But the Tracy High senior never guessed just how exciting his four-day trip to San Diego, from Aug. 9 to 12, would be. It turns out that the baseball game, where his West team beat the East, 7-6, was just one of the many highlights of an extended weekend.
“It’s just a pleasure to work so hard for something for so long. I never thought it would be this great an experience,” Wesely said. “It’s the greatest experience of my life and the most fun I’ve had in a span of four days, by far.”
Wesely said that the attention all 48 players got was overwhelming, as they signed baseballs and Topps baseball cards complete with their photos and scouting reports.
“Whenever you ran around the hotel, there were always little kids running around with your baseball card trying to get you to autograph it,” he said. “I probably signed a couple thousand autographs in four days of being in San Diego.”
The second day was when the team got down to practicing.
“Each practice there were probably at least 250 scouts, just watching us,” he said.
It was also the day they visited the children at Rady Children’s Hospital, where all the gate fees from Sunday’s game would go to support cancer research.
“The whole city of San Diego was buzzing about this,” Wesely said. “It was enjoyable for us to give back to the community and visit terminally ill patients and bring some joy to them. That was a very humbling part of the trip.”
From there they went to the Marine Corps Air Base, Miramar, where the Marines gave the players an up-close look at their jets and helicopters, and the players signed more posters and baseballs.
Players arrived at Petco Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Padres, on Sunday afternoon a few hours before more than 7,600 fans arrived. Wesely knew that his family and friends also would be watching the CBS Sports broadcast.
“I was more nervous than I ever was in my life,” he said.
Wesely pitched the bottom of the fifth and gave up three hits, hit one batter with a pitch, allowed two earned runs and struck out a batter, according to Perfect Game’s box score. His fastball reached 93 mph and Wesely made it a point to keep the ball as a reminder of the experience.
“I didn’t throw great, but I struck the last batter out,” he said, “I really didn’t have good command of my curve ball, and that’s always essential when you’re facing the best hitters in the country. I ended up powering a couple fastballs by.”
The West team was still down 6-1 at the end of the fifth, but came back with four runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh to win it, 7-6.
“We were so excited we went and dog-piled on the field,” Wesely said. “The East team ran on the field and started dog-piling on top of us. We were such great friends by the end of the four days.”
Wesely said that while the Perfect Game All-American Classic improves his chances of being selected in the Major League Baseball draft, he still plans to attend UCLA next year and pitch for the Bruins. In the meantime, he will pitch with a Major League Baseball scout team affiliated with the San Francisco Giants.
“It’s almost like a club that you’re in now, just being a Perfect Game All-American,” he said. “Now that I’ve seen my competition, who I’m measured up against, I feel I’m just as good as them. It’s going to be a wild ride heading into the draft.”
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com