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Indians broadcaster's son drafted by Tribe

Nick Hamilton didn't spend too much time on Wednesday thinking about the First-Year Player Draft. His focus is solely on his Kent State team's NCAA Super Regional this weekend.

So when Hamilton was drafted by the Indians in the 35th round, he didn't immediately hear about it. He was too busy at practice.

"My coach [Scott Stricklin] pulled me aside and just gave me a handshake," Hamilton said. "It was really thrilling. It was something I'm never going to forget. But then it was back to practice."

Hamilton is the son of Indians radio announcer Tom Hamilton. Tom knew the Indians were one of three teams likely to draft his son, but that didn't make it any easier to believe when the actual selection was made.

"It hasn't even sunk in," Tom said. "We're kind of living in fantasyland here for the last couple of weeks, with the MAC tournament and the 21-inning game [last] Friday night against Kentucky. And then to win the regionals and now go to the Sweet 16, and now this today, you're like, 'I don't know how it gets much better than this.'"

Fantasyland, indeed. The Golden Flashes haven't lost since April 25, and Nick Hamilton has been a big part of the team's recent success. The 22-year-old junior is hitting .364 with 12 doubles and 35 RBIs in 49 games this season.

And to make his college success even sweeter, Nick was drafted by the team he grew up rooting for.

"It's an honor to be drafted by anybody," Nick said, "but especially the Indians. With my dad working for them, I've always been an even bigger fan of the Indians than the average person. It's definitely really neat."

Nick has a decision to make now that he's been drafted. He said he hasn't yet thought about whether he will return to Kent State for his senior season or sign with the Indians.

"We'll sit down as a family and discuss that," Tom said. "Hopefully, in about three weeks, or whenever the College World Series is over."

For now, both Nick and Tom are focused on the team's Super regional series with Oregon, which begins Saturday. Tom will travel from St. Louis to Eugene, Ore., on Friday, and he will rejoin the Indians in Cincinnati on Monday when they begin a three-game set with the Reds.

"The Indians have been really great about it," Tom said.

This weekend might not be the only time Tom has to step out of the booth for one of Nick's games. If Nick ever does make it to the big league level to play for the Indians, Tom may have to take a seat in the stands.

"Oh, my Lord. I don't know," Tom said of calling a game Nick is playing in. "I'm too emotional. That might not work. I'll let [broadcaster Jim Rosenhaus] do that."