during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 13, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (CREDIT: AP Photo/Scott Audette)

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher and Cape Coral High School legend, Shane McClanahan, will represent his team and his city on one of the biggest stages in the sport.

Shane McClanahan represents the American League as their starting pitcher for the MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. McClanahan, 25, has come a long way since playing for the Cape Coral High Seahawks.

McClanahan, Tampa Bay’s ace pitcher, has been lights out this season. He leads the league with an Earned Run Average (ERA) of 1.71. Also, McClanahan is tied for second in the league with 147 strikeouts. And, in 18 starts he’s only lost three games.

“I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t ever envision myself being on that mound, you know, competing against the best players in the world,” McClanahan said. “And, so for it to come true, is a truly an exciting opportunity for me.”

McClanahan’s dreams were developing while playing for the Cape Coral High Seahawks. While McClanahan soared above the competition, Mike Gorton, his coach, saw him grow from the team’s MVP in 2015 to now, starting in the All-Star Game.

“You’re going to be able to watch it and there’s such a prideful feeling in having a kid that you coached. But it’s almost unreal,” Gorton said.

Gorton said McClanahan was quiet off the field, but on the mound, he was a bulldog. Gorton explained McClanahan gave everything he had. Players at Cape High are taught, that maximum effort will have maximum benefit, and McClanahan got it. “He did not like to lose,” Gorton said.

Starting in the All-Star Game is highly respected in the MLB and baseball in general. Now, Gorton hopes sharing the same dugout as McClanahan will motivate his team.

“It’s definitely a point of pride that all the kids should have and people in the community that we should have,” Gorton said. “Set goals. Try to achieve those goals. And stuff can happen just like this.”

Now, McClanahan faces off against Clayton Kershaw, his childhood favorite pitcher representing the National League. A dream come true for the bulldog pitcher from Cape Coral High.

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