Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
Many athletes dream of making it to the big leagues after they graduate college, but few make it that far.
However, Bryan Bullington, a Ball State alumnus saw this dream become a reality after graduating from Ball State in 2002.
During his senior year of high school, he led his team to the Class 3A state baseball title. He was 15-0 with a 1.49 earned run average (ERA) according to a Daily News article published June 3, 2002. This performance earned Bullington an offer from the Kansas City Royals in 1999.
He turned that opportunity down in order to attend Ball State.
While at Ball State, he continued his impressive performance under Coach Rich Maloney. According to NCAA records, during his final year, Bullington was able to accomplish several records including having an 11-3 record, an ERA of 2.84 and 139 strikeouts, a record still held today according to a Daily News article published Jan. 18, 2017.
After his junior year as a Cardinal, Bullington was drafted as the No. 1 pick for the Pittsburgh Pirates. According to the same Daily News article, he did not get to witness the pick live, and was surprised when the general manager called him with the news.
“Bryan was one of those unique individuals with a tremendous drive and competitive fire," Maloney said. "I always thought he was the kind of guy you’d like your daughter to marry. That would be the kind of guy he is.”
Currently, Bullington resides in a suburb of Chicago and has worked as a scouting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Contact Kwaku Dakwa with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.