Yankees' top draft pick Anthony Volpe chooses pro ball in 'hardest decision' of his life

PULASKI, Va. (WDBJ) -- To call him a Yankee since birth wouldn't be far from the truth.

"The day I was born, from my uncle, his first present to me was a Yankee hat," said infielder Anthony Volpe.

For the next 18 years, Volpe was simply a fan of the Bronx Bombers.

That is, until early June, when the New Jersey native heard his name called in the first round of the MLB draft, selected 30th overall by the New York Yankees.

"It was a dream come true," Volpe said. "Since the day I was born, it seems like I've always been a Yankee fan. My parents were die-hard Yankee fans and just growing up, that's always been my dream: to play in Yankee Stadium one day. To have this opportunity during the draft, I couldn't ask for anything better."

For Volpe, the decision to go pro wasn't always a given.

Before the Yankees came calling, he planned to attend Vanderbilt University, where the Commodores are fresh off their second College World Series title in the last five years.

"It was the hardest decision of my entire life, just having the opportunity to become a part of that Vanderbilt program and that family that they have there, it was something I was really headset and ready for and I wanted to be a part of that," Volpe said. "But, when the Yankees came calling and that opportunity ended up presenting itself, it was really hard for me to turn down."

After a whirlwind month of June, it's back to baseball for the 18-year-old second baseman, who's starting his pro career in Southwest Virginia.

His goal now is to work his way back to the Bronx and, now that he's had a taste, he's hungry for a chance to put those pinstripes back on.

"I had goosebumps the entire time," said Volpe, on wearing the historic uniform after getting drafted. "It was a really surreal moment, and I can't wait to put them on for real, hopefully someday."