Cubs Take Shepherd Standout

Sports, unlike other forms of entertainment, are such an interesting examination into chaos and unpredictability. In the wide world that is entertainment, much, if not all is fabricated, leaving sports as an amazing world of true entertainment. That is why it is so difficult to make a successful film about sports. The audience can experience what the film is trying to evoke, but instead have it occur in real time—not a fictional world. This brings the Shepherd University Baseball squad to a fascinating crossroads. As of 2011, not a single Shepherd baseball player had ever been drafted. That all changed in 2012, when the Boston Red Sox took first baseman Nathan Minnich in the eighth round of the first-year player draft. Nathan was a known quantity; he won the Tino Martinez Award as the best player in Division II. The Waynesboro, Pa. native holds countless Shepherd records, and witnessed his number, 34, retired this past fall. It would not have shocked anyone to see a decade pass by without another Ram baseball player being drafted. Conventional wisdom would have argued for that as well. Only one Shepherd star had ever been drafted; the chances of two players being drafted in consecutive years were next to nothing. Luckily, as mentioned previously, sports are unpredictable. With the 618th pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball draft, the Chicago Cubs selected Rams pitcher Josh McCauley. McCauley, who has been on a whirlwind of a collegiate baseball career, finally saw his hard work pay off when the residents of the friendly confines of Wrigley Field decided to select him.  “At that time so many emotions came over me, finally being glad to reach a dream I’d looked forward to my whole life,” McCauley said. For any athlete, getting drafted is the true culmination of hard work and determination, lest we forget the sacrifices endured by the family of the athlete: countless hours of travel to tournaments and showcases, thousands and thousands of dollars spent on equipment, fees and gasoline. It not only is a moment of joy for the athlete; it is an exhalation from the family and friends as a whole. McCauley’s journey to the Cubs was anything but smooth. The Mercersburg, Pa. native played ball for Frederick Community College prior to transferring to West Virginia University in Morgantown. However, his career in Morgantown was brief.  When asked about it, the former Frederick Cougar simply responded, “At West Virginia things didn’t work out. [The coach] told me to go find a spot somewhere else to benefit me.” McCauley and Minnich leave a legacy of talent behind in Shepherdstown. When looking to the future, it raises questions about what future Rams could play as professional ball players. For the future, keep an eye on left-handed pitcher Paul Hvozdovic and outfielder Ryan Messina. Both had standout seasons for Shepherd while being underclassmen. Seeing three straight years of Shepherd draftees would shock no one, based upon the talent currently residing at Fairfax Field in Shepherdstown.

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