MADISON (WTXL) - This week, Madison County High School's Lorenzo Cain reached a Major League milestone, playing in the All-Star game. The guy's had a pretty spectacular year, from being named the ALCS MVP to capturing a runner-up finish in the World Series. To those that know him best, they say that list is going to continue to grow.
It's Lorenzo's story that is really remarkable. It's one of luck, one of chance, and one of just plain perfect timing.
"It was in between class," said Jeremy Haynes of the first time Lorenzo approached him about playing baseball. "It was one of those things where he asked, and I was like, man, I don't ever remember him playing, but I didn't want to say no."
"He had never played, and he had indicated that he had never played," remembered then Madison County head baseball coach Barney Myers. "He hadn't played Little League, he hadn't played t-ball."
That first day of practice was Lorenzo's first time playing baseball, a sport he fell into his sophomore year because he didn't make the basketball team.
"So I hit one. It goes right to him," said Myers. "I think back on it now, its kind of amazing that he caught it, and then he takes the glove off, and throws the ball in with the same hand that he caught the ball with."
Lorenzo was a sponge. Soaking up information, taking batting practice in between eating bites of a sandwich, and by his senior year, was being sought out my Major League clubs. Lorenzo and Jeremy both were taken in the 17th round.
"He said yeah, somebody called me and told me I was drafted, and I said oh, okay thank you and hung up," laughed Myers. "I said are you kidding me?! He said what's that mean I got drafted? So we go into this discussion of what that meant, and he goes, wow, thats really neat, wait, what's a Brewer?"
The Brewers and the big league would have to wait. Lorenzo felt more comfortable staying close to home.
"They kept saying Mac, you gotta take this guy," said Tallahassee Community College head coach Mike McLeon. "So finally, I went to a workout one day, and I say the athleticism, I saw the speed."
"I mean, just that raw talent," said Haynes. "The ability to go get fly balls, everything he's doing is just freakish."
"I had a great hitting coach back then," said McLeod of Lorenzo's work ethic. "He would meet Jeremy and Lorenzo everyday between classes from 10-11. Every day. They'd sit up in there in that cage and hit. Eventually his athleticism caught up. By the end of that year, he was an outstanding player. I wish he would have come back his Sophomore year, believe me."
The bigs came calling, and a few years and a trade later, Lorenzo Cain is a Major League basebll player.
"I was in awe last year when he was playing in the playoffs, in the World Series," said McLeon. "To then to see him in the All-Star game, I'm going man, this guy has really turned in to a great player."
"It's just so exciting," said Myers. "Every game that we watch on TV, like when he hit that double on TV the other night, we were jumping up and down screaming."
"When you know the story, you cannot put it in to words," said Haynes, smiling. "When you see a kid that ran out the first day with jeans on, and all of a sudden see that guy batting fifth for the AL All-Star team, you just, goosebumps now. You can't put it in to words. It's just one of those once in a lifetime, once in a million things."
Once in a lifetime, all because of one choice to give baseball a try. Through it all, everyone agrees that Lorenzo is still the same Lorenzo from Madison County. He's still humble and gracious, and that just adds to his amazing journey.