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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Eric Greene was expected to end his career with the Ravens. Her son Elijah may introduce her to the Orioles.

If former Ravens tight end Eric Greene had had it, he would have retired with Baltimore. He may soon have a reason to take regular trips to the city.

His son, Elijah Green, is one of the top prospects available in this weekend’s Major League Baseball draft, with the Orioles’ first overall pick. Elijah, an outfielder out of IMG Academy in Florida, is believed to be one of a handful of players Baltimore is considering with his second No. 1 pick in four years.

“I dreamed it, and he dreamed it, and he worked hard for it,” said Eric Green. “I always told him, if you try hard enough, things will come your way, and things are going to get in his way.”

The elder Green played in Baltimore from 1996 to 1998 before kicking off his career with one season for the New York Jets. But he hoped that he would end his career as a raven.

“They really had to get me out of Baltimore,” Eric said. “I didn’t want to leave Baltimore to go to New York. Let me tell you, I was on the phone [then-general manager Ozzie Newsome] Till the 11th hour when he was saying that they cannot do this. And that’s when I signed with the Jets. But I would retire to Baltimore if it were up to me, because I love everything about the city, the people, and the football team. ,

The baseball team would certainly join that list if it picks Elijah, a top-five prospect ranked in the draft class by both Baseball America and the MLB Pipeline. He’s built like a football player at 6 feet 3 and almost 220 pounds, a frame that, when combined with his skill set, leads some evaluators to believe that any player in this draft class He has more than that. Despite his size, he runs exceptionally well and has a hand strong enough to play a corner outfield spot if he runs off center. His most impressive tool is his raw power, which he has used in Team USA’s 18 and smaller . displayed for Last summer the group played .957, slugging and homing four times in seven games — three of them played at the Orioles’ Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Florida.

Green’s home run and slugging tails led to a team that featured other high school prospects, believed to be considering the Orioles with the No. 1 pick. Green is joined by Georgia High School outfielder Drew Jones, Oklahoma High School shortstop Jackson Holiday, Georgia High School second baseman Termar Johnson and Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee, considered five in Baltimore’s target group.

Jones and Holiday are the sons of former MLB All-Stars Andrew Jones and Matt Holiday, but Greene is well positioned as the first son of the NFL to go into the first round of the MLB Draft.

“Sounds really kind of surreal,” Elijah said. “It’s always been one of my dreams, and it just doesn’t feel real at this point.”

As a senior at IMG Academy, he hit .462 with 1.592 OPS. After hitting more than twice as many times as he ran as a junior, Elijah finished in that proportion this spring as well, Helping ease the swing-and-miss concerns that follow them in the campaign.

As for his father, Elijah always tries to silence those who doubt him.

“All he heard in the spring season was, ‘He’s swing and miss, swing and miss,'” Eric said. “He was upset because he said, ‘Dad, I led Team USA in home runs, total bases, slugging percentage, everything. But I’m just swinging and missing.’ So he said, ‘Okay, I’ll show them,’ and then he went out and hit .462 and did what he did, and I can respect that. That’s Elijah.

“That’s what I’m most proud of. When people tell him he can’t do anything, oh my god, he goes through hell and earth to show them that he can do it.

This is a mentality fabricated by his father’s mindset. Before Elijah moved to IMG, Eric largely handled his training. It was goal-oriented and focused on the importance of discipline, with Eric knowing firsthand what it took to become a professional athlete. Drafted 21st overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1990, he followed five seasons with one in Miami before joining the Ravens.

“Absolutely loved it,” said Eric. “I probably had more success in Pittsburgh as a person. But as a football player, I think I had better three years than my five years in Pittsburgh because of who I was and what I brought to the team. And what we did off the field in the community. I love Baltimore.”

His affinity for seafood has led him to frequent Jimmy’s Famous Seafood, and he makes sure to visit the area whenever he comes back. He would love it if Elijah and the Orioles gave him an excuse to visit.

Elijah would also appreciate that opportunity.

Elijah said, “It will be everything to me.” “Just knowing that the hard work I’ve put in all these years is finally paying off and the Orioles are recognizing this and taking a chance on me and just knowing that when I get there, I I’m going to work so hard and just try to get a World Series at that ballclub.”

Eric has seen that hard work up close. He coached Elijah in football, his team winning four AAU national titles in six years, with Eliza playing the role of quarterback and middle linebacker. But early in his teens, he went to his father and told him that he wanted to focus on baseball.

“I had more love for baseball at the time,” Elijah said. “Football was always my first love, but it ended like love.”

“The only thing I could do at that time is to respect it,” Eric said. “As a kid, I loved to come up to me and find out how much time I spent playing football with him and saying he loved baseball more than that. Then, we started putting that energy into baseball that we had in football.

“I had to teach her about the things she was doing” [may not] Make it so that other kids his age can participate in the discipline part and all aspects of his life. Just trying to show her how to make her dream come true. ,

The “sweat equity,” as Eric called it, shared in those efforts that will pay off on Sunday, when Elijah hears his name in the first round of the MLB Draft. Whenever that day has come in the conversation between father and son, Eric has become emotional. Elijah expects the same thing to happen again later this week.

“He’s played a big part, he just knows what it takes to get to the next level in any sport,” Elijah said. “He’s implemented it in my game and always told me to work harder, you never know who’s watching.

“He always wanted the best for me.”

mlb draft day 1

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Sunday, 7 p.m.

TV: ESPN

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