Fields says MLB was always his goal

Updated: June 7, 2004, 10:08 PM ET
Associated Press

STILLWATER, Okla. -- If Josh Fields had serious thoughts about coming back to play quarterback for Oklahoma State his senior year, they were quickly shoved out of his mind Monday when the Chicago White Sox took him in the first round of Major League Baseball's amateur draft.

It seemed obvious that Fields, who was considered to have big league talent, wouldn't pass up a huge signing bonus to play one more season with the Cowboys' football team.

But Fields had put off any decision for months, delaying the seemingly inevitable until the end of the Cowboys' baseball season and holding out hope for Oklahoma State football fans even as he skipped spring practice to concentrate fully on baseball.

After being drafted Monday, Fields expressed excitement about getting started with the White Sox. He said the White Sox mentioned sending him to Single-A Winston-Salem, but he's not entirely sure what else was discussed in the conversation.

"I don't know if I was hearing correctly or not at that time," Fields said. "I know I had a big smile on my face. I'll have to call again later whenever I'm back down on Earth and talk to them again."

Fields, the first college third baseman taken in the draft, said playing Major League Baseball was "always my goal."

"Anyone who plays baseball, it's their dream to get drafted in the first round," Fields said. "So, this is really awesome."

Fields said he visited with Oklahoma State football coach Les Miles after he was drafted and Miles wished him the best.

The most difficult part of ending his football career, Fields said, would be leaving his teammates.

"When you've gotten so close to some of the guys, it is really tough to make that decision to leave so many good friends back at the school that you're at," he said.

"That's definitely been going through my mind, but they've been very supportive as well. If they hadn't been supporting my decision, it would have made it a lot tougher on me than it has been."

Fields set an Oklahoma State record with 55 touchdown passes and he led the team to the Cotton Bowl last season, the Cowboys' first New Year's Day bowl game since 1949.

He said balancing the two sports has been difficult, but rewarding.

"It's been a struggle mentally and physically with just trying to go back and forth," Fields said. "The experiences that I've had here, you can't trade them for any kind of draft or anything.

"I'm excited that everything worked out the way it did. I'm very fortunate to have been able to spend the past three years at Oklahoma State."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press