Astros draft lifelong fan Wallace in 16th round
Catcher to stay in city where he played college ball
HOUSTON -- Chris Wallace remembers the electricity of Randy Johnson pitching before a packed house at the Astrodome during the pennant race in 1998. He fondly recalls the World Series run in 2005, and was there when Craig Biggio got his 3,000th career hit in 2007.
Wallace grew up cheering for the Astros, and now he is going to become one.
The Astros selected Wallace, a senior catcher from the University of Houston, who attended Cy-Fair High School in the city's northwest suburbs, in the 16th round in Tuesday's First-Year Player Draft.
"Honestly, I had no idea where I was going to go," he said. "It was sooner than I had expected, being a senior and everything. I didn't really know what to expect, but I couldn't be more excited. I couldn't be more happy."
Wallace is very familiar with Minute Maid Park, and not just from a fan's perspective. He attended the Astros' pre-Draft workout Thursday, and has played in the Houston College Classic the last few years, and was named to the 2009 All-Tournament team. He was hit in the face by a pitch in that year's tournament at Minute Maid Park.
Being a senior, Wallace will certainly sign with the Astros, try to work his way through the ranks, and perhaps create some memories for another young Astros fan.
"I would love nothing more than to do that," he said. "Hopefully, things go well and we'll see what happens. [My parents] are so excited. They've been calling everybody they can think of."
Wallace is the first Cougars player to be drafted by the Astros since outfielder Eric Lee in the 18th round in 2000.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.