For many men throughout South Jersey, whether 10 years old or 40 years old, the fantasy of receiving a phone call from the Philadelphia Phillies informing them they’ve been drafted will unfortunately always remain just that. A fantasy.
For Tom Flacco, that dream became a reality on Saturday, June 7.
Tom, the 19-year-old Eastern High School senior and younger brother of Baltimore Ravens’ starting quarterback Joe Flacco, was drafted by the Phillies in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball draft with the 952nd overall pick.
Flacco being drafted was not a surprise. He was hopeful he would be selected on Friday, the second day of the draft, between the third and 10th rounds. But to say Flacco wasn’t stressing about the situation would be an understatement. This was not a case of him sitting by the phone gnawing on his fingernails.
“I wasn’t paying attention to it. I was at a barbecue with friends and family and one of my brothers asked if I had gotten drafted so I checked my phone and I had,” Flacco said with a laugh. “A scout from the Phillies called me a little later to tell me.”
The fact that it was Phillies who selected him was a great experience for Flacco but ultimately did not change his decision on where he would be heading after graduation.
“It was cool and an honor that it was the Phillies. I didn’t really know that they had been following me,” Flacco said. “But I told them that I would be going to Western Michigan to play football.”
The 6’1, 187 pound quarterback has a scholarship at Western Michigan University awaiting him.
“It’s exciting to know that I’m going to play football. I’m excited to work out and focus on playing football at Western Michigan,” Flacco said. “I’m going out there to visit again to meet with the strength and conditioning coach so we can get a workout plan for the summer put together.”
Friends and family who heard the news of Flacco being drafted were quick to reach out.
“That was the coolest part for me. Sharing the news and the excitement with neighbors, friends and classmates was really great,” Flacco said. “It made the moment something to be proud of.”
A number of these people didn’t quite understand how the draft process worked, though.
“A few of them were like ‘that’s so awesome, you’ll be playing for the Phillies this weekend.’ I told them that’s not how it works,” Flacco said laughing. “I won’t be playing for the Phillies this weekend.”
Western Michigan was not where Flacco saw himself playing college ball until he visited the campus.
“Before I went there, I thought it was doubtful that I would like it but it was a really great experience. The offensive coordinator, Kirk Ciarrocca, was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Delaware when Joe was there so it’ll be great to work with him. I’m excited to get to work,” Flacco said.
Until then, Flacco is soaking in his last days as a high school senior.
“I’ve really been enjoying these last few weeks at Eastern. Now that the sports season has ended being able to spend time with friends and family has been great,” Flacco said.