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June 11, 2009

Surprise! LB Glenn Cook drafted by Cubs

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Who was most surprised by the Chicago Cubs drafting former UM linebacker Glenn Cook in today's Major League Baseball Draft?

Cook himself.

That's because Cook hadn't picked up a bat or ball in over six years before he was told about a Cubs tryout just two days before the tryout was held.

Cook found out about the tryout from a Chicago scout who used to watch him in high school.

"Come try out, you have nothing to lose," the scout told Cook.

That was, of course, true - Cook says he didn't get a single call from an NFL team inquiring about him after he went undrafted.

"I didn't have much time before (the tryout), didn't really prepare much - I just tried out and it worked out well," Cook said. "It was worth a try.

"In the tryout I didn't know how I did - I just did what I normally do."

The Cubs were the only team he tried out for.

Cook hadn't seen a pitch or run the bases since 11th grade.

"Once I committed to Miami I let baseball go," he said.

So it's not surprising that Cook says he had no expectation of being drafted even though the scout told him to keep tabs on the draft.

"My mother was following it, though," he says.

The scout called after Cook was drafted in the 48th round with the 1,400th pick.

"He just said congratulations," Cook said. "He said I impressed them a little bit in the tryout considering such a long layoff."

It's been a whirlwind day for Cook. Where he was previously contemplating entering the workforce, he now will be reporting for spring training in Mesa, Arizona.

Cook will play centerfield - in high school he played first base and outfield. He says he wasn't close to being the best player on his team in those days.

"We had some good players," he said.

As a high school junior Cook had very modest numbers - he hit .300 with two home runs and 16 RBI.

Being drafted by the Cubs left those close to him flabbergasted.

"What? How did that happen?" former teammate/tailback Derron Thomas said.

"He was drafted for what?" former teammate/receiver Kayne Farquharson said.

"I heard about it - that's something else," former teammate/safety Anthony Reddick said.

And Cook's former high school coach, Mark Guandolo, still can't quite fathom that his former star football player has a pro baseball future.

"How?" Guandolo said. "He played in ninth, 10th and 11th grade. He was a decent player, but I never expected anything like this."

Now Cook is looking forward to what he hopes will turn into a Major League career.

"The Major Leagues - who knows? That's the goal," Cook says. "It's a nice opportunity."

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