Former Blue Springs High School baseball star John Urick is coming home.

Former Blue Springs High School baseball star John Urick is coming home.
The former New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies prospect recently signed a contract with the Kansas City T-Bones of the independent Northern League, and he couldn’t be happier.
“I’m thrilled,” said Urick, who graduated from Blue Springs in 2000 and played at Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City, Kan., and Oklahoma State, before being drafted by the Yankees in 2003.
“I was released by the Phillies, and my agent and I put the word out that I wanted to keep playing. I’d talked to a team in Canada, but I really wanted to come back home.
“We got in touch with the T-Bones, and I signed Friday. I’m really excited to be playing for the hometown team and my parents and friends can come out and watch us play.”
Urick, 27, spent the last three seasons in the Phillies organization, including a stint with Double-A Reading last year.  He was originally selected by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 2003 amateur draft.
In 2004, his first full professional season, the former Wildcat hit .282 with 15 home runs and 65 RBIs at Battle Creek (Mich.), the Yankees’ Class A affiliate.
“John is a professional hitter,” T-Bones manager Andy McCauley said.  “He is a local kid who should add some power from the left side of the plate while giving us some options both at first and in the outfield.”
After being named a first-team junior college all-American and a top junior college prospect by Baseball America in 2002, Urick transferred to Oklahoma State in 2003. With the Cowboys, Urick hit .348 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs.
Urick is married, and his wife Maggie is a school teacher in the Shawnee Mission (Kan.) School District.
“We live in Overland Park, and it takes about 20 minutes to get to the park,” said Urick, who underwent a physical today and met with the coaching staff of the T-Bones. “It all went real well. I think I’ll get quite a bit of playing time – mostly in left field and some at first base. They still have (former Kansas City Royals All-Star) Ken Harvey, and he’ll play some first base, too.
“It’s just a great feeling to be playing again, and playing so close to my hometown.”
Urick has planned on attending a reunion of the 1999 Blue Springs state championship baseball team that will take place before the May 8 home game against St. Joseph Central at Blue Springs High School’s Reynolds Field.
“I still hope to make the reunion,” he said, “but we might be working out or doing something with the T-Bones. But I really want to see Coach (Brad) Mayfield and the guys who make it back.
“That was a really special time in my life. I played for Coach Mayfield and most of those guys from the time I was about 7 years on. We got to high school, and had a lot of success, winning state my junior year and finishing third when I was a sophomore.
“Then we went on and played for the A’s (in American Legion baseball), and had a lot more success. Those were special years, really special. We all took so much pride in how good the Blue Springs Little League was back then, and how we went on and had so much success in high school and Legion ball.”