I want to take a moment to say thanks to all the players, coaches, volunteers, and fans for making this year’s MidTN Senior All-Star Classic a success.
But I really want to tell Ryan Weathers what his gesture did for the greater good of the Classic and for high school baseball in Middle Tennessee, no matter what classification he represented.
See, Ryan was selected seventh overall in this year’s Major League Baseball Draft. That is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 in the first round. He became the highest drafted Tennessee high school kid in 40-plus years. Ryan also was named Gatorade’s National Player of the Year, joining the ranks of Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield, just to name a few.
So, I would get it if Ryan told me no when it came to participating in the Classic. I have had other draftees say ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ due to fear of injury or it not being important. I totally understood.
Ryan chose to attend. He is at a crossroads in his career: whether to sign a lucrative contract and start his professional career or go to Vanderbilt and experience college baseball at the highest level.
Ryan did not play in the event due to obvious reasons, but he honored the game and his high school teammates, coaches, school, community, region and state by attending in full uniform. He was just another Class A All-Star. For that, I am a fan.
I spoke with him briefly due to my duties of running an event and serving as the public address announcer, and he got out of there before I could simply say thanks, and get a picture with him and a ball signed to go along with my many others.
But I wanted to share that even a kid who with a stroke of an ink pen will become a $2.5 to $5 million professional or choose to attend a national power in Vanderbilt, who was named the top high school player in the United States by Gatorade along with his many other accolades and awards, chose to be a Class A kid one last time and attend a small-time Class A coach’s All-Star Game simply because he thought it was the right thing to do.
Here is a tip of the cap to you, Ryan Weathers, for simply giving back to Middle Tennessee high school baseball. I am forever a fan.
Davy Cothron is a Trousdale County native and organizes the MidTN Senior All-Star Classic, which is in its seventh year. This commentary was reprinted with his permission.