Jeffrey Maier, a senior baseball player for Wesleyan University, is the all time hits leader for his tiny Connecticut school. You’re probably wondering; how do I know that name?
Jeffrey Maier is also the boy who (maybe) propelled the New York Yankees to the first of four World Series titles in the late 1990’a. Still not following me?
In game one of the divisional series against the Baltimore Orioles, the 12 year old Maier deflected an eight inning Derek Jeter fly ball into the stands for a homerun; essentially stealing the game and the series for the Yankees and sending them on their way to Major League Baseball’s championship. The ball would not have been a homerun and Jeff Maier became a national celebrity for snatching it away from right fielder Tony Torasco.
Well, Jeffrey Maier has grown up; and he became a pretty good ball player himself. A left handed outfielder, Maier broke Wesleyan’s all time career hit record on April 12th; a nice feat but merely a setup for the next event in the young man’s life. Recently, in a twist of fate that even the most skilled author couldn’t have conjured, Maier was brought in for a tryout with both the Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles.
Scouts evaluated Maier on the field inside the house that Ruth built; and, at that moment, Jeffrey Maier had indeed come full circle. Although one member of the Yankees organization didn’t give Maier much of a chance at a Major League career, a Baltimore scout hinted that they might take a chance on Maier in the later rounds of the amateur draft.
The baseball amateur draft (which is actually being held as I type this- on 6/6/06; Satan’s Day) isn’t like the drafts in the other professional sports. Talent-wise, it’s much harder to evaluate baseball players than the players of other sports. There are a ton of rounds and the majority of the players who get picked won’t ever wear a Major League uniform.
Maier doesn’t have to be a Major League Baseball star, but it’d be nice to see. Even if he gets just one Major League hit, I’m sure he could sell the rights to his story for quite a bit of money. That’s a movie I’d see.