Chris Winder, a 2008 Moffat County High School graduate, shown in 2007 while playing for the American Legion, was drafted Tuesday during the 2010 Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

File photo

Chris Winder, a 2008 Moffat County High School graduate, shown in 2007 while playing for the American Legion, was drafted Tuesday during the 2010 Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

MCHS graduate drafted by Tampa Bay

Chris Winder goes in the 27th round of the MLB first-year player draft

On Tuesday night, Chris Winder knew he was headed for a journey.

The next day, that journey included a trip to Grand Junction to buy a Tampa Bay Rays baseball hat.

Why Tampa Bay?

Because that’s the team that drafted him.

Winder, a 2008 Moffat County High School graduate, received the call on Tuesday that he had been selected in the 27th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball first-year player draft by Tampa Bay.

“One of my teammates called me first, then the Rays’ scout,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it at first.

“It was one of the happiest days of my life.”

Winder, who played centerfield for Odessa College in Texas, hit .362, with six home runs, 48 RBI, 36 stolen bases and a team-leading 70 runs scored this season.

His successful season culminated in a pair of phone calls.

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, Winder was golfing when his phone rang.

His college teammate told him the news, but the reality didn’t sink in until the Rays’ scout called shortly after.

“He asked me how I was doing (Tuesday night),” Winder said. “I was playing golf, but I wasn’t doing too good.

“He said ‘Let me make it a little better — we just drafted you to be a Tampa Bay Ray.’”

For Winder, being drafted was the realization of one dream, and the start of another.

“I’m reaching my dreams right now — it’s been a lot of hard work, and this is what I’ve played for,” he said. “Now that it’s happened, it’s kind of unreal — it means a lot to me.”

Winder said he expects to sign with the team, but was unsure of which minor league level he will be placed.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I heard they have really good coaches, so I need to show them what I’ve got.

“I want to get my foot in the door, and kick it wide open.”

Winder joins Junior Herndon (1997) and Jerod Estey (2003) as MCHS alums who were selected in the draft.

Herndon, who was a ninth-round selection, made it to the big leagues in 2001 with San Diego.

Estey, who was selected in the 45th round, never signed with Philadelphia.

“It doesn’t really matter where you come from,” Winder said. “If you work hard enough, anything is possible.”

Winder said he constantly dreamed of being drafted by a pro team.

However, the fact that he is headed to the minors hasn’t sunk in yet.

“It might, when I get on the flight to wherever I’m going,” he said.

During the draft, online updates were available to see which players were being selected in real-time.

Winder didn’t watch any of it.

“That would have driven me crazy,” he said. “I had to get out of the house and try to stop thinking about it.”

But, Winder said he wants to get back on the diamond soon to prove he belongs.

“Now the hard work really starts,” he said. “I have to outwork people — show that I want it more.”

Rich Sadvar was Winder’s baseball coach for three years at MCHS.

“He deserves all the credit,” Sadvar said. “He did all the work, and I have a lot of pride in knowing that I helped him accomplish his goals.

“I’ve coached hundreds of kids, but (Winder) was the most athletically gifted I have seen in high school. He also has the work ethic to go with it.”

Sadvar said he expects big things from Winder as he moves forward in his career.

“To see where he is at gives me a sense of pride,’ he said. “Just knowing that I had a small part in his early success makes me happy.

“(Getting to the majors) is based on work, and Chris has a great shot.”

Comments

onewhocares 3 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe how exciting this is to read.....To think what Chris has accomplished coming from small town Craig, is truly amazing. It is an inspiration to all the kids of Moffat to see that if you want something bad enough, dreams can come true if you just work hard enough.

Congrats to Chris and his wonderful mom & dad on such a big accomplishment.

Sincerely,

Kerrie & Jamaica Dane

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taxslave 3 years, 10 months ago

Tampa? Hate to rain on his parade but there is no Tampa. Are any of you following the oil spill/catastrophy? Another dereliction of duty by the dp. It's just a matter of time, short time, and they'll be evacuating the south coast...all up the eastern seaboard too. Goodbye Disneyworld.

The food supply will be severly interrupted. If you think your government or BP are on it, think again. They can not stop this volcanic eruption of oil, sulphur, methane, fire....yes, it's on fire on the sea bed.

We're all in serious trouble. Wake up. This is an extinction level event. Why on earth would I want to make something like this up? We're talking toxic air & chemical rains. Indeed a judgement.

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mandmspegs 3 years, 10 months ago

taxslave/SHUT UPPPPPP! Have you ever heard of "The right time, The right place! Tactless!

Way to go Chris. You and your parents should be very very proud. Good Luck!

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Rebelgirl 3 years, 10 months ago

That is really great!!! Congrats Chris I hope you go far and hope to one day see you play the Rockies!!! Good luck with your athletic career I know there are many people in Craig wishing you the best!!!

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Ray Cartwright 3 years, 10 months ago

Heck, if the oil slick doesn't get us the vapor trails will. "You go mandmspegs". Congratulation Chris What a feet coming from Craig Colorado

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Really 3 years, 10 months ago

I am sooo happy - this has been Chris' dream forever! Just too bad it wasn't the Rockies...

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taxslave 3 years, 10 months ago

Are you serious? When is the "perfect" time to warn you of the impending famine? None of this baseball stuff means a darn thing. You've been warned.

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obamasucks 3 years, 10 months ago

taxslave then dont rain on his parade just let the kid live his dream and play ball maybe baseball means nothing to you cause your to caught up in your fantasy world you probably thought y2k was real so just shut the trap and be happy for him

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Ray Cartwright 3 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe that taxslave doesn't have a youtube for us to click on. You all realize that 2012 is just around the corner and the calendar will cease to exsist...lions and tigers and bears "oh my"

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