Former Joel Barlow Pitching Star Signs With the Braves for $15 Million
In 1999, Charlie Morton was an incoming freshman at Joel Barlow High in Redding, Connecticut. He became a pitcher on the freshman baseball team until varsity baseball coach, Jeff Brown, watched him pitch. He told Morton he was now a member of the varsity pitching staff.
According to the News-Times, Charlie was drafted by the Atlanta Braves after his senior year in 2002 from Joel Barlow and made his major league debut with the Braves in 2008. This is what Joel Barlow's Athletic Director, Mike Santangeli, told the Hartford Courant in November 2017:
The Charlie Morton of 2002 is the Charlie Morton of today. Just an easy going, friendly, team first guy. Probably one of the easiest kids you'd ever coach, showed up every day, worked hard, a great teammate, just always willing to do whatever you asked him.
Charlie, who's now 37-years-old, recently helped Tampa Bay reach the world series this season. The News-Times recently reported that the Rays turned around and declined his $15 million option. The team that originally signed Charlie in 2002, the Atlanta Braves, swooped in and signed two-time All-Star Charlie Morton to a $15 million one-year deal for the 2021 season.
He was named to the All-Star team in 2018 and 2019, pitching for the Houston Astros and the season before, helped them win the World Series in 2017. Since that season, Charlie is 47-18 with a 3.34 ERA and placed third in the AL Cy Young voting in 2019.
It always feels great when a Connecticut high school baseball star makes it to the "bigs" and kicks ass! Congrats, Charlie Morton. You make Joel Barlow and the rest of CT's baseball fans proud!