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Brewers wrap up 2002 draft
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06/05/2002 9:04 pm ET 
Brewers wrap up 2002 draft
Milwaukee takes head groundskeeper's son
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com

John Vanden Berg was drafted by the Brewers in the 25th round of the draft Wednesday. Vanden Berg is the son of the Brewers' head groundskeeper. (Courtesy UWM)

Brewers' round-by-round picks

MILWAUKEE -- John Vanden Berg's ultimate dream is to someday play on the baseball field his father keeps in Major League condition.

The Brewers selected Vanden Berg, a catcher from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the son of longtime head groundskeeper Gary Vanden Berg, with the 739th overall pick in the 25th round of the First-Year Player Draft Wednesday.

Vanden Berg, a 6-foot 2-inch, 215-pounder who bats and throws right-handed, was one of 20 players the Brewers selected in day two of the draft. In 42 rounds in all, the team added 15 right-handed pitchers, eight outfielders, seven infielders, six left-handed pitchers and six catchers.

In the first round Milwaukee took slugging first baseman Price Fielder, son of former Major League Cecil Fielder. More than 700 players later, the Brewers went with another Major League son of sorts.

"I've been around baseball my whole life and this is just a dream come true," said the younger Vanden Berg, 22, whose father tended Brewers playing fields since 1981 and is in his 13th season as head groundskeeper.

2002 First-Year Player Draft
JUNE 4-5 | NEW YORK CITY
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FULL COVERAGE:
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As a youngster, John used to tag along with his dad to County Stadium.

"I was a great opportunity when I was a young kid to be around the stadium," he said. "I don't think I realized it back then. But what a chance, to be around all of those players and get to talk to them about baseball."

Vanden Berg earned a degree in finance from UWM last month and is working as an intern for Strong Funds, a Milwaukee-area financial services firm. He was sitting at his desk at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, when Brewers scout Harvey Kuenn, Jr. called with the good news.

"My boss pretty much looked at me and said, 'get out of here,' Vanden Berg said. "Which was good because my attention was zero at that point I was so excited."

His dad was already at "the office." He was almost as excited as his son.

"It was something I've always thought might happen," Gary Vanden Berg said before the Brewers took on the Cubs. "He grew up here. I remember him being 10 or 12 years old out in the outfield shagging balls in early BP.

"To go from there to being a professional baseball player -- that's unbelievable."

John began at Northern Illinois University with his twin brother, Joel. He transferred to UWM two years ago and in his senior season with the Panthers John hit a team-high .409 with six home runs and drove in 57 RBIs in 186 at-bats. The team won the Horizon League Tournament Championship and appeared in their second-straight NCAA Tournament.

Vanden Berg was named to the All-Horizon League First Team as a catcher and was named to the Horizon League All-Tournament Team.

Three UWM Panthers have been drafted in the last three years. Scott Gillitzer was drafted in the 22nd round by the Dodgers last season, and Chad Sadowski was drafted by the Phillies in the 23rd round in 2000.

One round after selecting Vanden Berg, the Brewers took a pitcher from Yale University -- left-hander Craig Breslow -- for the second straight year. Last year the team took righty Jon Steitz in the third round.

Adam McCalvy covers the Brewers for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.

BREWERS 2002 DRAFT PICKS
7 PRINCE G FIELDER 1B EAU GALLIE HS
48 JOSHUA A MURRAY SS JESUIT HS
79 ERIC M THOMAS RHP U SOUTH ALABAMA
109 NICHOLAS A CARTER OF CAMPBELL U
139 JARRAD M PAGE SS SAN LEANDRO HS
169 KHALID W BALLOULI RHP TEXAS A&M U
199 THOMAS M WILHELMSEN RHP TUCSON HIGH MAGNET
229 STEPHEN J KAHN RHP SERVITE HS
259 EDWIN G WALKER LHP HIGHLANDS HS
289 JEREMY FROST C U CENTRAL FLORIDA
319 BRIAN H HERNANDEZ C JOHN I LEONARD HS
349 CALLIX S CRABBE 2B MANATEE CC
379 LAGATILA M REYNOLDS SS U WASHINGTON
409 KENNARD V BIBBS OF OKLAHOMA CITY U
439 JUSTIN P BARNES RHP MANATEE JC
469 DANA J EVELAND LHP HILL JC
499 ADAM W MANNON LF HAMILTON HS
529 STEVEN M WHITE RHP BAYLOR U
559 JEREMY C HALL RHP U CENTRAL FLORIDA
589 TYLER L SHEPPLE RHP U WASHINGTON
619 JOSHUA W ALLISTON RHP CALIFORNIA ST U
649 LENDEN E WILLIS 3B MOTLOW ST CC
679 KEITH BOHANAN 3B OKLAHOMA CITY U
709 ARTURO BRAVO C MONTGOMERY HS
739 JOHN A VANDEN BERG C U WISCONSIN
769 CRAIG BRESLOW LHP YALE U
799 DALLAS P BATES OF CHANDLER HS
829 ERIC A THOMAS RHP SOUTHERN U A&M
859 STEVE J MOSS CF NOTRE DAME HS
889 JUSTIN K GABRIEL LHP U LOUISIANA
919 JASON L BAKER RHP GEORGE WASHINGTON U
949 SIMON M BERESFORD RHP TYLER JC
979 JEFF D HOUSMAN LHP CALIFORNIA ST U
1009 TIM DILLARD C ITAWAMBA CC
1039 EMMANUEL CIVIDANES CF COLEGIO SAN ANTONIO
1069 DANIEL R CARTER RHP TALLAHASSEE CC
1099 STEPHEN C BRYANT C WARREN CENTRAL HS
1129 DAVID W HANCOX RHP PASCO HERNANDO CC
1159 JUAN HERRERA RHP ARIZONA WESTERN JC
1189 HUNTER A PENCE LF TEXARKANA CC
1219 JONATHAN R SHAPLAND RF ST PETERSBURG JC
1249 NEIL T AVERY LHP DARTMOUTH HS




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