Marcum, a Centralia, Illinois native, got the news through an e-mail from St. Louis Cardinals' Scout, Scott Melvin, Wednesday morning at 5:30 a.m., just a week after the Major League Baseball Draft had concluded, that a contract was ready for him to sign, to play professional baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals, making a life long dream come true.
For two days Lance watched as over 1500 players were selected last Tuesday and Wednesday, hoping his name would be called. When it was over and his name hadn't been called. Marcum decided to turn his career over to the Lord.
Prior to the draft, "After last year and what happen with Dink (Centralia's Brian Dinkelman), I know there are no shoo-ins," Marcum said. I would like to go in the first round, but if I'm the last player taken in the 50th round, that's fine too. I just want a fair shake. This has been my dream ever since I was a little kid."
Marcum had joined fellow teammate Brian Dinkelman in Memphis to work out for the Cardinals, prior to the draft. Even after the workout, Marcum admitted he thought his chances of being selected were about 50-50.
"I knew I was on a few draft boards," Marcum said. "Houston, Philadelphia and the Cardinals were looking at me. You know you are on the draft boards, but I believe, it just wasn't God's will for me to go on Draft Day."
Marcum, a devoted Christian, got the news from the Cardinals that they wanted to sign him, when he was in Kansas City, pursuing an internship with the International Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"When I turned my career over to the Lord, he gave me the desires of my heart. I feel like I appreciate it more now, signing as a free agent, after the draft, than I would have, if I had gotten drafted last week."
Lance has a track record of success on the mound. This season, Marcum was 11-2 with an earned-run average of 2.27. In 91 innings pitched, he struck out a team-high 88 batters. Marcum had 11 complete games in 13 starts in 2006. He posted at least 10 victories in each of his final three seasons as a Bearcat.
When asked what he felt he needed to work on to improve his game, Marcum responded, "I'm looking forward to working with the Cardinals pitching coaches and I'm looking to pick up a couple of miles per hour on my fast ball."
Marcum was recently named as a NAIA first-team All-American, for the second time in his college career. Among his other honors, he was the NAIA Region V Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season, sharing the 2006 honor with Scott Deen of Culver-Stockton College. Marcum was was also named the AMC Pitcher of the Year in each of his last three seasons, and was a three-time All-Region selection.
McKendree Head Baseball Coach, Jim Boehne had this to say about Marcum's college career recently. "Lance was our leader on the mound the last three years," said Boehne. "He led by example, and backed it up with his effort every time."
Marcum leaves St. Louis for State College, Pennsylvania this weekend to begin playing for the State College Spikes, the Cardinals short season, A-ball team.
On Sunday, June 18th, the State College Spikes will take the field at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for the first time. Fans are invited to come and catch a glimpse of the inaugural squad from 2:00-5:00 on Sunday and Marcum will be there, living his dream, giving thanks to his Lord.