By GERRY STEELE
Of the Baker City Herald
Playing major league ball is every young baseball players dream. Most never make it, but a talented few at least get looked at.
Such is the case for the Baker Bulldogs Luke Palmer. The recently graduated right-handed pitcher was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 28th round of the major league draft Wednesday. The three-day draft continues through today.
Palmer, a two-time first team all-Greater Oregon League selection, found out he had been drafted when his step-sister told him someone from the Kansas City organization had called. He said at first he didnt believe her.
I thought she was joking, he said. Then when she told me they would call back later to talk to me I was really excited.
This has been my dream all my life, to play baseball, Palmer said.
Palmer also has excelled in other sports at BHS, but he said baseball is his chosen sport.
Baseball is my sport, I think, he said, smiling.
Palmer said scouts from Kansas City, Oakland, Minnesota, Phila-delphia and the Chicago Cubs had contacted him during the recently completed high school season. The Cleveland Indians scouted him last season.
Palmer said he figured Oakland and Kansas City were seriously looking at him because they made more than one visit.
Kansas City and the As took us out to dinner, and called asking for our schedule, he said.
Palmer hasnt talked to the Royals during the draft, but said he still plans to play college ball. At least for a year.
Ive been accepted at Columbia Basin, he said of the community college in Pasco, Wash. The Hawks are the defending NWCCAA champions.
Palmer joins a short list of former Bulldogs to be selected in the draft.
Most, like Palmer, have been pitchers. Some of the past Bulldogs drafted were right-hander Ethan Burke by the New York Mets, catcher Mike Cavanagh by San Francisco, lefty Kevin Logsdon by Cleveland, right-hander Ross Anderson and right-hander Jim Grove.
Lyle Overbay, who played Little League baseball in Baker City before his family moved from the area, also was drafted and currently is playing for El Paso in the minor leagues.
Logsdon advanced as high as Class AA before injuring his arm. Burke pitched a couple of years at the Class A level for the Mets, and currently is playing semi-pro ball in Florida. Cavanagh played a couple of years at the Class A level for the Giants before retiring to pursue a medical career.
None of the others made it past the draft.
Palmer was 5-1 with a 2.28 earned-run average as a junior for the Bulldogs. This past season he finished 8-1 with an ERA under one.