Wharton signs professional baseball contract
May 24, 2007

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     Ben Wharton, who recently graduated from Bryan, has signed a professional baseball contract with the Bay Area Toros of the Continental Baseball League.Ben Wharton
     Ben, from Lookout Mountain, Ga., was captain for the Lions’ baseball team and played center field. He was an honorable mention All-Conference player in the NAIA Appalachian Athletic Conference this year, and received the Rawlings Gold Glove Award for outfielders in both the conference at the NAIA Region XII. He also was named to the NCCAA All-Region Team. He holds the school records for stolen bases with 141 in his career.
     “This is a lifelong dream for me,” Ben said. “I have always wanted the chance to play professionally and that dream has come true. I appreciate the experiences I had at Bryan and know that they have helped prepare me for this opportunity.” He is the first Lion to sign a professional baseball contract.
     Bryan Coach Joel Johnson said, Ben deserves this chance. He worked very hard during his time here at Bryan. His defensive abilities should help him tremendously. His skill on the bases will make him a weapon for the Toros. I believe they are planning on using him in left field and some in center. 
     “Ben was a pleasure to coach and he will be missed. I am very proud of him. I hope this will be the first of many Bryan Lions who get the chance to continue their baseball careers.”
     Bay Area Toros are the Houston, Texas, franchise of the Continental Baseball League (CBL). According to the CBL web site, the league was founded in 2006 and playing its inaugural season May-August 2007, the Continental Baseball League is dedicated to creating “America’s Hometown Teams”—a group of professional independent baseball franchises, playing in fan-friendly facilities, providing a fun environment for families to experience professional baseball at affordable prices.