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It’s every boy’s dream, but Paul Karmas was sitting in his room trying to avoid it. Until his mom Georgia, with tears in her eyes, came in and told him the good news.
The San Diego Padres selected Karmas in the 25th round (773rd overall) of this year’s Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft.
“I didn’t want to pay attention to it,” said Karmas. “I was just hanging out at home. I really didn’t know until my mom came upstairs and was crying. I couldn’t believe it. That was probably the best moment of my life.”
The 6’3”, 210 pound Karmas has done just about all he can do, in terms of playing baseball in Queens. As a two-time team captain at St. Francis Prep, he led the Terriers to the Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) City Championship in his senior year.
In his four years at St. John’s University, Karmas had quite a career, establishing himself as one of the best right-handed hitters in the nation. He also left his mark on the Red Storm record books, becoming the all-time leader in hits (246) and doubles (68), while his 172 RBI place him second in school history.
The Douglaston native was also a three-time All-Big East selection, leading the Johnnies to the brink of the College World Series in his junior year.
It’s been a long journey for Karmas, one that he thought would culminate with hearing his name get called in last year’s draft. But in the end it all worked out for the better.
“There are so many positives,” he said. “I got my degree. We went to the Regionals with St. John’s and I learned a lot more, so I think I’m pretty prepared.”
“I’m very happy that he’s reached those levels and that he’s successful at all of those levels,” Jim Karmas, Paul’s father, said. “And of course, the fact that he graduated and he got his degree. The rest is icing on the cake.”
Karmas not only has the support of his parents and sister, whom he talks with every day, but he also has the entire neighborhood behind him, rooting him on from across the country.
“The neighbors have been very nice,” Jim said. “They have spoken to me and my wife. They were very happy to hear a local kid get drafted. Not too many kids from Douglaston get drafted or even play Division-I ball.”
Karmas is currently in Rookie Ball, playing for the Arizona Padres. Coincidentally, his roommate is Dennis O’Grady, a pitcher who graduated from Archbishop Molloy – someone Karmas has faced off with many times throughout high school.
“I’m always giving him a hard time of how we won the city championship in my senior year,” Karmas said.
As for the game itself, Karmas said he is prepared for this level and ready to take on all of the challenges that arise every day.
“It’s just adjusting,” he said. “The game is a little quicker. The athletes are a lot better. At every position, there is a tremendous athlete.”
Karmas, like his parents, give St. John’s so much of the credit for where he is today. “They not only turn you into a baseball player, but they turn you into a better person,” Karmas said. “St. John’s was probably the best decision I’ve ever made. It was the best four years of my life.”
“It’s starting to sink in,” Karmas added. “Putting down baseball player under occupation on papers is funny. I’d play for free I love baseball so much.”

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