Friday, June 12, 2009

Denver (IFS) - Karen Parker, Pine Hill School District's high school counselor, was so excited when she got a call from AJ's mother telling her that AJ was drafted by MLB again. The look in Ms. Parker's face was worth more than words could ever say, as one of her students made that "big league". It's as if, only yesterday that I saw several of my high school friends drafted to the majors when I was a kid. I remember Mike Bergen, then a Senior getting drafted number #1 by the New York Mets and his contract for for $100,000 (big money in the 1960's). Or Jimmy Johnson and Reggie Graves from Rosamond High School in California to the Houston Astros and better yet, Jim Slaton from Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, California who played for many years with the Brewers, or Dwight and Dewayne Murphy to the Oakland A's and the Detroit Tigers. As for myself, I only got a chance to tryout for the Denver Broncos as a special teams player and I didn't even make the team -- only for nine weeks -- that was my career in pro sports, and it was very exciting back in those days. Oh well those were my days as a kid. But these days, the talent is spread across many areas and schools. Karen Parker, school counselor at Overbrook Senior High School in Pine Hill, New Jersey who was AJ's biggest fan and his counselor -- just got the news from AJ's mother by phone, that AJ was drafted to the Chicago White Sox from the University of Maryland. This is the second time that AJ has been picked by the majors, and this time, he's headed to MLB camp with the pros. Talking to Ms. Parker, she was so excited for AJ as he was a very good student and a very hard worker over the years to get to this point. AJ sacrificed many hours -- right along with his parents that got him to many try-outs and contests over the years. Ms. Parker would tell me of the times that she would run "administrative roadblocks" to help AJ and his family get to these important events, when know one else believed he even had a chance. He is a great inspiration to his old high school for kids to follow for years to come. More than that AJ is a wonderful, warm and caring person and a good citizen. I am so glad that I got a chance to witness this wonderful day for him and see him in several games his first year at Maryland, as I would drive Ms. Parker to Maryland to see his home games there. Way to go AJ. - KHS

Baseball: Casario to White Sox
Posted By Kevin Minnick On June 11, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

A.J. Casario, an Overbrook graduate who just wrapped up his junior year at the University of Maryland, was taken by the Chicago White Sox in the 38th round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft. He was the 1,153rd overall pick. Casario, who was drafted in the 27th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2006 draft our of high school.

The spring, the outfielder batted .319 for the Terps with 10 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs and a team-leading 45 RBIs. He posted a .522 slugging percentage, a .409 on-base percentage and stole 12 of 15 bases.
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