Playing baseball at an Olympic venue was just one of many breathtaking moments for Sean Blunier over the summer.
The Morton native was recruited through the National Collegiate Scouting Association by Jay Quinn, of Planet Baseball, to spend two weeks in Europe playing baseball.
“It was really cool to meet the different people,” Blunier said. “There were a lot of different cultures I didn’t know about and they were all so friendly to us.”
The senior traveled to Germany, France and Spain to play against talented 18U baseball teams for two weeks from June 19 to July 2.
Blunier compared the trip to playing in the major leagues with all the traveling. The closest part of that feeling was when his team visited Spain for a series at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys stadium, home of the 1992 summer Olympics.
“I was mind-blown. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to see something like that again,” Blunier said. “We got to play against the best team in the area. You’re trying to focus on the game but at the same time you’re like, ‘This is so cool. I can’t believe that I’m up here where the Olympics was played.’ We only used wooden bats so it was like a major league experience.”
Along the way, Blunier met someone he might see playing for a major league team someday.
Melissa Mayeux, a shortstop on the French 18U junior national team, was a friend Blunier made.
In June of 2015, Mayeux became the first known female baseball player to be added to Major League Baseball’s international registration list, which made her eligible to be signed by a major league club on July 2.
“For me, it was amazing (meeting her),” Blunier said. “For her, she’s played with so many guys and for her, it’s probably not a big deal. She didn’t speak a lot of English, but when I was hitting, I reached second base and she was at shortstop and we kind of had a conversation there. I can’t remember what she said but she’s very friendly and I got to pitch against her.”
Blunier said the teams had dinner after the games they played and he would try to talk to her with a translator from the French team. She also took photos with Blunier and his teammates.
He returned home with more knowledge of the game and hopes to use it next spring as he prepares for his senior season at Morton.
“Having a close bond with the team is something that I haven’t had with a previous team,” Blunier said. “We went through so much together, but in such a short span, though. We became really good friends and we still text to this day. In July of next year, I’ll be going to one of the guys weddings, so that’s kind of going to be a reunion for all the guys.”
The left-handed pitcher and outfielder is currently being recruited by Eureka College.
He didn’t see a lot of time on the field on Jesse Crawford’s deep pitching staff last season, but believes his role will increase in his final season.
“Right now, I’ve just got a couple offers including Eureka,” Blunier said. “College baseball seems to be the plan right now.”