Trevians’ Tilson signs with CardinalsBarrington, Il. 042111 New Trier travels to Barrington to play the Broncos in baseball. Tilson warms up as the lead off hitter | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Ultimately, the chance to chase a dream was too good to pass up for Charlie Tilson.
The recent New Trier graduate signed a contract Monday with the St. Louis Cardinals and reports to Jupiter, Fla., Tuesday morning to join the organization’s Gulf Coast League (Rookie) club.
“It was a little bit of a stressful process, but it was totally worth it,” said Tilson, who turned down a scholarship to Illinois and was the first Illinois player taken in the draft. “I feel great about the decision and the position I am in. I think the world of the University of Illinois, and I hope to stay in contact with those guys and keep those relationships going. They’ve been very helpful with me in process.”
The Cardinals made Tilson, the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, the 79th pick in the Major League Baseball Draft after he batted .409, scored 42 runs, walked 30 times and stole 29 bases for the Trevians this spring. The left-handed outfielder also was a member of New Trier’s 2009 state championship team as a sophomore.
Drafted on June 7, Tilson said negotiations didn’t start until the middle of July. Tilson’s camp worked out the details of the contract with area scout Kris Gross and Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak. The talks ran nearly all the way up to Monday’s 11 p.m. (CDT) deadline.
“More than anything, I felt comfortable getting picked by a great organization,” said Tilson, who earned a $1.275 million signing bonus and a five-year contract. “That was the biggest thing. I feel like I am in a great spot.”
Part of Tilson’s contract calls for the Cardinals to pay for his college education once he completes his playing career.
“Tilson is an excellent athlete and a well-rounded individual,” Mozeliak said in a press release. “We are pleased to have him signed and we look forward to seeing his Cardinals career get under way.”
The Cardinals signed all 10 of their top draft picks this summer.