A former Clemson pitcher was drafted Wednesday by the Boston Red Sox just hours after his first chemotherapy treatment, SB Nation reported.
Clate Schmidt, 21, who just finished his junior year at Clemson, was diagnosed earlier this month with nodular sclerosing lymphoma.
“It was definitely a blow, to say the least,” Schmidt told the Boston Globe. “I’m not a kid that cries, like ever. But that was the first time in a long time that I shed any tears.”
Then Schmidt received some happier news: The Red Sox drafted him in the 32nd round with the 951st pick overall.
"It was something that was so cool.”
“I was astounded. It was something that was so cool,” Schmidt told “Fox & Friends” Sunday about being drafted. “I really appreciate everyone from the Boston Red Sox organization.”
Schmidt, a right-handed pitcher from Acworth, Ga., said he was initially worried about the diagnosis, but “I knew that [baseball] is something that could keep me together as a person.”
He’s confident he can battle through this, he told “Fox & Friends.”
“Once we found out about the diagnosis, we as a group kind of put our heads together,” Mike Rikard, Red Sox director of amateur scouting told the Boston Globe. “Someone came up with the idea that we could select him and, at the very least, help to put a smile on his face as he’s going through this obviously extremely challenging time in his life.
“I truly feel honored that we were able to hopefully give him a little bright spot in this challenging time.”
Schmidt has received a lot of support as his story makes the rounds, and he says he hopes to connect with Jon Lester, the MLB pitcher who survived cancer while with the Red Sox and who now plays for the Chicago Cubs.
He is staying upbeat and says his pastor has offered some insight: “This is a story that is not being written for me, but written for people after me,” Schmidt said, quoting the clergyman.