BOSSIER CITY, La (KMSS/KTAL) – “It’s kind of a strange feeling, knowing I went 14 hours away and now I’m back here experiencing this, it’s honestly like…I don’t know. Words really don’t describe it.”
Eric Brown Jr. has come full circle. The field in which he’s spent most of his time on since he returned home is the same one the former Parkway star spent the summers of his youth. It’s also where he’s sharpening his skills ahead of Sunday’s MLB Draft.
“It’s incredible. The simple fact is, this is where it all started,” said Eric’s father, Eric Brown Sr. But it’s far from where this journey will end for Brown, who is a projected first round pick. It’s also not the first time he’s been so close to accomplishing his dream.
“I told my mom that I was gonna get drafted out of high school and be just like Derek Jeter,” Brown Jr. remembers. “And my dream was right there, and it got snatched away because it didn’t happen. That was probably one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to handle.”
From the cusp of his dream, to walking on at Coastal Carolina, failure wasn’t an option for Eric, not with his support system.
“Throughout the journey, I told him, as your dad, I’m going to own all your failures,” said Brown Sr. “I’m gonna own them. But I want you to understand what you did, how you did it, and what can we do to improve upon it.”
Improve is just what Brown. Jr. did. The preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year batted .330 this season while scoring 60 runs. According to his personal hitting coach, Eddie Fitzpatrick, all Eric Brown Jr. does is rise to the occasion.
“He has this ability to, when the lights go on, play his best. I did notice that when he was younger. Pressure is nothing to him,” said Fitzpatrick.
From his youth team, to Parkway, to Coastal Carolina, whatever team Eric Brown. Jr. joins on Sunday is sure to elicit quite the reaction from those who love him most.
“Well, I will tell you this, I have allergies, and my eyes sweat,” said Brown Sr. “If at some point in time you see some flooding in the eyes, it’s because my eyes are sweating.”
It’s a journey not even Eric’s 10 year old self would believe. But it he could go back and tell his younger self just one thing?
“Stick to the process and trust in your family around you.”
And it’s that trust in family, and in himself, that has Eric Brown Jr. on the doorstep of his dreams.