BASEBALL: Ball State's Bowling gets signed by White Sox
Despite not being drafted. former Cardinal ace will begin pro career with Great Falls Voyagers
When Cal Bowling was informed he broke his right pitching hand on April 9, he wasn't convinced that his future in baseball was over.
After missing four weeks while nursing his injury, Bowling returned for the final two weeks of Ball State's season. In that span, Bowling worked 18.2 innings while recording 22 strikeouts to just five walks.
Being cleared to play by his doctors was the first piece of good news. The second and perhaps the most exciting news came on Monday, when Bowling was informed he'd been signed by the Chicago White Sox, just over a week after the Major League Baseball draft.
Bowling wasn't too worried about being selected in the draft. He was notified that he would likely be signed during the days following the draft, which turned out to be the case.
Bowling said he threw for Mike Shirley, the scout who signed him, multiple times over the last few weeks, and was pleased with his performance.
"I knew that going into it that if I threw well enough and showed him what he needed to see, that he was going to sign me," Bowling said. "We talked for a couple minutes afterwards and he said, 'alright, let's do this.'"
For Bowling, having the opportunity to continue playing the game he loves is a dream come true.
"This is what I've been working towards my whole life, to have a chance, to make the most of it and work even harder," Bowling said.
Bowling's signing was made official on Wednesday at a dinner with his parents and Shirley.
Now that the paperwork is out of the way, Bowling plans to make a smooth transition into the minor leagues. He'll depart from Indiana on Saturday en route to Great Falls, Montana, where he'll throw a bullpen session in front of a pitching coach before he begins his journey through the minor leagues starting in rookie ball with the Great Falls Voyagers on Monday for his first game.
"I'm excited to get out there and learn on the fly," Bowling said. "Just giving me a chance to prove what I can do."