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From Harford to Hawaii

As fellow sports writer Dewey Fox wrote, I was away from the office the first two days of this week due to a family wedding on the sands of Topsail Beach, N.C.

The youngest of my brother George's three children, daughter Elizabeth, had the dream and desire of being married on a beach; and so it was, Monday at 6:30 p.m. on a beautifully sunny and slightly breezy late afternoon.

Elizabeth, her groom, Aaron, and most family members from both sides made the trip from Ohio.

That said, Sunday evening was the first time I ever met the husband-to-be and it still didn't hit me that my niece will now carry the name Elizabeth Taylor wherever she goes.

Hawaii is where they went to honeymoon and funny thing, Hawaii was on my mind for a different reason. After looking over the preview for Major League Baseball's first year player draft, I saw Kolten Wong's name as one in the top 50 of all potential draftees.

Wong, a junior second baseman at the University of Hawaii, was rated the 25th best draft prospect. Wong moved up a few notches on the draft's first day of action, getting selected 22nd in the first round by the St. Louis Cardinals.

The name Wong might be familiar to some and a guarantee to many. Wong was a participant in the Cal Ripken World Series in 2003 when he and his teammates were runner-ups to Mexico in the World Series finale.

Another Hawaii product, Kewby Meyer, was an additional name on a list and he, too, got the news that he was drafted. Meyer was the last pick in the 48th round by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Meyer actually played in two Ripken World Series in Aberdeen in 2004 and 2005. Meyer was the series MVP in 2005 when he led his team to the series title.

Little did I know though, that when the 50 rounds of drafting were over, three Harford County boys would be feeling and experiencing that same excitement.

John Carroll senior Kevin Hockaday led the way, getting tabbed by the hometown Baltimore Orioles in the 14th round, the 425th pick overall. Hockaday has garnered attention with the long ball, among other talents. Whether he signs to play pro ball will loom. The University of Maryland is where we'll find him if he doesn't.

The Patriots put another prospect out there on the draft's 50th and final round when the Orioles also drafted senior Brendan Butler. Butler was the 1,505th pick.

Sandwiched between, Fallston's Mike Thomas had his name pop up as the Los Angeles Dodgers took him in the 35th round with pick number 1,064.

Thomas just finished a record setting and rewarding career at Rider University. Of the three, I'm sure Thomas will sign and when he does, heading west will be on the immediate agenda.

I have to say congrats to all three local players who have gotten the call. Whatever the decisions and the results, good luck to all three and make yourselves and all of us proud.

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