Galusky Excited To Start His Pro Baseball Career
Talk about a whirlwind.
On June 6, West Virginia junior shortstop Jimmy Galusky was selected in the 20th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Chicago White Sox.
Two days later he was at the White Sox complex in Arizona, working out with Chicago’s other young players.
And then a week after that, he was suiting up for the Great Falls (Mont.) Voyagers, which is an advanced rookie team in the Pioneer League.
“It’s been a lot crazier than I thought it would be when this whole journey started,” chuckled Galusky, who grew up in Arthurdale, W.Va. “I was in Morgantown when I was picked by the White Sox, and I was very grateful for that. They wanted me to fly out to Arizona that very next night (Thursday). I said I have three years worth of stuff left in my apartment I had to clean out. So, they gave me aa little extra time, and I flew out Friday morning.”
Galusky’s professional debut took place this past Sunday in the second game of a doubleheader. Though a shortstop at WVU, he started at second base for the Voyagers and went 1-for-3 with an RBI in a 9-8 loss at the Helena Brewers. Weather has made a mess of the early season schedule for Great Falls, as it endured postponements on three of its first five days since opening play on June 15. Still, rain delays or not, he’s a Minor Leaguer.
“When I agreed to the terms (of his contract), that’s when it hit me that I was truly a professional baseball player,” noted Galusky, who batted .259 in his three seasons as WVU’s starting shortstop. “But since then, once I got to Arizona and started working on the field, that was familiar; that was just baseball again. It feels like the same game I‘ve been playing for 22 years.
“We had little mini-camp in Arizona for a couple days once I first got there,” he added. “Nobody really knew where they were going (in terms of Minor League assignments). They eventually told us, and I’m really happy I was assigned to Great Falls.”
One of the reasons Galusky is excited to be in Great Falls is that he knows Montana well. Though he and much of his family are from Preston County, his father Steve is an outdoor enthusiast who would often load up his friends and family for hunting and fishing trips out west.
“Growing up, I spent a lot of time in Montana,” noted Jimmy. “Most families take their summer vacations to the beach, but we always came out to Yellowstone to fish. I’ve spent my far share of time in Montana.”
While Galusky may already be familiar with Big Sky Country, he’s going to learn the highways and byways of the region even better while traveling throughout the Pioneer League. The short-season league, which plays from June through September, features eight teams. Four of those are in Montana (Billings, Great Falls, Helena and Missoula), and the other four are in Grand Junction, Colo., Idaho Falls, Idaho, Ogden, Utah and Orem, Utah. Great Falls is the northern-most team in the league, and its longest trip will be an 852-mile journey to Grand Junction.
“I know the Minor Leagues can be tough and be a grind,” explained Galusky, who is believed to be the first Preston County native drafted by any major professional sports team. “The coaches tell us to get used to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and long bus rides. That’s the Minor League life. But you have to just keep grinding and trying to move up the ladder.”