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'A dream come true' - former Thomasville Bulldog is now an Atlanta Brave

Posted at 12:25 PM, Jul 13, 2023

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — On Sunday night, former Thomasville Bulldog Hurston Waldrep was drafted 24th overall in the Major League Baseball Draft, and the Georgia boy, who finished his college career at Florida, is staying in the Peach State. The ace was taken by the Atlanta Braves, a dream realized and a moment no one will forget anytime soon.

"It got pretty loud in the house once we found out," remembered Waldrep of draft night.

The kid from Georgia, will stay in Georgia.

"My phone starts blowing up on about 22," said Thomasville High head baseball coach Erik McDougald. "All kind of buddies, maybe it's the Braves, maybe it's the Braves, maybe it's the Braves!"

"Lifelong Braves fan, he and I both," added dad Cliff. "Seeing the Braves come up, that was pretty cool. Pretty awesome."

"Sure enough they call his name and it's like the biggest game at the biggest moment and you hit the walk-off," added McDougald.

Waldrep, the former Thomasville Bulldog, is now an Atlanta Brave.

"I don't think it could have worked out any better honesty," he said. "Not just speaking from me being a Braves fan, but just how they handle their players, their pitchers, the organization itself, the people in the organization."

An organization everyone can't wait to cheer for.

"The amount of emotions, not just to be picked in the first round, but you got picked by the Atlanta Braves, you know that fits well with him and his personality and his family," said McDougald. "They've always been close knit, and here it is, he's getting to play for the Atlanta Braves in the state of Georgia. It kind of follows his career."

A career that'll be played close to family, and close to home.

"Everybody is like okay, road trip!" laughed Cliff. "Road trip to whatever farm team he's going to and of course, Atlanta hopefully in the future."

"A lot of hard work has paid off," added mom Debbie.

"They're not to far away, and having everyone close, parents will be able to watch and Atlanta's only a couple hour drive," added Waldrep. "It's a dream come true and I wouldn't have it any other way."

Waldrep helped lead Florida to a National Runner-up finish at the College World Series.