Perhaps it is a more common occurrence in larger metropolitan areas, but where I live on the Eastern Shore, it can be likened to lightning striking in the same place. Last week during baseball’s draft, Michael Turner, a graduate of St. Michaels Middle/High School in my hometown, was drafted in the 44th round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Big deal, you may say. 44th round means he must not be all that good. As many may recall, Mike Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round and we all know how that story played out.
Turner is a great all-around athlete who also excelled in basketball and soccer (or football, given the World Cup fever). Turner played for the St. Michaels High 2008 state championship team before spending the last two seasons at Chesapeake College, a junior college in nearby Wye Mills, Md. This past season, he finished with a .313 average with 9 home runs and 37 RBI as the Skipjacks finished in second place in the Region XX Division I Junior College playoffs. Turner pitched, played shortstop and the outfield for the team, but was drafted by the Angels as an outfielder. After signing his minor league contract on Saturday, Turner left Monday for Arizona, to report to the Angels’ rookie league team and begin his professional journey into baseball.
While Turner is the latest St. Michaels Middle/High alum, he isn’t the only one to have been drafted. Of course, the most famous athlete from St. Michaels is current White Sox coach and former Oriole (also White Sox, Ranger, A’s and Indian) Harold Baines, who had a great major league career after being drafted by the White Sox in the first round with the #1 pick in 1977. Baines’s son, Harold Jr. was also drafted last season by the White Sox. Turner will hope to follow in the elder Baines’s footsteps and has begun his journey to attempt to make it to the big leagues. By all accounts, Turner has the work ethic and the ability to succeed. Best of luck from one Eastern Shore native to another for continued success.