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Former Missouri pitcher brings it full circle

COLUMBIA, Mo (KMIZ)

Missouri's Ian Bedell is looking forward to one thing: getting back to where it all started.

The St. Louis Cardinals drafted the pitcher on Thursday night in the fourth round of the MLB Draft.

"It was a stressful day, I knew that the Royals were considering me at 41 and then that's where I knew that it started," Bedell said. "Then it just kept falling off even more and more and more and more."

It fell to the 122nd pick, but, despite the wait, Bedell said he could not have been happier.

"Being able to be picked by my favorite team growing up is a surreal moment," he said.

The Iowa native said he grew up loving two things: Packers football and Cardinal baseball.

"We grew up going to Cardinals games and everything like that," Bedell said.

When it comes to recalling his favorite moments, well, that's easy.

"Albert Pujols facing the Royals and he hit two homers and one of them went into the Big Mac landing," he said. "That was the most memorable game for me, at Busch."

Bedell said the Cardinals shaped his love of baseball to what it is today. After playing the game his whole life in Iowa, he joined the Missouri squad in 2018.

However, his breakout season came in 2019, as a sophomore. The pitcher recorded a 3-1 record with a 1.56 ERA over 40 innings pitched.

He said he was set for another big year in 2020, but COVID-19 shut down any hopes of a season.

"We flew from St. Louis to Chicago and we actually got the call in Chicago that our season was canceled through March 30th, effective immediately," Bedell said. "We said, 'well, that's probably our last game.'"

Although Bedell never had a final sendoff with his Missouri team, he said minutes after the Cardinals drafted him, he knew he was going to forgo his senior season.

"The biggest thing for me was that there were offers in that time frame, but I just didn't feel like the money was right for where I valued myself at. Then, the Cardinals came in and gave me the offer and I said let's go," he said.

Now the pitcher awaits the call to begin training, although he said he knows that could still be a long time from now.

"I'm just looking forward to getting into the minor league system, starting single A. Obviously that probably won't happen this year with the way things are looking with Major League Baseball and all that," he said.

Bedell said he will always remember Missouri.

"I love the city of Columbia. I absolutely love it. It reminds me a lot of my hometown back here in Davenport, Iowa," he said.

But now, he is looking forward to making his own impact back in the city where it all started.

Mizzou Baseball / Mizzou Tigers / MLB / Professional Sports / Sports / St. Louis Cardinals
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Nathalie Jones

Nathalie reports on both news and sports for ABC17. She started working at the station in June 2020.

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