GRAMBLING, LA---Jeremy Shelby saw a lifelong dream fulfilled when his name was called by the Baltimore Orioles during the 2010 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft. Taken in the 38th round, Jeremy contends that playing in the MLB is a dream shared by his entire family.
The second oldest of six children, Jeremy proudly enters the rank of Shelby's to play in the major league. Jeremy now follows in the footsteps of his father, John "T-Bone" Shelby, Jr., who was drafted in the first round by the Orioles in the 1977 and his brother, John Shelby, III, who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2006.
To say baseball is in his blood would be an understatement. Jeremy has been around baseball his entire life. By the time Jeremy was five, he and his brothers were out catching fly balls while his dad was coaching in the minor league.
The year after he was born was the year Kirk Gibson hit the walk off homerun for the Dodgers (Los Angeles) in the World Series. His dad was the centerfielder for the Dodgers in that game.
Jeremy, who is now 22, had not originally intended to go to Grambling. Instead, his journey to Tigerland began with a trip to a junior college in Tennessee. In fact, Jeremy was previously drafted in the 46th round by San Diego in 2000, but passed up the offer to attend Columbia State (TN) Junior College where his dad had also played briefly.
Jeremy's trek to Grambling did not happen by chance, but after a lot of encouragement by his teammate, Byron Huff. Byron thought Jeremy's speeding and hitting skills would be better showcased in the Southwestern Athletic Conference which he thought would also improve Jeremy's chances of being drafted.
Jeremy says he didn't initially listen to his friend but finally decided to call Coach Barnett Rey (former GSU head coach) who offered him a deal he couldn't pass up. Right then, Jeremy verbally agreed to come to Grambling. He says that was the best decision of his life. Jeremy contends that the support he received from the coaches and the fans helped get him into the league.
The Kentucky (Lexington) native became the first Tiger to go in the MLB draft since current interim head coach James Cooper was taken in the 33rd round as an outfielder by the Houston Astros in 2004.
Named to the 2010 1st team All-SWAC, Jeremy had a career batting average of .314 in 112 games for the Tigers with 114 hits, 89 runs scored and 64 RBI's. He also recorded 19 doubles and 12 homeruns and was 26-of-29 in stolen bases.
Jeremy has followed in his father's footsteps, attending the same junior college, being drafted by the same team, and playing rookie ball at the same field. Now, Jeremy is looking forward to playing on the very same team where his dad is the first base coach.
This is truly a dream come true, not just for Jeremy but also for his dad.
(Courtesy: Grambling State Athletics Department)