ARCATA (June 9) — South Dakota State senior Craig Parry, who was one of the Humboldt Crabs' stars in 2007, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 50th round of last week's Major League Baseball draft.
"It feels awesome," said Parry when reached by phone on Monday. "I had known the Pirates would be my best shot at getting drafted this year. Their regional scout had called me with a couple of weeks left in the season and came out to visit me while I was still in South Dakota doing workouts."
Parry, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound outfielder, knew that if he was drafted at all, it would be on the second day, but as things moved into the later rounds without his phone ringing, he began to get anxious.
"I had mixed emotions," he said. "It was definitely nerve-racking. I knew it was my last shot. I was going to be disappointed if I didn't get the opportunity, but I tried to be optimistic."
The good news finally came in the very last round.
"I had friends at the house, and my friends and family were all standing at the computer. I was away from it when my name popped up, and everyone got pretty excited."
A moment later the phone rang. It was Chris Klein, the Pirates' scout, confirming the good news.
On Wednesday he will fly to Bradenton, Fla., where the Pirates hold spring training, to work out for a week before going to State College, Pa., to play for the State College Spikes, the Pirates' short-season "A" team.
Parry is part of the ever-growing connection between the Crabs and the South Dakota State program, run by former Crab Reggie Christiansen. He started 44 of 54 games for the Crabs last season, hitting .324 with 11 doubles and a team-leading 42 runs scored.
His numbers at South Dakota State this year were even more impressive as he was named to the all-Summit League First team. He led the Jackrabbits with 10 homers, 47 RBIs, a .646 slugging pct. and a school-record 20 doubles.
Of the Crabs' experience, Parry said, "It's a great atmosphere, day in, day out, the fans were awesome. It's definitely one of the most fun summers I've had. I'm glad I was able to have that opportunity."