Two West Michigan natives are seeing their dreams come true in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft.
It was a long wait for Saugatuck high school alum and Western Michigan outfielder, Blake Dunn but it was all worth it after being selected in the 15th round by the Cincinnati Reds.
"It was anything and everything really," Dunn said. "Excitement, there was some tears involved too from all the adversity and work. It was awesome being there with my parents and girlfriend and little brother and the excitement and joy that all came with it, it was incredible."
Dunn hit .333 in 135 games played over his four year career with the Broncos with 78 RBI and 50 stolen bases.
"I enjoyed my time at Western, I was able to graduate, I am done with school now," Dunn, who majored in sports management, said. "I couldn't thank Western anymore with the way that coach Gernon and the other coaches on the staff, coach Piotrowicz and all those guys, they really helped turn me into the player that I am today."
Meanwhile, Jenison high school alum and Central Michigan right-handed pitcher Ian Leatherman saw his name called in the 16th round by the Tampa Bay Rays.
"I'm incredibly blessed, I had a ton of people behind me that have been supporting me, so it's more about them," Leatherman smiled, "My parents, my brothers, my teammates, the list goes of people that have been behind me and pushing me, I'm incredibly grateful and excited."
Leatherman had an ERA of 4.00 this past spring for the Chippewas with 40 strikeouts and eleven walks.
He says the Rays saw him pitch in the NCAA Regional at Notre Dame which is where interest began to grow.
"They were in contact a lot with my adviser and came out to see me a lot at Notre Dame which was a big game for them to see me, they liked me and we were just waiting and got the call, it all worked out," Leatherman added.
It's been a long road for Leatherman who has had to work his way up throughout his career.
"Growing up at Georgetown Little League with my dad playing catch with me, I had a chance to pitch with my older brother and I owe him the world, he was big for me and kept pushing me. I had to keep trying to fill his footsteps and CMU is home, I can't thank the teammates and coaches I've had enough. It's been a long journey but it's been fun," he added.
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