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Drew Storen's Cincinnati connection

Drew Storen and his family often made the three-hour drive down Interstate 74 from Brownsburg, Indiana to Cincinnati, a route they memorized taking Storen to amateur baseball tournaments. Storen grew up listening Reds games on radio and watching them on television. In both Riverfront Stadium and the Great American Ballpark, he served as the bat boy for the opposing team.

On Monday, when the Nationals start a four-game series with the Reds, Storen will pitch inside the Reds stadium for the first time. "I remember the Reds p.a. guy is one of my favorites," Storen said. "He's got a great voice. So that'll be kind of cool to hear him say my name."

Storen expects at least 50 family and old friends to come watch. Since he played college baseball halfway across the country at Stanford, almost all of the people who watched him or played with him growing up have not seen Storen pitch for roughly four years.

"It's going to be interesting," Storen said. "A lot of my friends from high school in that area aren't able to see me play. It's going to be the first time they've gotten to see me pitch since high school. It's going to be kind of cool to have that support, because I'm used to just playing in front people that don't know me."

Late in the 2004, Storen was the bat boy at the Great American Ballpark for the visiting Montreal Expos. He shagged batting practice in right field and sidled next to an Expos' rookie closer named Chad Cordero, who told him how he had gone from the College World Series to the majors within the same season.

That sounded cool to Storen, and he made that his goal. The chance meeting with Cordero and the idea it hatched is one of the reasons Storen signed his contract one day after being drafted, one of the reasons Storen became a major leaguer less than one year after the Nationals chose him with the 10th overall pick.

In his first two months, Storen has validated the selection. He's allowed seven earned runs in 27 2/3 innings, walking 12 and striking out 21. In the next four games, Storen will receive a new thrill, playing in the stadium he grew up watching, in front of the people he grew up with.

"They came to St. Louis and made some pretty funny signs," Storen said. "I'm sure some of them will embarrassing this time, too."

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 18, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
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Make him a starter!

Posted by: Brue | July 18, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

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