Ryan Flaherty, a 2005 graduate and standout athlete of Deering High School in Portland, completed his journey to the major leagues this year when he made the Baltimore Orioles’ opening day roster.
Flaherty grew up in the North Deering neighborhood, attending Lyseth Elementary School and Lyman Moore Middle School. At Lyseth, he forged a special relationship with one of his teachers, Ron Penney. “He would always talk baseball with me,” Flaherty recalled. “I just related to him really well, and I respected the man a lot.”
In high school, Flaherty lettered in three sports – football, basketball and baseball – and he captained the 2005 football team. Flaherty was a member of one football team and two Deering baseball teams that won state championships, and he helped lead Nova Seafood to the 2004 American Legion World Series Championship.
After graduation, Flaherty attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He played shortstop on Vanderbilt’s Commodores baseball team during its ascension to the number-one spot in the country. At one point, he had a 33-game hitting streak.
Flaherty left Vanderbilt in 2008 to play in the minor leagues for the Chicago Cubs. After three years, he was chosen as the Orioles’ Rule 5 draft pick. Flaherty, who bats left-handed and pitches right-handed, made his major league debut at second base.
Looking back at his time in the Portland Public Schools, Flaherty said he benefited from getting to know students from diverse backgrounds. “It really helped shape me into who I’ve become today,” he said, adding that the experience prepared him to interact with people from many different cultures as a baseball player.
“The bonds and relationships that I built in school are something that remain today,” Flaherty said. “My best friends still remain my best friends, all the way from Lyseth to Lyman Moore to Deering. It’s something that you can’t trade in for anything.”
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