Left-handed pitcher Sean Johnston '92 received the best graduation present he could have asked for: a chance to play professional baseball.
On Monday, the Chicago White Sox picked the southpaw in the 15th round of the major league draft (see profile, page C-4).
Senior leftfielder Nick DelVecchio '92 was also drafted yesterday by the New York Yankees, but could not be reached for comment.
DelVecchio hit .370 this year, with eight home runs and 38 RBIs.
Johnston's selection was a jolt for the senior, who did not expect to be chosen on the first day of the three-day draft.
"I was surprised," Johnston said. "I thought I'd be taken in the 30's on down, or if I wasn't drafted maybe get a shot at free agency. I certainly didn't expect to go in the top 20 rounds."
Mark Berstein, the White Sox's Eastern scouting supervisor, had good things to say about the young hurler.
"He's a good lefthanded pitcher," Berstein said. "He has a loose arm, and he's a good competitor. We saw room for development."
Being lefthanded was likely the main reason Johnston was selected so early in the draft.
"They seem to like lefthanders," Johnston said after hearing the news. "They're rarer and hitters have a hard time adjusting to them.
But Johnston was so sure he wouldn't be chosen on the first day that he went home to Connecticut for a short day-trip.
He was playing blackjack at Fox Woods, a new casino that just opened in Ledyard, Conn., when he was paged.
His father was on the phone to announce the good news.
Johnston will report to Sarasota, Fla. this weekend for spring training.
There are 50 rounds in the Major League baseball draft, with each of the 28 teams receiving a pick in each round.
No Harvard players were drafted last year, but two were selected in 1990: outfielder Ted Decereau and pitcher Bob Baxter.
Baxter currently pitches in the Montreal organization.