Maybe he’ll take a lump of clay. Or a baseball. Or a broken bat.
How about a piece of ivy?
Casey Mulholland is headed to Wrigley Field. And he doesn’t plan on coming back to Bradenton empty-handed.
“I’m definitely going to grab something,” he said.
Selected for Saturday’s Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, Mulholland has earned the right to commemorate the occasion. He is set to enter his senior season at The IMG Academy School at IMG Academy and is one of 35 players picked for the game, which will be broadcast live Saturday on ESPNU.
This mark’s the fifth edition of the game, which has featured 60 players eventually picked in the Major League Baseball draft. According to the game’s Web site, more than 100 collegiate and professional scouts attended last year’s game.
“It’s a great honor,” said Mulholland, a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher.
The All-America game features players from 16 states and splits them into two teams. Mulholland is on Team One and has been told he will get one inning on Wrigley’s mound.
“I told him I’m jealous,” said Casey’s dad, Michael. “I’d be happy just to run the bases at Wrigley Field.”
Today is a practice day, giving the game’s participants a chance to acclimate themselves to a big-league ballpark. A self-proclaimed die-hard Tampa Bay Rays fan, Casey has never been to Wrigley Field — but is confident the nerves won’t follow him on to the field.
“When I step on the field, I’m going to be playing with a lot of guys I know,” he said. “It’s going to be 60 feet, six inches, like the other fields.”
Meeting Hall of Famers such as Cal Ripken Jr. and Ferguson Jenkins, both of whom will work with the players?
That’s a different matter.
“I’m more nervous about talking to those guys,” Casey said, “because those are the guys I idolized.”
Time will tell if there are more ballparks in Casey’s future — he recently committed to Ole Miss and isn’t too fixated on the draft, which is nearly a year away.
For now, he is focusing on his senior year at IMG Academy.
And his day at Wrigley Field.
“I’m extremely excited, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it,” he said. “I can’t wait to get up there.”