PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Richie Tillman jokes with Joe Garry Jr., as the Pascagoula head coach did for each of his outfielder's four years with the program.
"That's all I want, a bag of sunflower seeds," Tillman smirks at Garry.
"You sure you don't want gum, coach?" Garry offhandedly responds.
"I'll take a little gum."
It's safe to say the world will soon demand much more from Garry than just dugout snacks. But, for now, the former Panthers slugger is just riding the wave of being drafted in the 9th round (274th overall) by the Minnesota Twins.
"I didn't have much to say, because I was kind of shocked," Garry chuckled when describing the phone call from Minnesota. "They called my name and everybody kind of went crazy. My dad ran out and almost fell, my brother, he didn't know what to do. I just sat there because it was a dream come true."
Boosting his batting average from .254 in his junior season to .432 this year, several professional organizations began to court the 6-foot, 175-pound prospect. The Twins, ironically, came a little late to the party.
"We were actually going to stop in-home visits when the season started," Garry said. "But a week into the season (Minnesota) called, and gracefully, my dad let them come into the house. We liked them, they liked us and that's why I'm a Twin now."
Garry is signed to play collegiately with PRCC, but said after speaking to his parents and his agent, he will more than likely head to Minnesota next week to sign his professional contract.
As the latest Panther to continue his athletic career away from the Coast, Garry said he plans to represent Pascagoula proudly on the national stage.
"I talked to Jaylen Smith last night," Garry said of the Louisville wide receiver and fellow former Panther. "He told me keep repping for the city, '228 Made' is what he said. (He told me to) make sure this city gets noticed more than it does now, make sure I put it on the map. We've got a couple of players this year and the next upcoming years, we're going to help keep this city on the map."
Garry has until July 6th to officially sign with the Twins.