As many of you know, the Major League Baseball draft was held late last week. Looking back on "draft day," I remember the moment I was drafted by the Boston Red Sox. Many of my Cal State Bakersfield teammates and I had decided that, even though the regular season was over, we still needed to keep practicing.
Many were going to play summer ball across the United States and a handful of us knew there was a strong chance of being drafted. We decided the team needed to keep practicing and playing for everyone's good.
I sent out a text message to the players, inviting them to practice at Hardt Field. We had a mix of players come to the workout. Even former CSUB soccer player and current Fresno Fuego soccer player Justin Finch came out to join us.
I had finished warming up and we were about to start a mock intrasquad game when Louis Cazares yelled out, "Mike! You just got drafted by the Red Sox!"
Louis had received a text message from his dad who was monitoring the draft and informed us all of the good news. I was drafted in the 14th round and was the second player drafted from CSUB, with Ryan McIntyre going in the 12th round to the Miami Marlins.
All of the players made their way to the front of the dugout to congratulate me. As I looked at them on the field, there was a surreal feeling that came over me.
I was taken back to two-and-a-half years earlier when the baseball team was out laying the sod on the field, building the mounds and hanging the netting on the fences. The team camaraderie and friendship that was developed made me realize how special the time I spent at CSUB truly was.
Two other Roadrunners were drafted in 2011 -- Jeremy Rodriguez (16th round) by the San Diego Padres and Martin Medina (20th round) by the Chicago White Sox.
While each of us experienced something different when our name was called, we all felt was the satisfaction and fulfillment of seeing our hard work pay off.
Over the past three days, five Roadrunners have experienced the joy of being drafted by a major league teams. Scott Bratvett, Tyler Shryock, Cael Brockmeyer, Chuck Buchannan and Jeff McKenzie will have the opportunity to compete with some of the best players from around the world in the game they love.
I have personally played, practiced and trained with all five of them and they are very deserving of the opportunity. Whether it is at 6 a.m. weights over Christmas break, 8 a.m.conditioning on the frosted bleachers, or intrasquad in 105-degree heat, they are always pushing themselves to improve each day.
I look forward to seeing where they take their future in professional baseball.
McCarthy is a former CSUB pitcher who now plays for the Salem (Va.) Red Sox, the Class-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. His column runs Sundays throughout the baseball season. He can be reached at email@example.com.