LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Is it the biggest baseball week in the history of the state of Kentucky?
It's a legitimate question. Yes, I know the Louisville Grays were a charter member of a National League in 1876, and a meeting in our city precipitated the formation of the league.
However, with UofL welcoming UK in an NCAA Super Regional this weekend -- meaning that one of the two is guaranteed a spot in the College World Series -- and Monday's Major League Draft, this just might even top that.
UofL pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay is expected to be picked No. 1 by the Twins or No. 2 by the Reds, and Ballard High School senior Jordon Adell is projected as a top-15 pick. Former Card Corey Ray was the fifth pick last year, the highest in school history. Ballard grad Jeremy Sowers was the 20th pick in the first round in 2001 as a high school senior, and then the sixth pick in 2004 after three seasons at Vanderbilt.
McKay figures to get a signing bonus between $6 million and $9 million. Adell could get anywhere from $5 million to $6 million.
The Cards-Cats Super Regional is a best two-out-of-three series. If it goes to a third game on Sunday, that will be four straight days of baseball on center stage from Louisville.
UK first baseman Evan White is also projected to be a first-round selection on Monday night.
The College World Series wasn't even on our radar 10 years ago. UofL has been three times, but Kentucky is the only SEC school that has never played in the event.
The Cards went in the first year of the Dan McDonnell Era in 2007. Can the Cats do the same in year one under Nick Mingione?
UK fans found out last weekend and into the wee hours of Tuesday morning how electric the atmosphere is for postseason NCAA baseball. It's something that UofL fans have discovered in the last 10 years. The two programs have pushed each other. UK was the first to host an NCAA Regional in 2006, and now UofL does it just about every season. This was the first year that both hosted one of the 16 NCAA Regionals.
Much like the battle for the Governor's Cup ignited a new era for football in the Commonwealth, this could be the weekend that we point to in a few years when baseball really took hold.
If you are fortunate enough to have a ticket, keep it; don't take the money and sell it. Trust me when I tell you that the history you will witness will far outweigh any profit. Whether you are a Cards or Cats fan, enjoy the masterful play of McKay and White and all the other stars and get ready for a dog pile on Saturday or Sunday as one team celebrates an upcoming trip to Omaha.
Kent Taylor is the Sports DIrector at WAVE 3 News.
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