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Sosebee has 'Surreal' experience in Boston

Former White County standout pitches at historical Fenway Park

POSTED: June 24, 2011 4:53 p.m.
TOM REED | The Times/

Former White County standout David Sosebee recently pitched at the historical Fenway Park in Boston.

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David Sosebee had stepped on the mound countless times before, but pitching this time was different than anything he’d ever experienced.

A recent White County graduate, Sosebee was drafted two weeks ago by the Boston Red Sox in the 48th round. On Thursday, he was pitching in a game at historic Fenway Park. Granted, he wasn’t pitching for the Red Sox (they were off that day), but he was competing in a scrimmage against other players from the Red Sox’s 2011 draft class.

With an allotment of just 20 pitches, Sosebee took to the first batter. But instead of the Warriors’ faithful cheering in the stands, he noticed people seated behind home plate such as Boston general manager Theo Epstein, former ESPN analyst Peter Gammons and various major league scouts.

The 2011 Times All-Area Player of the Year went into is wind-up and delivered his first pitch.

“I just let it go and it went high,” said Sosebee, who is enrolled and signed to a scholarship to pitch at the University of Georgia. “I was a little nervous, but after that, I settled down.”

Sosebee went on to collect a strikeout. After walking the next batter, he caused another to break his bat on a pitch before coaxing him into a fly-out. By that time, he had thrown 20 pitches and was done.

“It’s something I’ll never forget,” he said. “It was an unbelievable experience — surreal.”

Sosebee arrived in Boston with his parents late Tuesday. After watching a day game between the Red Sox and San Diego Padres, he was originally slated to play one scrimmage later that evening, with Thursday’s game being the second. But rain delayed Wednesday’s Red Sox game and canceled that night’s scrimmage.

He arrived at the park the next day at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast. The draft picks took a trip to the visitor’s locker room, where they were greeted to Red Sox jerseys with their names on the back. After Aug. 15, they’ll have the option of buying those jerseys for $150. Because Sosebee is signed with Georgia, he can’t accept the jersey as a gift. He also had to pay his way to Boston to avoid violating NCAA rules.

In addition to the scrimmage, Epstein spoke with the drafted players.

“He told us about the organization and what separated them from others,” Sosebee said.

Sosebee also met Gammons, who posed for pictures with draft players.

He then spoke with Red Sox scouts, receiving positive feedback.

“They said they like what they see,” Sosebee said.

At some point, the Red Sox will offer a signing bonus. As of now, they told him he’s a “summer follow,” meaning they’ll track his progress through the course of summer baseball. Sosebee will pitch for the East Cobb Braves in the same premier league that once featured Jason Heyward among many other current major leaguers. Sosebee’s team also includes Dwight Smith, a first-round pick of the Blue Jays who played at McIntosh.

If Sosebee doesn’t get an offer he likes, he’ll continue to pitch for Georgia alongside Warriors teammate and Times All-Area Team selection Luke Crumley. The two are already enrolled in two summer courses — dancing and women’s studies.

“Our teammates give us so much crap about that,” said a laughing Sosebee. “I already failed a (dance) test, but that stuff is hard. Us being freshmen, anything they can find to give you crap about, they will.

“And this is an easy one.”


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