Laurel resident and former Holmes Community College Bulldog Deion Ulmer patiently waited by the phone the last few days for a call from Major League Baseball, and that call came this afternoon as he was drafted in the 26th Round and 789th pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Yesterday I got a call from my area scout from the Royals, and he asked me to come down from the price I asked for, and I told him I would," Ulmer explained. "I was waiting to hear my name called in the following round, and it didn't happen.
"I was in touch with a couple of other scouts this morning and was sitting around by the computer listening to the draft all day long, and I got kind of discouraged because I wasn't hearing my name called," he said. "I actually left to work out and lift weights when my dad called me and said 'You are a Dodger son.' I just broke down in tears right there in the car on the road. I couldn't believe it. It's an amazing feeling."
He said his area scout from the Dodgers called about 15 minutes later after his name went on the draft board. He now has a decision to make whether he'll take a deal offered or go to play baseball for Jackson State University, who just appeared in the NCAA Regional last week in Lafayette, La.
"School is really important to me, but it's always been a dream of mine to play professional baseball," Ulmer said. "Unless something unordinary happens I don't see myself not going to play for the Dodgers organization this summer. That's what I'm aiming for.
"My area scout is in L.A. right now, and he'll be back in town in a couple of days, and we'll sit down and talk about the money situation," he said. "If it's anywhere in the range of what I want, I'm going to be a Dodger, but if it's not, I'll pursue school and get my education and see if I can do same thing one of the next two years."
Ulmer helped lead the Bulldogs to the MACJC State Playoffs this season and also helped lead the East Central Community College Warriors to a state championship last year. He batted .423 in 149 plate appearances. He had 63 hits including 14 doubles and one homerun with 46 runs scored and 30 RBI.
He said transferring to Holmes was the best decision he's made. "That's both from the school side and baseball," Ulmer said. "It fit me perfectly on and off the field.
"Coach (Kenny) Dupont is a man of opportunity, and that's all I needed," he said. "I told him from the first day I met him that all I needed was an opportunity to get on the field and play shortstop, and I would made him proud and make my family proud also. He told me if I wanted to get drafted or sign a four-year scholarship that he would help me in any way possible. He did exactly everything he said he was going to do. I wouldn't be in this position if I hadn't gone to Holmes this year."
Baseball has always been a part of Ulmer's life with both his dad and his brothers playing the game. "It's always been a baseball thing with my family," Ulmer said "Even my mom knows as much about baseball as I do.
"I just want to make them proud because they know this is what I've wanted to do for a long time," he said. "They've supported me and put me in the right situation that they thought was the best for me to get to this point. Without them this wouldn't be possible."
Ulmer also appeared in 18 games on the mound for the Bulldogs and finished with a 7-1 record and a 2.27 ERA. He went 39 2/3 innings and gave up 14 runs on 31 hits. He struck out 24 and walked 17. He feels pitching at Holmes may the last time he'll be in a game on the mound.
"I think my pitching days are over with," Ulmer said. "I'll miss it though."