"I didn't know whether I was gonna go in the Army or the baseball Draft," said Gardenhire, a sixth-round pick. "Probably the Army would've been better suited for me, as it turned out with my swing.
"It was a screwed up thing, because it really distracted from where we were at and what we had done. Guys who got drafted, guys who didn't get drafted -- a lot of disappointment."
Third baseman Trevor Plouffe, a former infielder at Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, Calif., had a less exciting Draft story when he was taken by the Twins in the first ound of the 2004 Draft.
"I was just huddled around the computer," Plouffe said. "I remember getting the call from [general manager] Terry Ryan. I didn't know what to make of it at that point. But I'm blessed to be in this organization."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Alex M. Smith is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.