Tim Brennan waited his entire life to get the call.
But the final few minutes before he got the call seemed like forever.
Brennan, who recently finished his junior year at St. Joseph’s University, was selected in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Texas Rangers. The hard-throwing right-hander went 209th overall on Tuesday.
“It’s very stressful because you don’t know, you’re just sitting around waiting,” said Brennan, who went to St. Jerome’s for elementary school and Holy Ghost Prep for high school. “I actually got a call from another team right before I was drafted, and they told me they were going to pick me later in the round, but then I found out I was going to Texas.
“I’m really happy about it because it’s a great organization. It’s a great situation for me. They told me before the draft they were looking for arms, and I was on their radar. I’m very happy it worked out the way it did.”
So are the Rangers.
They are getting a pitcher who has impressed at every level.
He was a star at Holy Ghost, and committed to St. Joe’s after his sophomore year. The Hawks made out very well by offering him early.
This year, he made the Second Team All-Atlantic 10 team by going 9–3 with a 2.94 earned run average. He also led the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio, striking out 84 while walking just five.
Brennan was a three-year starting pitcher, and was successful right from the start. He made the Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team and was named BIg 5 rookie of the year.
Overall, he amassed 20 career victories, maintained a 2.79 earned run average and rung up 216 career strikeouts.
“St. Joe’s was perfect for me because it wasn’t too close, but I was able to go to a school where my parents, grandparents and aunt, uncle and cousins could come watch me,” Brennan said. “It was perfect, and I knew it was going to be because I learned a lot there.
“I was lucky to learn from a great coach in (Fritz Hamburg). He taught me a lot. I learned a lot while pitching there.”
He intends to continue the learning process now that he’s been drafted.
He also brings a different kind of philosophy to the professional ranks. It’s one that has made him quite successful thus far.
“There are a lot of people who say they work hard to prove people wrong,” Brennan said. “I don’t do that. I work hard to prove people right. I did that at St. Joe’s because they offered me a chance and now I’m going to do it with Texas. I’m really excited to begin. They took a chance on me, they made an investment in me by taking me in the seventh round, so I want to prove them right.”
The Rangers didn’t do this as a favor. They did it because they love what they see.
Last summer, Brennan impressed while pitching for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League. There, while playing with the top players in the country, he emerged as one of the top pitchers in the league.
“It was good, because the guys there all have the same goal,” Brennan said. “They all want to play professional baseball. I was staying with a host family, and one of the players who stayed with them before was (Boston Red Sox pitcher) Chris Sale. You see that, and you think that’s where these guys were before they made it.”
Brennan, who throws a fastball, changeup and a slider, is unsure where he’ll report after he signs. Arizona, where the Rangers report for spring training, could be the destination or he could be summoned to Spokane, Washington, for rookie ball.
No matter where he goes, he’ll show up with his lunch pail.
“I know it’s going to be hard work, but I think I’m ready for it,” said Brennan, who was a star quarterback and basketball player growing up. “I’m much more ready now after three years in college. When I graduated high school, I was 6 foot 3 or 6 foot 4 and weighed about 170 pounds. Now I’m 205 pounds. I can still put on muscle, but I’m in my better shape to be (a) professional baseball player now.
“I know playing is tough. This is something I’ve wanted to do my whole life. Everyone wants to play professional baseball, so I’m very happy I have a chance.”
He’s also very willing to share the spotlight with those who helped him.
Brennan watched the draft with his family, including his cousin, 7-year-old Patrick O’Donnell, who is also a pitcher and second baseman, the position Brennan played before he specialized in pitching.
“He’s my guy,” Brennan said. “He’s good, I hope he’s a much better player than me. It was fun just being with my family. The draft was stressful, but it was fun to see guys I know who got drafted on the first day. And then it was fun to share the draft with all the people who helped me get there. When I found out I was drafted, I thought about all the people who helped me.”
Now, it’s about squeezing as much fun into the next week or so before he officially becomes a professional baseball player.
But he’s not losing sight of what got him to this point.
“I want to see everyone, my friends from high school, and just hang out a little,” Brennan said. “But I still have work to do. I am working hard on strength and conditioning. I need to keep working. I’ll have some fun, but I’ll be busy working until I leave.”