Colin O'Keefe is about to start living the dream.
O'Keefe, the former Waterford High School pitching standout, became a professional baseball player Wednesday when he signed a contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
"Since I was a little kid I knew this is what I wanted to do,'' said O'Keefe, who arrived in Arizona Friday to take his physical.
O'Keefe just completed his junior season at Virginia Tech, but was dogged by biceps tendinitis in his pitching (left) arm. He appeared in just five games, starting two, and had an earned run average of 15.88. But the scouts were still impressed, and he was taken in the 33th round of last week's draft.
"I knew I was going to be picked,'' said O'Keefe. "It was just a matter of when and by which team.''
He will likely report to the Angels' Rookie League team in Orem, Utah or their other Rookie League team in the Arizona League next week.
"I'm just excited to be able to go out there every other day or so and show that I belong,'' said O'Keefe. "Now I just get to focus on baseball every day. I just want to go out and throw as well as I can.''
O'Keefe played for his father, Jack, at Waterford. He was the Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year in his senior season of 2010, when he was 8-1 with an ERA under 1.00 with 115 strikeouts. He was a two-time all-state selection and was also part of the 2008 Waterford team that won the American Legion state title.
He was 2-2 in three seasons at Virginia Tech.