The city of Troy in New York is an easy 2,967 mile drive from Stanford's Sunken Diamond. Joseph L. Bruno Stadium is situated in the middle of a tri-city corridor that also includes Albany, the state capital, and Schenectady.
Cooperstown, site of baseball's Hall of Fame Museum, is an even easier 76-mile drive from the stadium. This is where Stanford grad Mark Appel's professional career will begin: a long way from home but close to fame.
Appel is expected to make his highly-anticipated debut with the Single-A Tri-City ValleyCats on Friday against the Lowell Spinners. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. (PT) and can be heard via internet radio at tricity.valleycats.milb.com. The game, which features post-game fireworks, is expected to sell out.
The first overall pick of this year's First-Year Player Draft, Appel will become the highest drafted player to appear for the ValleyCats, and just the fourth first-round pick overall.
Appel, who was 10-4 with a 2.12 ERA for the Cardinal this season and set the school record for strikeouts with 372, makes his debut 29 days after the Houston Astros drafted him.
Stanford grad and former Astros' first round pick Jason Castro played in 39 games with the ValleyCats in 2008.
Appel sent out a tweet on Thursday:
Just arrived to the field! Ready for some great @ValleyCats baseball this weekend! Happy 4th of July everyone! God bless!— Mark Appel (@MAppel26) July 4, 2013