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Army first baseman Ross Friedrick signing with St. Louis Cardinals

Photo by Lynn Fern/Black Knight Nation

Ross Friedrick’s family photo album is filled with the Army first baseman wearing St. Louis Cardinals gear.

Friedrick lived in St. Louis during his formative years and frequented Busch Stadium to watch his beloved Cardinals from kindergarten to the fifth grade. 

Friedrick’s favorite players were Albert Pujols, Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina. A signed, framed jersey of Molina hangs in his room.

Maybe, one day, Friedrick will have a St. Louis Cardinals jersey of his own to hang.

Friedrick’s professional baseball career is about to begin in the organization of his hometown team. Friedrick, Army’s single-season home run record holder, agreed to terms with the Cardinals on a free-agent contract Tuesday.

“I grew up around Busch Stadium and I grew up going to games,” said Friedrick Wednesday night. “It’s such a surreal feeling to actually sign with the Cardinals and get going with my professional career.”

Friedrick, 22, will report to the Cardinals minor-league complex in Jupiter, Fla. Friday for a physical and the signing of his contract. He’s likely to start his pro career with the Cardinals’ Florida Complex (Rookie) League team in Jupiter.

The Cardinals showed interest in Friedrick, who hit a record 17 home runs, batted .368 with 59 RBI for the Patriot League champion Black Knights this season, about “a month of two ago,” he said

Friedrick commissioned as a field artillery officer upon graduating from West Point in May. Friedrick’s active duty has been delayed to pursue his baseball dream.

“For it to work out with the Cardinals, it’s awesome,” said Friedrick, who is 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. “It’s a dream come true.

“I’m blessed the Army and West Point are allowing me to defer my service to continue my professional career.”

Friedrick built himself into one of the Patriot League’s most productive players. He played catcher in his first Army game during the 2020 COVID-shortened season. Friedrick worked his way into Army’s starting lineup as a first baseman his sophomore year. He was named the most valuable player of the 2021 Patriot League tournament. Friedrick’s power numbers started to jump up the next season. His home run numbers rocketed it up again from six his junior season to the 17 round trippers in 2023.

“I wasn’t necessarily a huge power hitter in high school,” said Friedrick, who was a Patriot League first-team selection his junior and senior season. “I developed some more power as I went along through college. Junior year of college is where it started.”

Friedrick stayed in baseball shape, working out in Texas. Now, it’s time for Friedrick to fulfill his destiny.

Friedrick /

Overall, it’s a surreal feeling.

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