For rising South Effingham senior Colby May, it has been a busy but memorable summer.
In early June, the Mustang shortstop was one of 20 rising seniors competing for Team Georgia in the Sunbelt Classic in Oklahoma.
Recently, he competed in the 5th Annual Georgia Underclassman “Top 100” at Kennesaw State University and the Wood Bat Perfect Game at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.
Last week, he took another step to realizing his dream of playing in the big leagues. He verbally committed to playing for the Georgia Bulldogs. He said he is expected to sign the scholarship offer in November.
“It’s a blessing and I got it behind me,” he said. “It feels great.”
The Bulldogs already have a shortstop in Gordon Beckham. But Beckham, who will be a junior in 2008, is expected to be drafted next season, creating a vacancy and Georgia would like May to fill it. However, May knows the starting position won’t just be handed to him.
“There will be competition and I will work hard,” he said. “I just have to hit and have fun. If Beckham stays, then I have a good shot at second base or third base. Even if I don’t play my freshman year, it would be nice to be with the team.”
May’s ultimate goal, however, is to play in the major leagues.
“That would be super nice if I can get that opportunity,” May said.
On his recent expeditions, more than 100 scouts watched the talented right-hander swing at the plate and field his position.
Playing baseball wasn’t the only fun May had. When traveling to Oklahoma, he had a little taste of what it’s like to be in the big leagues or what it’s going to be like playing for Georgia. For the first time, May boarded a plane.
“It was pretty rough, but I enjoyed it,” he said. “The rough part was taking off and landing, but the second time when we headed back to Atlanta, it was fun. It was like a roller coaster. You start hitting the turbulence and the plane starts rocking and then you start dropping a couple thousand feet. It was fun.”
But, the plane ride was just the beginning for May on his trip to Oklahoma. The team met in Atlanta, and then flew to Dallas. From there, they took a 3-1/2 hour bus ride to McAllister, Okla. Fortunately, he got some sleep on the bus, something he could not get on the plane. He was too busy admiring the view on cloud nine.
“On the plane, I just looked out the window,” he said. “It was so nice being above the clouds. I never thought I would be up there.”
Once in Oklahoma, May stayed with a host family in McAllister. He said the Manaries treated him like family and he is going to miss them.
“They were great. I loved them,” May said. “They were just like my parents. They treated me well and fed me good.”
Going more than a thousand miles away from home and playing with some of the best baseball talent in the country humbled May.
“It really humbled me a lot. Going out and playing with the best,” he said. “You don’t feel like you are at the top of your level. It feels like everybody has equal talent and it keeps me humbled too.”
However, being the people person May is, he enjoyed it.
“I made new friends and met new people,” he said. “It’s what I love to do. I love the whole team and I really bonded with them.”
May admits he had a couple of bad games, but it was nothing that hypnosis could not cure.
His host family the Manaries had to attend a wedding, so one night he stayed with the Martin family. One of May’s Chain teammates, Lyle Island, had stayed with the Martins before and told May of the power of hypnosis.
Dr. Martin, a psychologist, helped May focus and better see the baseball.
“He did so much mental work on me at the plate and in baseball,” May said. “I fell asleep and it helped me see the baseball out of the hand. It was so neat.”
Fortunately for May, Martin kept the hypnosis linked to baseball. May jokingly recalled that Martin made Island dance like a ballerina, think that one of the host sisters was Jessica Simpson and made him fall asleep every five seconds.
Regarding professional baseball, May said he keeps in touch with former teammate Josh Reddick, who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2006. Reddick currently plays for the Greenville Drive in the Class-A South Atlantic League.
But, if May does not make it to the Show he said he will honor his parents’ Bobby and Janice May’s wishes and earn a college diploma.
“Baseball is fun, but I have to work hard in school and put my education first,” he said.