Former Fairmont Cardinal baseball player, Luke Becker, is joining the San Diego Padres organization  after being drafted by the team earlier this week in the 9th round.

Becker isn't taking the opportunity of a lifetime for granted,  just six months ago, the infielder was working inside a Northrop grain elevator when the building exploded.

"My family, we own about 100,000 pigs, and 2,000 acres of corn. When I come home from baseball from school, I help on the farm. Usually I load pigs and help with the pigs, but this year I was trying to stay out of danger with pigs taking me out, so I was actually hauling corn, and it was a regular day, about my fourth load of the day, out of nowhere, the grain elevator exploded. I was loading my wagons, up on a 12–foot catwalk ledge so I could see inside my wagons. The machinery to my left exploded, hit me, threw me 10–15 feet. The whole place was coming down, and somehow I was able to run out of there. It was pretty crazy," said Becker.

"Things can change very fast. You never know when my last baseball game is. I try to take advantage of that, and play every game like it's my last. There's definitely a reason while I'm still here. God's got a plan for me, and the fact that I was able to come out of that explosion without any injury and to still be here playing baseball, it's a blessing for sure."

Becker's journey to professional baseball was just getting started back in his high school days, when the infielder helped Fairmont to a runner–up finish in the state tournament .

"Out of high school, I didn't really have a whole lot of interest from schools, so I went down to NIACC. My brother was down there which was nice. They had some really good coaches that helped me, turned things around for me. We made it to the World Series which was huge for teams to see me. Spent the last three years with Kentucky, it's been a lot of fun."

The junior college route paid off, and Becker showed he could play at the Division one level,  recording a .273 batting average and 15 home runs in his career with the Wildcats.

Now, the competition doesn't get any easier as the slugger works on moving up through the Padres Minor League ranks.

"Now that this is becoming a reality, it's very cool. All those times I was working hard, this is what it was for. It's cool that it's finally happening."

Becker leaves for extended Spring Training shortly before he's placed onto one of the Padres Minor League teams.