Lakers ace drafted into MLB

Published 4:54 pm Sunday, June 10, 2018

Albert Lea Laker star and No. 1 pitcher Ben Madison saw his dreams  become reality on July 5, when all of his hard work and determination paid off in the form of being selected in the MLB Draft.

Madison, a native of Benton, Arkansas and player for the Central Baptist College Mustangs, was selected as the second pick in the ninth round by the San Francisco Giants.

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“Every little kid’s dream is to play professional baseball,” Madison said. “I really took that to heart, then people started telling me, ‘Hey, you have a shot,’ so I went in 100 percent and scouts started showing up and fans started coming out and supporting. Now all that work’s paid off, getting drafted by the Giants and it feels great.”

Madison said he had a mix of emotions after receiving the news he had been drafted. He said at first he felt nervous and excited, but after speaking on the phone with the Giants organization, he realized that his dreams had come true.

After graduating from high school at age 17 and spending his first couple of months at college, Madison said that’s when people started to take notice. He said as just a 17 year old kid, he was holding his own and even performing better than many other college upperclassmen.

In his high school career, Madison also played football, basketball and ran track. He said that playing those other sports helped him develop his baseball skills quite a bit.

“Football helped me a lot with my speed and quickness,” Madison said. “Basketball requires a lot of hand-eye coordination and that plays a lot into baseball, so it’s a win-win situation. Playing multiple sports can help you out with any other sport.”

Just a few days removed from the day he was selected, Madison said his life hasn’t really changed much yet.

“Nothing has really changed too much,” he said. “I’ve signed some autographs the past few days, but that’s about it. People have treated be the same as before and it’s a mutual respect.”

During his time as a Laker, Madison made only one start, but he made that start count. Madison pitched six innings, allowing just one hit and one walk, while striking out an incredible 11 batters.

Although Madison only spent a short time in Albert Lea, he said the community really made a lasting impact on him.

“The people here are so nice,” he said. “Everyone is respectful  and treat each other like family.  Everybody has gotten to know each other and people have welcomed me into their homes just like a family and I like that a lot.”

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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