by Dave Platta
PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - He might come from a family that's used to getting called on draft day. Just the same, Casey Rasmus had to get away from listening to the MLB Draft Wednesday afternoon, heading to the batting cage in his parents' back yard.
Naturally, that's when he finally got the call from the St. Louis Cardinals.
"I was actually hitting at the time." Rasmus recalled. "A scout called me and said 'We picked you in the 36th round' and it was a tingly feeling. It makes everything, all the hard work, worth it. I've never felt like this before in my life. Boy, it's a great feeling, that's for sure."
This is a road the Rasmus family has traveled before. Casey's father, Russell County head coach Tony Rasmus, got his call from the Angels in the 10th round of the January 1986 draft. Older brothers Colby and Cory went through it as well, Colby drafted by the Cardinals in the first round in 2005 (28th overall) and Cory picked by the Braves in the 2006 supplemental round (38th overall). He called his brothers immediately after being drafted.
"They both said 'Congrats. Now the real hard part starts.' They said it's been easy up to this point, so now the good part starts. I'm excited. They just wished me well and hoped the best for me."
Casey was obviously elated to be getting his chance. He talked about the impact the day had on him. "It means everything. You don't want to say baseball comes first, but we've always had a baseball-first mentality. Obviously family comes first, but it's huge because this is what you strive for since Day One. You dream about getting drafted and playing professional ball. I can't say in words what this means to me and how awesome this feels. It's indescribable, that's for sure."
The Cardinals already filled him in on his itinerary once he puts his name on the dotted line of a professional contract. "Saturday I fly out to Florida for a couple of days for mini-camp," said Rasmus. "Then I'm going to Johnson City, Tennessee, which is where Colby actually started out, so that'll be kind of cool."
Rasmus was one of four area players that got selected on the final day of the draft. Chris Bullard of Western Kentucky, who played his high school ball at Harris County, went in the 34th round to the Atlanta Braves. Bullard was a two-sport star at Western Kentucky, playing linebacker in football, and outfield in baseball.
Keaton Aldrich was drafted directly out of high school, after helping lead Glenwood's Gators to their third straight AISA Class AAA state title. The catcher was picked in the 40th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Aldrich signed with the University of Memphis earlier this spring.