Prank On NCCU Baseball Pitcher Andrew Vernon Being Selected in MLB Draft

DURHAM, N.C. – Former North Carolina Central University pitcher Andrew Vernon expected to hear his name called in the 2016 MLB First-Year Player Draft– he just didn’t expect to be the last one to know about it.

“I was actually at my buddy’s house because I didn’t know what to expect at this point.” said the 6-foot-4 Raleigh native who attended Knightdale High School. “I was trying not to think about it.”

Vernon’s eyes were away from the online draft-tracker as he was playing NBA2K with his friend Saturday afternoon. The ‘thinking about it’ was done for him on Day 3 of the draft and soon the texts and Tweets started rolling in.

“I saw someone I played with get drafted, I was texting him congrats and I sat my phone down for a second,” Vernon recalled. “Then, out of nowhere, I get a phone call from one of my summer ball buddies, and then my phone started blowing up.”

According to Vernon, one phone call in particular played out something like this:

Vernon: Hello?

Caller: We’re the Milwaukee Brewers.

Vernon: Did I just get drafted?

Caller: Why would you ask that?
Vernon: Because my phone is going crazy right now.

Caller: No, we haven’t heard anything.

Vernon: Oh, okay.

Caller: No, we’re just messing with you. We picked you up.

And so it was. With the 831st pick in the 28th round, Milwaukee made Vernon the first player from NC Central ever drafted into the Major Leagues.

Vernon’s first call was to his parents, but before he could celebrate with them in person, he had to finish his video game – he lost.

“It was a big moment in my life, so I thought he would throw the game,” Vernon said. “He had no mercy.”

It’s hard to believe Vernon would be the history-maker for a program that started in 1910 and operated through 1975. After a three-decade hiatus, NC Central reinstituted their program in 2007.

“I still don’t think that’s hit me either, like, a lot of it hasn’t set in,” Vernon said. “Everybody’s been calling me, texting me, ‘dude, you’re the first player from Central to be drafted,’ ‘congrats on getting drafted, this is a dream come true.’ And I am like, ‘yeah, alright.’

“A lot of it was thanks to the players around me because I’ve learned so much from them over the years,” Vernon added. “And the coaches giving me the opportunity and shot to live out what is a dream to me.”

The contract has been printed, signed, and delivered. Vernon will be flying west to the desert Monday to immediately join the Arizona League Brewers. There, he has been challenged by Mike, Lauren and Demetri of The Morning Show to wear a “Price is Right” T-Shirt under his uniform for his first appearance.

A challenge he has accepted.

Courtesy WRALSportsFan

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