BASEBALL: Alan Horne Will Sign With Yankees

It's official. Florida junior Alan Horne will sign with the New York Yankees. The hard throwing righthander will forego the tutelage of the usually mild mannered Pat McMahon for The Boss, George Steinbrenner.

"We actually agreed today," Horne said. "I had my physicals and stuff this weekend. We got word that all of my physicals were clean today. We agreed today and I'm going to sign tomorrow."

It's been a long path for the Marianna High School graduate, who was drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Indians but opted for college. Horne left Jackson County for Ole Miss, where he made an immediate impact as a true freshman. He was just 25.2 innings into his sophomore season when he suffered an injury that required Tommy John surgery. Horne returned to Marianna during the extensive rehabilitation process going to school at Chipola Junior College, one of the top junior college athletic programs in

"It's going to work out well," he stated. "You know, I've got a huge opportunity going into their organization. It's an organization where I can move really quick, where there's not a lot in front of me. They really put themselves out there and made a real investment in me. I would say they gave me top three (rounds) money.

"It's where I expect to go in the draft," Horne continued. "They knew my talent and it really makes you feel good that they are willing to stick their neck out there and make that kind of investment in you when very few others would between my draft history and injury history. That told us that they really wanted us and really wanted to get moving. That's something really big for me."

Gators fans will probably get to see Horne training in the Tampa area, where the Yankees brass call home while away from Gotham. Horne already has a nemesis. Former Florida center fielder Jeff Corsaletti leads the Greenville (SC) Bombers, an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, in hitting with a .360 average.

"Now, they want to get me into their program where I can get going. They think I'm a guy that can make it to the big league level very soon. At the end of September, they have a mini-camp in Tampa. I'll be down there for about two-and-a-half weeks and I'll be back and forth to class during that time. I'll be invited to spring training in February, but after that I really don't know. I didn't get to throw any this summer for their pitching instructors to look at me, so I'm really sure where I'll start out at next spring. At this point, I'm not really sure when I'll find that out. It may be after the mini camp or during the spring."

Congratulations to Alan and his family. You can bet scores of Gators fans will be watching you and hoping for a successful rise to the top. We're especially interested in watching you throw to Corso during the MLB on Fox game of the week.

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