WILMINGTON, MA — This is the fourth in a series of profiles celebrating the former Wilmington Little League’s seniors playing on the Wilmington High School baseball team. Little League’s motto is courage, character, and loyalty. Through playing with and against each other, these student athletes the embodiment of the motto.
Former Red Sox player, Trot Nixon, was once called the ultimate Dirt Dog. Matt Rideout is one team member who exemplifies that type of player. He is the best combination of serious and goofy. Matt is the kind of player who knows when it is time to play and when it is time to have fun. He is the ultimate team player. When one of his former coaches ran into him one winter and made a point to congratulate him on a great year, and Matt shrugged his shoulders and replied, “yeah, but the team had an even better year.”
Matt began his WLL career playing for the Cyclones coached by Jim Boyle and Cliff Lord. That first year on the diamond was filled with fun and excitement. He still has the same carefree attitude today he had back as a first year player. Matt remembers playing his first season on the small diamond and how fun it was to just play the game. He loved that first baseball season so much, that when the season was over he became slightly obsessed with the game. He spent the whole fall and winter anticipating playing the next spring.
Matt was drafted by the Orioles as an 11 year old and spent two seasons playing for Coach Brian Kane. A team leader the moment he stepped on the diamond at Rotary, Matt was selected to the All Star team in both his Major Seasons. Getting the chance to play at Rotary both with, and against his friends is a highlight from those two seasons. He had two outstanding individual seasons even though the Orioles struggled during his years as a part of the team.
Coach Kane always appreciated that Matt played hard all the times. He always put the team’s interests in front of his own. Marching in the WLL opening day parade was something Matt looked forward to each season The free chips and hotdogs after the parade were great perks as well. His on field highlight for his WLL career was hitting a grand slam and making the All Star teams.
Matt continued his WLL career playing two years of Juniors. In addition to playing eight years of WLL baseball he also played for the Jimmy Fund, Pony and Northeast teams in the summer. In his first year playing in the Northeast league, he was a indispensable member of the 2016 Northeast team which was the first Wilmington team in the win a Northeast League Division championship.
This will be Matt’s second year playing Varsity Baseball for the Wildcats. He was a member of the 2017 Middlesex Freedom division championship team in his Junior year as well as a League All Star. He played his first two years on the Freshman and JV teams. Matt also played WHS Football and enjoyed playing Rec Basketball from 1st through 11th grade. Matt also has taken up boxing and finds the individual challenge both rewarding and satisfying.
Matt’s parents, Kristin and Ken Rideout, remember Matt always having a good time playing baseball, no matter what team he was on, win or lose. They are proud that while Matt is a very competitive player, he always enjoyed the spirit of the team and the comradery of his teammates.
Matt is very appreciative of the support he received from his parents and sisters Samantha and Anna. This fall he is planning on attending Middlesex Community College where he plans on studying Business.
(NOTE: The above profile was submitted by Wilmington Little League.)
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