When he got the call inviting him to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic, Manatee High star Cord Sandberg was a bit surprised.
Sandberg is one of about 40 prep baseball players in the country selected to take part in next month's game at Petco Park in San Diego.
"I was like, 'Do you really want me to play in this? I'm a football player. I like baseball, and it's fun,'" Sandberg said. "It wasn't that I didn't think I can play -- I'm confident. ... But when that happened, I was like, 'I guess I can really do this.'"
Sandberg first caught wind of his inclusion last month while taking part in the Perfect Game National Showcase in Minnesota's Metrodome. Sandberg tripled and was clocked at throwing 87 mph from the outfield, according to Perfect Game's website.
"I just saw one swing," Perfect Game scouting coordinator Kenny Gardner told the site, "and knew he's going to be good."
A centerfielder at Manatee, Sandberg said he opened his own eyes with his performance.
"When I was up there playing with those guys, I was able to get a couple of hits," he said. "It kind of made me realize I could do this."
Consequently, Sandberg said he may give profes
sional baseball a shot if he's drafted high enough next year.
"That definitely changed the mindset," he said.
He batted .358 with 22 runs and 17 RBIs last season for the Hurricanes.
The All-American Classic is scheduled for 9 p.m. Aug. 12 and will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network. Sandberg has been selected for the East Team, which will be coached by Sarasota's Clyde Metcalf.
"It's pretty cool to be selected," Sandberg said. "Maybe once I'm out there, but it hasn't really sunk in yet."
Sandberg, of course, is known for his work on the football field.
The quarterback guided the Hurricanes to the 2011 Class 7A state title and has verbally committed to play at Mississippi State.
He hopes playing in the All-American Classic doesn't take too much away from football. "This time last year, I was done with the whole baseball thing about two weeks ago," he said. "I'm going to be missing practice to play in that game. ... But I'm not too worried about it. I'm hoping I can come back to football and change gears."