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Published June 11, 2009, 12:14 PM

Virgil Hill's son drafted by Cardinals

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The son of North Dakota boxer Virgil Hill might be headed for a pro baseball career after being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the Major League Baseball draft.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The son of North Dakota boxer Virgil Hill might be headed for a pro baseball career after being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the Major League Baseball draft.

Virgil Hill Jr. grew up in California and plays center field for Los Angeles Mission Community College. He said he hopes to sign with the Cardinals this summer.

"St. Louis is a great organization," he said. "They put out a lot of great players. They have a great farm system and a great development program."

Hill hit .460 with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs and had 29 stolen bases as a sophomore for Los Angeles Mission. He was named an All-American and won a gold glove in his conference.

"He hits for power, he hits for average," Mission coach Joe Cascione said. "He's a pretty special player."

Hill's father won an Olympic silver medal in Los Angeles in 1984 and has held both the WBA light heavyweight and WBA cruiserweight belts during his pro career. He hasn't fought for nearly two years.

The younger Hill's mother, like his father, is an Olympic silver medalist. Denean Hill was part of the American 4x400 relay team that finished second in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She works as a sprint coach at College of the Canyons in Valencia, Calif., where Hill Jr. attended high school.

"He's got pretty good genes," Cascione said.

If things don't work out for Hill Jr. with the Cardinals, he has NCAA Division I college scholarship offers, including one from the University of Southern California. Hill said he also was being recruited by the University of North Dakota.

"I was kind of torn about that, because my dad is a North Dakota guy," he said.

The 6-foot, 185-pound Hill was drafted twice before. After his senior year of high school, he was taken in the 28th round by the Florida Marlins. He did not sign and went back into the draft. Last year, the Oakland A's selected him in the 35th round. He waited a year and went much higher.

"He wants to play professional baseball," Cascione said. "Hopefully, he can move up in that organization quickly. You can't substitute speed, and that's what he's got."

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