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Cancer survivor Beatty elated to be picked by Friars

Team's 32nd-round selection diagnosed with testicular malignancy in '11, now healthy

Max Beatty and his family hooked up a computer to the TV in their Vancouver, Wash., home to watch the First-Year Player Draft in the living room as they waited in anticipation of hearing his name called.

The Draft was in the 32nd round on Saturday when Beatty, a right-handed pitcher from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., stepped out of the room after receiving a phone call from a team telling him that it was prepared to take him when he heard his family roaring and cheering.

"Hey, you're a Padre," they said, enthusiastically.

So Beatty had to politely end the phone call and go celebrate with his family.

"I'm the luckiest guy on Earth being able to take this next step," Beatty said by phone Saturday as he was on his way to the mall, along with eight of his closest friends, to go buy Padres hats.

Beatty is not one to take things for granted anymore. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in late 2011.

Almost immediately after hearing the news, he read Lance Armstrong's book "It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life" about Armstrong's battles with cancer. Beatty finished the book within 24 hours and was encouraged to see the high success rate of people with testicular cancer.

Beatty underwent surgery to remove his testicles and four cycles of chemotherapy sessions -- seven hours a day, five straight days followed by two weeks off.

Beatty sat out the 2012 baseball season, but his confidence was never shaken and Beatty said at no point did he believe his baseball career was over.

"From the beginning, it was, 'Get over this and I'll be right back to where I was before,'" Beatty said. "I was completely confident that it's just going to take time to get rid of and it kind of just postponed everything a year."

As of April 2012, he's been cancer free.

"Every lab test, every CT scan, that's all you do is look at those numbers and look at those results and he's in better shape than he's ever been," Beatty's mother, Ruth, said.

"It's terrible to say that it's a good thing, but the illness made him better than he was before. Little things don't mean much, he knows what's important in life and he's so determined."

Beatty returned to pitch for Pacific Lutheran this past season, where he started 13 games, posting a record of 7-5 with a 2.48 ERA and earning teams MVP honors. His fastball ranges from about 90-92 mph with a slider.

"Real aggressive, good makeup-type kid," Padres assistant general manager Chad MacDonald said. "We like the demeanor, we like the aggressive nature and how he does it."

Beatty said he was so excited during his phone call with the Padres after drafting him, he barely took in what they told him, other than that he's going to start his career as a starting pitcher

"It's real cliche, but it really is like a dream come true and something that I've just been working so hard for," Beatty said. "It's not only for me, it's for my family. It's a great thing that's happened."

Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for
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