All 30 Major League teams will "draft" surviving former Negro Leagues players, who represent those who did not get the chance to play Major League Baseball. The Dodgers will select Andrew Porter before the start of the regular draft.
Porter pitched for 19 seasons in the Negro Leagues but never got a chance in the Majors. Although Porter's playing career ended in 1950, he will get his chance to be "drafted" into the big leagues by the Dodgers on June 5 before the start of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft when MLB holds a Special Negro Leagues Player Draft at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
"Major League Baseball is thrilled to host this distinguished group that helped author one of the most important chapters in baseball history -- the Negro Leagues," said Jimmie Lee Solomon, MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations. "Our First-Year Player Draft represents the future, but we are pleased to take this opportunity to recognize this proud part of our game's past. Those who participated in the Negro Leagues helped pave the way, and we are honored that they will join us at the 2008 Draft."
Porter earned selections to the 1934, 1937 and 1949 East-West All-Star games and played with the Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson All-Stars. He also pitched for Baltimore, Louisville, Cleveland, Newark and Indianapolis in the Negro Leagues and played winter league ball in Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela.
The First-Year Player Draft follows the honorary draft at 11 a.m. with a simulcast of ESPN2's broadcast of the first round and compensation picks. The remaining rounds on Day 1 will be shown exclusively on BaseballChannel.TV, with live analysis on site from MLB.com Draft guru Jonathan Mayo and David Rawnsley of Perfect Game USA.
Several of the top amateur prospects are expected in attendance in Orlando for Day 1 of the Draft, and each of the 30 Major League clubs will be represented by front office executives and baseball luminaries. Fans are welcome to attend Day 1 of the Draft, and admission to The Milk House is free with seating limited to a first-come, first-served basis.
Day 2 will get under way at 8:30 a.m. and continue through Round 50, if necessary.
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