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April 26, 2014

Step Back in Time: April 26, 2014

25 years ago

April 26, 1989

A lot of boys, be they in high school or Little League, dream someday of getting to play professional baseball.

Former Oneonta High School star Clay Bellinger is following that dream, and thanks to dedication and good old fashioned hard work, it could pay off in being picked by a major league team in the June 5-7 amateur free gent draft.

Bellinger, a junior shortstop at Division II Rollins College in the Orlando suburb of Winter Park, Fla., is having an outstanding season for the Tars, hitting .320 in 41 games. To top it all off, a national baseball publication has put Bellinger in the thick of its top 25 college prospects.

In its April 25 issue, Baseball America described Bellinger as a “fast rising shortstop … has impressed scouts with his arm and overall defense.”

Bellinger is rated No. 20 in that top 25. Add in players drafted right out of high school and that means Bellinger could be drafted in any of the first three rounds. He is the fourth-rated shortstop on the list and is one of 11 players to be included that haven’t been previously drafted by a major league team.

Bellinger was shocked to learn he was one of the top pro prospects in the nation.

“When a friend of mine brought in the article, I couldn’t believe it,” said Bellinger. “It was the farthest thing from my mind. The rest of that day, I was on Cloud Nine.”

Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

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