Glenn Cook has never been the fastest, strongest, or best. He's suffered injuries that could have easily left him on the sidelines for good. Yet somehow, his athletic career refuses to die, like a wounded roach -- and lives on in a sport he wasn't even trying to play.
After a long, middling six-year career as a Hurricane, Cook went undrafted and didn't get a single call from the NFL as a free agent. He'd always planned to coach, serving as an assistant in 2007 while sitting out with injury, but decided he wasn't ready for such a time-gobbling commitment. He was contemplating getting a job when his path crossed with a scout who'd seen him play high school baseball -- seven years earlier.
Two days from now, the scout told him, the Cubs are having a tryout in Clearwater. You should go.
Cook hadn't touched a baseball since his junior year at Hollywood's Chaminade-Madonna Prep -- where he himself admits he wasn't even one of the better players on the team. But he figured he had nothing to lose, and showed up.
The Cubs took him as a centerfielder in the 46th round of the first-year draft yesterday. "I'm just as shocked as you are," he told the Sun-Sentinel. "I wasn't even following the Draft."
As news rippled through the grapevine, his former teammates were astounded. "What? How did that happen?" asked running back Derron Thomas. Kayne Farquharson: "He was drafted for what?" And Anthony Reddick could only offer, "That's something else."
It is something else. Even Cook's high school baseball coach was surprised. But no one, perhaps, was as surprised as Cook, who must now pass a physical, sign a professional contract for a sport he doesn't really play, and report to Mesa, Arizona to join the Cubs' Minor League system.
Could he make it to the majors? Stranger things have happened, especially to the Cubs. In the meantime, we'll be attempting to shrink him down and put him on our keychain for luck.