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"I've been holding the phone all day _ It's been so long'

The phone rang for the first time Monday shortly after 1 p.m. It signaled the beginning of a long and agonizing wait for David Doorneweerd. "Yeah, right, the draft started two minutes ago," Doorneweerd said as he picked up the phone to answer.

"Maybe it's the Yankees," joked his father, Dennis.

It was a travel agency confirming some weekend rates, not the New York Yankees calling to tell the 18-year-old Ridgewood High ace pitcher that they had made him the top pick in Monday's Major League baseball amateur draft.

No, no one expected that. Doorneweerd was a long shot for the first round. Most teams had projected him to go in the fourth round or later.

So Doorneweerd and several of his friends and teammates settled in the family living room, nervously waiting by the phone for the call to find out which team had drafted him.

"I think I'll get the call between 2:30 and 3," Doorneweerd said.

A teammate offered advice: "Never pick up the phone on the first ring. And never let them see you sweat."

The phone rang for the second time about 2:30. Doorneweerd answered on the second ring. But by now, he was sweating. He knew the first round and probably the second and third were over, and he might have heard something by now.

"Yes, this is David Doorneweerd," he answered. His friends eagerly crowded around, but he shook his head.

"No, I haven't been picked yet," Doorneweerd told a newspaper reporter. "Thanks for calling."

Doorneweerd and his friends were getting tired of waiting, but they kept their sense of humor.

"Hello," one said. "Seattle Mariners? No, David can't come to the phone right now, he's upstairs folding his underwear. First things first. He has to do his chores."

Doorneweerd returned from the laundry room as the phone rang again about 3:30.

"Hey, is this Bertucci? What's up, dude?" Doorneweerd said to Joe Bertucci, a Ridgewood graduate in the California Angels organization. Bertucci was calling to find out if Doorneweerd had been chosen.

"I don't want mean to be rude or anything, but I just want to get this call," Doorneweerd said, trying to hurry the conversation. "I know how you felt."

More and more of his friends began to arrive, about 30 in all. Doorneweerd's mother, Faye, served chips and dip, and the kids flipped the television between MTV and the College World Series.

As 4 p.m. came and went, Doorneweerd was feeling glum, knowing that his chances for a large signing bonus diminished as the time, and rounds, passed.

"It'll probably be seventh or eighth round now," he said. The phone rang again.

"This is it," Doorneweerd said, this time answering on the first ring.

"Ah. Geez." Doorneweerd tossed down the phone, but actually it was good news _ Publix calling to tell him he didn't have to come to work.

Doorneweerd and his friends had started playing table-top soccer to ease the tension when they phone rang for the sixth time. Doorneweerd raced to the couch and his friends piled in around him. Okay, so he may not have gone in the first three rounds as he had hoped, but Doorneweerd still was excited. Was this finally it?

"Hello, David, this is Paul Tinnell," the caller said. Tinnell is the Pirates' scout in charge of Florida. "You've been chosen by the Pittsburgh Pirates. You were taken in the second round with the 68th pick overall."

"All right, all right! Yes, yes!" Doorneweerd and his friends shouted as his friends mobbed around him. It might have been a scene at the mound after a Doorneweerd no-hitter.

Tinnellsaid something else, but Doorneweerd said he was in a daze and doesn't remember exactly what.

As it turned out, Tinnell would have called sooner, but he was on his way to Jacksonville to visit the Pirate's No. 1 pick, catcher John Farrell of Florida Community College, and he had no idea Doorneweerd had been drafted. He had stopped on the way to check with the team, then relayed the good news to Doorneweerd.

"I've been holding the phone all day," Doorneweerd told Tinnell. "I've been sweating all day. It's been so long."

"Holy cow," Doorneweerd said later. "I thought this late it might have been ninth or 10th round. I was very surprised. Wow."

Tinnell was, too. "I couldn't believe it," he said. "I didn't think David would be available with the 68th pick. I called (the Pirates) just to check in and couldn't believe we got him. And he is one of the players we really wanted."

His father, Dennis, said, "I had a gut feeling it would be the Pirates. I had a feeling since yesterday."

With that, Dennis Doorneweerd tore from the family refrigerator all the greeting cards the other teams had sent, except the card sent by the Pirates.

"I'm headed to the mall," David Doorneweerd said. "I've got to find a Pirates cap."

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