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Wednesday, June 10, 2009Fans and friends of the Lipscomb athletics program and left-hander pitcher Rex Brothers gathered Wednesday in Shamblin Theater for a special "Forehand and Friends" luncheon.
Brothers was the 34th pick in the Major League Baseballl First Year Player Draft, going to the Colorado Rockies in the supplemental round held at the end of the first round Tuesday night.
The event was held by the National Bison Cllub.
“This is a great day for Lipscomb athletics,” said Philip Hutcheson, director of athletics. “My lingering memory of Rex is from what I saw after the last game of the season in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament. When we lost the game to Jacksonville Rex was the first player out of the dugout to shake hands. That says a lot about what kind of guy he is.”
He was the third player selected by the Rockies in the first day of the three-day draft. The Rockies tabbed Tyler Matzek, a left-hander from Capistrano Valley (Calif.) High School, at No. 11. They closed out the first round with Tim Wheeler, an outfielder from Cal State-Sacramento. Brothers has had several talks with the area scout for the Rockies. He is expected to travel to Denver in the next couple of weeks for a physical. He also has to sign a contract.
There are a couple of options for Brothers in terms of teams this season. He could be assigned to the Casper Ghosts, the Rockies Rookie League team in Casper, Wyo. Another option is the Tri-City Dust Devils, located in a Pasco, Wash., a Class A team. Both teams start their seasons June 23.
“The Rockies are still busy with the draft,” said Brothers. “When it is over I expect them to talk more with me about this summer. I want to get the contract done so I can get out and play.
“I’m glad I am in the National League. I want to get the chance to hit again.”
The lunch crowd included Butch Stinson, a draft pick for the Bisons in 1973 who played in the Chicago White Sox organization. During the lunch, which featured a question-and-answer session with Brothers and Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand, moderated by Hutcheson, there was a special call. Bo McLaughlin, a first round pick from the Bisons by the Houston Astros in 1975, called from the Rockies draft room. McLaughlin serves as pitching coordinator for the Rockies organization.
Brothers once again commended the coaching staff and his teammates for their influences on his career.
“The older guys showed the right way to get things done,” said Brothers. “I want to have that same type of influence.”
Brothers is listed as living in Chapel Hill, Tenn. Vanderbilt left-hander Mike Minor was selected No.7 in the first round by the Atlanta Braves. Minor is also from Chapel Hill and played at Forrest High School. Brothers started his high school career at Community High School in Unionville and then played for Shelbyville Central High School.
“The first time I played against Mikey was in a travel team game for 13-and-14-year-olds. He hit me in the back with a pitch. The next time I came up to bat I hit him in the toe with a land drive. I don’t know if he remembers that or not. We played Forrest when I was at Community and they always won. We played Forrest one time when I was playing for Shelbyville and we beat them 10-0.
“I texted him during the draft and wished him well.”
Hutcheson presented Brothers with a number of gifts, including a camouflage Bible. Brothers is an avid hunter and fisherman. He was also presented books on behalf of the athletics department and the coaching staff.
In closing Hutcheson cited Colossians 3:23 which states, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” “I think you have done that during your Lipscomb career,” said Hutcheson.