MLB draftee from Poplarville auctions jersey for cancer awareness

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2016

In early June, the Detroit Tigers, an MLB team, drafted Poplarville native Zac Houston. He’s currently playing for the West Michigan Whitecaps, a Class A minor league baseball team, while awaiting his chance to play at the top level.

Throughout the season, the West Michigan Whitecaps select a couple of game-worn jerseys to auction for charities. Houston’s jersey was chosen to support cancer awareness through the Stand Up to Cancer charity.

“It’s a great thing the organization does for these benefits. I am happy to be a part of it and hope we raise enough money to benefit the cause,” Houston said.

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Anyone can bid on Houston’s jersey to help raise funds for Stand Up to Cancer’s cancer research.

Houston’s draft process was one filled with a lot of relocating. After he was drafted, he began his Detroit Tigers Minor League experience in Lakeland, Florida where he spent about two weeks finalizing all the paperwork needed to officially be part of the organization. He also worked with the team and this season’s draftees while there. After that, Houston was placed in the Connecticut Tigers organization where he played for about for a month. During his time in Connecticut, he pitched seven games and gave up no runs. After his short career with the Tigers, he got a call from the West Michigan Whitecaps’ manager to join their team. He has since played in 11 games with only one earned run. He also has three game saves and a game win with a 0.54 ERA. His overall minor league ERA is 0.34 according to the minor league’s website.

“This journey has been great. I’ve been able to play with a lot of good players and see the transition from college ball to the pros. It’s an eye-opener, but I’ve had a great time so far,” Houston said.

After being drafted, Houston did not know what to expect. He said he knew it was going to be a hard schedule with lots of games, but he underestimated the amount of work professional athletes put in.

Houston has played baseball for 18 straight days, with his first day off on Tuesday.

“I am just happy I can keep playing the sport I love and to be able to make an impact on many lives and contribute to things like the auction for cancer awareness,” Houston said. “I am making friendships along the way. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

The auction can be found on the Whitecaps official website under jersey auction instructions. The bidding will close on September 1 at 8:30 p.m. Instructions on the bidding process can be found on the website. The jersey will be mailed to the winner.