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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Sean Cunningham became majors trainer in Montreal, Florida

Sean Cunningham 1990 West Palm Beach card

Marlins head trainer Sean Cunningham explained to The Associated Press in 2003 the difference in baseball players and those from other sports.

Those differences could be exacerbated by playing every day, letting nagging injuries go without proper training attention, he told The AP

"There's more than looking physically impressive," he said. "Sometimes just because you look good aesthetically, it's not the best for the sport," Cunningham told The AP then. "In baseball, you're dealing with fine motor skills. You don't necessarily have to be an 'athlete' to throw a ball 95 mph."

By that point, Cunningham was already deep into his baseball training career, his major league baseball training career. In all, he spent two decades as a major league trainer, first with the Expos and then with the Marlins, before moving on to college.

Cunningham started at Canisius University in Buffalo, where he graduated with a degree in sports medicine and physical education.

He then joined the Expos in 1987 as trainer at single-A Burlington, then 1988 at Rockford and 1989 at AA Jacksonville.

Cunningham arrived at high-A West Palm Beach for 1990. In March 1992, still with West Palm Beach, Cunningham's wife had their first child.

"It was a lot like that tripleheader we played last season against St. Lucie," Cunningham told The Palm Beach Post then. "It was a long night."

Cunningham continued with the Expos on up to Montreal, where he served strength and conditioning and team travel coordinator from 1997 to 2001.

He then moved to the Marlins for 2002 as major league trainer. That July, he oversaw blister issues for young hurler Josh Beckett, including the store-brand rice used to keep Beckett's finger dry.

"This has been very resistant, stubborn. A lot of it has been Josh learning his own body," Cunningham told The Post of Beckett. "It's a full-time job for him to take care of it."

Cunningham stayed with the Marlins as head athletic trainer into 2016, when he stepped down. Cunningham in 2021 is serving on the athletic training staff at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Sean Cunningham 1990 West Palm Beach card

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,559
Made the Majors:1,235-34.7%-X
Never Made Majors:2,324-65.3%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:513
10+ Seasons in the Minors:305-X

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