STILLWATER, Okla. -- If Josh Fields had serious thoughts
about coming back to play quarterback for Oklahoma State his senior
year, they were quickly shoved out of his mind Monday when the
Chicago White Sox took him in the first round of Major League
Baseball's amateur draft.
It seemed obvious that Fields, who was considered to have big
league talent, wouldn't pass up a huge signing bonus to play one
more season with the Cowboys' football team.
But Fields had put off any decision for months, delaying the
seemingly inevitable until the end of the Cowboys' baseball season
and holding out hope for Oklahoma State football fans even as he
skipped spring practice to concentrate fully on baseball.
After being drafted Monday, Fields expressed excitement about
getting started with the White Sox. He said the White Sox mentioned
sending him to Single-A Winston-Salem, but he's not entirely sure
what else was discussed in the conversation.
"I don't know if I was hearing correctly or not at that time,"
Fields said. "I know I had a big smile on my face. I'll have to
call again later whenever I'm back down on Earth and talk to them
Fields, the first college third baseman taken in the draft, said
playing Major League Baseball was "always my goal."
"Anyone who plays baseball, it's their dream to get drafted in
the first round," Fields said. "So, this is really awesome."
Fields said he visited with Oklahoma State football coach Les
Miles after he was drafted and Miles wished him the best.
The most difficult part of ending his football career, Fields
said, would be leaving his teammates.
"When you've gotten so close to some of the guys, it is really
tough to make that decision to leave so many good friends back at
the school that you're at," he said.
"That's definitely been going through my mind, but they've been
very supportive as well. If they hadn't been supporting my
decision, it would have made it a lot tougher on me than it has
Fields set an Oklahoma State record with 55 touchdown passes and
he led the team to the Cotton Bowl last season, the Cowboys' first
New Year's Day bowl game since 1949.
He said balancing the two sports has been difficult, but
"It's been a struggle mentally and physically with just trying
to go back and forth," Fields said. "The experiences that I've
had here, you can't trade them for any kind of draft or anything.
"I'm excited that everything worked out the way it did. I'm
very fortunate to have been able to spend the past three years at