The St. Louis Cardinals first round draft pick and two Major League Baseball legacies will begin their professional careers in Johnson City this season. Colby Rasmus, an 18-year-old outfielder from Russell County High School in Phenix City, AL, was the Cardinals number one pick in the 2005 MLB Draft and 28th pick overall.
Rasmus will be joined in Johnson City by Wilfrido Pujols, the 17-year-old cousin of current St. Louis Cardinals All-Star Albert Pujols, and A.J. Van Slyke, whose father Andy spent twelve years in the Major Leagues earning three trips to the All-Star game and was honored five times as a Golden Glove Award winner. Pujols was drafted in the 6th round out of Fort Osage High School in Independence, MO. The younger Van Slyke, drafted in the 23rd round, will join the Cardinals after a standout career at the University of Kansas. The full roster for the 2005 Johnson City Cardinals will be released later this week.
Fans will have the opportunity to meet these players along with the rest of the 2005 team as the Johnson City Sports Foundation will host "Meet the Cardinals" on Monday June 20th from 4:30 pm - 6 pm at Cardinal Park. Players and coaches will be available for pictures and autographs. Fans are also invited to hang around and watch the Cardinals practice at 7 pm.
The Johnson City Cardinals will open the 2005 Appalachian League season on the road in Kingsport on June 21, before returning home on June 23 to face the Mets in the home opener at 7 pm. Season tickets for the 2005 season are currently on sale. For additional information please contact the Cardinals business office at 423-461-4866 or visit the website at www.jccardinals.com.