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First-rounder Sims meets boyhood idol Smoltz

First-rounder Sims meets boyhood idol Smoltz

First-rounder Sims meets boyhood idol Smoltz
ATLANTA -- Lucas Sims experienced a week that might have seemed unrealistic just a few days earlier. Four days after being taken in the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft by his hometown Braves, Sims was wowed by the opportunity to meet his idol, John Smoltz.

"This is surreal, honestly," Sims said. "This is a dream. I'm just taking it all in."

Taken with the 21st overall selection on Monday, Sims was present as the Braves inducted Smoltz into their Hall of Fame on Friday afternoon. A few hours later, he was shaking hands with his hero before batting practice at Turner Field and preparing to see Smoltz's No. 29 jersey retired.

Sims admitted he was nervous as he met Greg Maddux and finally had a chance to shake hands with Smoltz.

Maddux asked the 18-year-old product of suburban Atlanta's Brookwood High School if he was a cleanup hitter. When he replied, "No, I'm a pitcher," the legendary 300-game winner said, "Even better."

Sims received a $1.65 million bonus after signing with the Braves on Thursday. He will report to the team's Gulf Coast League club at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex on Tuesday.

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