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Diamondbacks' call was worth the wait for former Hub

June 08, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

For a while, the world of technology wasn't treating T.J. Hose very well.

He sat in front of his computer Friday, watching the pick-by-pick progress of the second day of the Major League Baseball draft, hoping to see his future.

Hose, a North Hagerstown graduate, just completed his four-year stay at East Carolina University in emphatic fashion and was hoping his name would show up for the chance to pitch professionally.

Thirty rounds went by and so did 1,000 selections. Hose was starting to feel as low as he would after allowing a home run.


"I sat there watching," Hose said. "After the first 30 rounds, I turned to my family and said, 'I guess I'm not getting drafted.'"

Then, in a five-minute span, Hose received a phone call and then his name popped up as a 36th-round choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks as the 1,098th player selected.

"I got real emotional and I started crying," Hose said. "It was an emotional thing. I got up and went and hugged my family. Words can't describe the feeling."

The phone call from the Diamondbacks was a total surprise.

"I talked to seven teams before the draft," Hose said. "None of them took me and then out of the blue came the call from the Diamondbacks. The man (Howard McCullough, the Diamondbacks' Carolina-area scout) asked me if I was interested in playing professional baseball. I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'OK, I'm going to try and sell it to the big dogs.' Five minutes later, my name popped up on the computer."

And the pressure release valve was opened. The good seasons at North Hagerstown along with a solid career at East Carolina had all paid off.

Hose could not have had a better final audition than his last game on May 31, when he fired a complete-game 9-0 shutout against Columbia in the Conway Regional of the NCAA Tournament. He struck out seven and walked one without a runner passing second base. He retired 17 straight batters from the fourth through ninth innings.

"I couldn't ask for a better game to close my time at East Carolina," Hose said.

He finished his career with a 23-17 record, including a 7-4 mark this season.

After his selection, McCullough called back and told Hose that he would be in touch with him in the next day to give him his instructions. Thirty minutes later, Hose was notified that we will be flying to Tucson to the Diamondbacks' spring training site on Monday for a physical and training camp.

Then, he will be placed on one of Arizona's Single-A short-season rosters to begin pitching.

And even though he was forced to wait longer than he hoped to, Hose wouldn't have it any other way.

"I came into the draft knowing I wasn't a top prospect," Hose said. "I'm 5-foot-10 and I don't have a pitcher's body. I just wanted a shot. I just hope to get off to a good start and progress from there."

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