It’s hard to believe that it has been 50 years since the Orioles drafted me.
I’ll never forget graduating from Little Rock Central High School and then taking my first plane ride to Baltimore on graduation night. This was a dream come true. I never wanted to do anything but become a professional baseball player. As a youngster, I tagged along behind my Dad, who was a semi-pro player. He really encouraged me to play. He never pushed me but I just loved the game. In fact, I did not play high school football because I did not want to risk getting hurt. I ran track just to keep in shape for baseball.
I had some big decisions to make because I had several offers to play college basketball — one from the University of Arkansas. I decided to go ahead and play professional baseball, and this season marks my 50th anniversary of when it all began.