Howell’s Sam Weatherly named state’s Mr. Baseball

Howell's Sam Weatherly was named high school baseball's Mr. Baseball at a banquet Monday night in Detroit. (Photo courtesy of the Weatherly family)
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Sam Weatherly, this year’s Mr. Baseball in Michigan high school baseball, admitted he was a bit nervous when he got the award Monday night.

But it was something he had been shooting for in his senior season.

“It was one of my big goals ever since John Baker won it last year” Weatherly said in a phone conversation late Monday night. “It’s something I worked hard for and something that was really on my mind in the offseason. It was a big goal during the season.”

Weatherly is the fourth Livingston County player to win the award and the second in a row. Baker, a Hartland grad, shared the award last year. Two Brighton standouts also have won; Ron Hollis won it in 1991 and Drew Henson in 1998.

The award was announced at the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association annual banquet.

Weatherly, who was drafted last week by the Toronto Blue Jays, batted .482 for the Highlanders as a centerfielder, while on the mound was 6-2 with a 0.78 earned-run average. He has signed to play baseball at Clemson and will begin school there next week.

Weatherly and teammate Caleb Balgaard were named to play in Tuesday’s MHSBCA All-Star game at Comerica Park. They are the first Howell players in recent memory to be named to the game.

Balgaard was unable to participate because he has already enrolled in classes at Indiana University, where he will play baseball next year.

“He won’t be there, but he still got recognized,” Sam Weatherly said. “It’s a bummer. I wish he were here.”

He’ll be playing in the MHSBCA All-Star Game at Comerica Park tonight, which was another goal this season.

“It’s always been on my agenda and something I’ve wanted to do,” Weatherly said. “So it’s a big honor to be here, and I’m happy.”

His father, Mike, played in the 1983 All-Star Game before a career at Central Michigan University. He, along with Jason Ladd, has co-coached the Highlanders the last six seasons.

“It’s a great thrill,” Mike said of his son’s achievement. “Our whole family was there and we got to celebrate with him. It’s a great group of guys he’s played with, and they were excited for him. It was a great, great night.”

As for Sam Weatherly, while he would have liked to have played more (the Highlanders were ousted in the Division 1 regional finals), he has no further regrets.

“With 10 seniors, I had a great time this year,” he said. “I loved representing Howell and wearing ‘Howell” the past four years. We did end earlier than expected, and that hurt, but overall I made a lot of friends, a lot of good memories. Something I’ll cherish forever.”

At this time next week, like Balgaard, Weatherly will be in college, taking summer classes at Clemson University in South Carolina.

“It’s bittersweet,” he said, “but I’m ready to start a new chapter. I’m ready to get going and see where baseball takes me, and I’m looking forward to going to Clemson.”