The Orioles took a Baltimore-area kid among their draft picks today when they selected Kevin "K.J." Hockaday in the 14th round with the 425th overall selection.
Hockaday played high school ball at John Carroll in Harford County and the Joppatowne resident has a college commitment to play at the University of Maryland.
His high school coach, Joe Stetka, is also an Orioles' associate scout. He said it was emotional for him and the Hockaday family today when the hometown kid got drafted by the hometown team.
"I was coming up 95 when I heard it and I had to pull off the road," Stetka told Bel Air Patch website. "My phone rang and Mr. Hockaday actually had sent me a text. I looked down and when I pulled over off the road that was it. I was done. I get very emotional anyway, but it's sort of neat.
"I've been beating on them (the Orioles) for a few years about K.J. But I'm happy as can be for K.J. It's great for Harford County. It's great for the Orioles. He's a hometown kid, loves the Orioles.
"He's pretty excited. He's a huge Oriole fan. Living in Maryland all his life. He's pretty ecstatic. And I think he feels a lot of relief that the pressure's off now. People have been telling him for years he's going to get drafted, and that day is finally here.
"There's a lot of excitement going on in Joppatowne tonight."
Hockaday played shortstop in high school but he was drafted as a third baseman. He hit 31 homers in his career to break Mark Teixeira's MIAA conference career record.
"It couldn't have happened to a better kid than KJ and his family. They're just tremendous people," Stetka added.
Here is a link to the Bel Air Patch web story on Hockaday.