GARY, IN - On Tuesday, July 9, the Gary SouthShore RailCats of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball announced the signing of MJ Rookard to his first professional baseball contract. Rookard played two seasons with the Knights in 2018 and 2019 then joined the Macon Bacon for the summer of 2019. His work and dedication to the game showed with the Bacon and earned him this opportunity with the RailCats.
Rookard made his professional debut on July 10 for the RailCats at the Chicago Dogs in the first game of a doubleheader going 1 for 2 with a triple and a walk, scoring 2 runs and driving in 1.
In 26 games this summer with the Bacon, Rookard batted .382 to lead the Coastal Plain League while also gathering a league best 39 hits at the time of his departure. He scored 33 runs and drove in 23 runs with 8 doubles, a triple, and 3 home runs. He also had 12 stolen bases, an on-base percentage of .484, and slugging percentage of .569.
In his 2 seasons with the Knights, he appeared in 112 games and batted .354 with a .451 on-base percentage, 16 home runs, 11 runs scored, and 98 RBI, 139 hits, 24 doubles, and 3 triples.