Hannibal native Gabe Worthington was surprised to get a call to play for the Hannibal Hoots knowing he has no plans to play college baseball.

QUINCY, Ill. – Gabe Worthington never expected to get a phone call about playing in the Prospect League.

He grew up watching the area clubs in the then-Hannibal Cavemen and the Quincy Gems and looked up to those players. He never thought he’d get to be one of them.

That’s why the phone call surprised him.

“I figured it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Worthington said. “I just thought this was it for me, so it caught me off guard.”

Worthington, who graduated from Hannibal High School earlier this summer, didn’t expect a phone call because he has no plans to play collegiate baseball. He leaves for Missouri State University later this month, but purely for academics.

At Hannibal, he starred in football, basketball and baseball. He thought those days were finished, and thought he had a fitting end to his athletic career when he hit a walk-off single in the Missouri vs. Illinois All-Star baseball game in July.

He’s happy he thought wrong. The rest of his summer plans consisted of just hanging out with friends and working his part-time job before heading off to college.

“(The Hoots) had some spots open up in the infield so they gave me a call,” Worthington said. “It was easy to get ahold of me being in Hannibal, and I wasn’t too busy.”

Since he isn’t playing college baseball, he’s tempered his expectations about playing time and performance.

In 11 games, Worthington has one double in 12 at-bats and has driven in two runs.

Worthington, however, is just excited he gets to experience playing in the Prospect League.

“I just enjoy this,” Worthington said. “The guys are cool here. It’s just fun to play ball.”