SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Larry Greene heard the first ovation of the rest of his life on Monday night, an appetizer of acclaim that will tide him over until he's ready to reach the Major Leagues.
Greene, a prep outfielder from Nashville, Ga., patiently waited through the first round of the First-Year Player Draft on Monday, watching the proceedings from the third-base dugout at Studio 42 of the MLB Network. Greene, watching with his father and namesake, had to endure a wait he may not have anticipated.
He heard 38 names called before his own, but then a split-second after his moment, he heard the type of ovation normally reserved for pennant-winning home runs. It was overwhelming for Greene, a supplemental round draftee of the Philadelphia Phillies and the only prospect in attendance at the Draft on Monday.
"I knew this was what my mom wanted me to do," said Greene. "She got what she wanted."
CWS, DET, NYY and PHI did not have first-round selections.
Greene's mother -- who passed away last December 26th -- got what she wanted, and so did he, albeit not in the way he expected. The 18-year-old -- who has signed on to play at the University of Georgia -- got to meet several players from his youth, including but not limited to Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar and two-time Gold Glove winner Eric Davis.
Greene shook hands with several iconic players after his moment in the spotlight, sharing a hug with Davis and a clearly bemused expression when he met the media. Greene said he would definitely recommend the Draft experience to the next generation, and he said it clearly lived up to his expectations.
"Probably that and a little more," he said. "Words can't explain it. It's a blessing. I'm happy to have my dad and my family behind me. I thought I was going to be a Brewer, but I'm happy to be a Phillie."
Of course, that only begins his pro experience. Greene said that he's still considering attending the University of Georgia, but that he looks forward to getting a jump on his career as quickly as possible.
"I'm going to go home and think about it," he said. "But more than likely, I'm going to play pro baseball."
Greene will worry about his contract at a later date, and his stance and his approach will remain the same until his parent team decides to tinker with them. For now, Greene is a blank slate awaiting tutelage. And on this night, he's just another teenager who's searching for the words to express himself.
"It's crazy. It's a dream come true for us," he said. "I never thought, coming from a small town like Nashville, that I'd be somewhere like this. I can't even talk right now. Excitement. A whole bunch of excitement."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.