Scott Carroll didn't realize how important baseball was till it was taken away from him.
The two sport star from Liberty High School began at Purdue as a quarterback-only with the promise he could branch out if his grades were good.
The baseball carrot that made Purdue seem appealing was never within reach and neither was playing time at quarterback.
That's why Carroll ended up at Missouri State in Springfield, starring in football, yet knowing baseball would eventually re-define his future.
Waiting is nothing new, which is why he's un-signed and un-phased, two weeks after the 2007 amateur draft.
Carroll was taken by the Cincinnati Reds in the 3rd round, a year after being picked in the 16th by the Angels.
Scott was used to seeing scouts at all of his games.
But he can't recall a conversation with anyone from the Reds.
After the draft, the team did try to entice him to sign in time to start the season opener for the Billings, Montana (Class A) Mustangs on Tuesday.
Carroll admitted he doesn't know much about Billings baseball, except for the fact that's where George Brett jumped off a bus in 1971 to begin his pro journey.
The Mustangs still play at Cobb Field, the team's home since 1948, although a new stadium will be in place for 2008.
Carroll is no history major.
He's in communications and marketing, two semesters short of graduation.
He knows the value in a 6'5 pitcher (who grew 1/2 an inch last year) who's fastball can hit 95.
Carroll also added 15 pounds of muscle over the past year to reach 225.
Approaching his 23rd birthday, Scott's arm feels remarkably fresh with only six months wear 'n tear in college baseball.
Last year, facing aluminum bats, his earned run average was remarkably under 3.
He tied for the team lead in innings pitched at 89.
81 strikeouts to go with 25 walks.
Beyond a better working knowledge of a weekly routine that includes weights and long toss, Carroll added a slider that's made his fastball even more effective.
It adds up to a health paycheck.
Eventually, which is fine.
After all, waiting is what Scott Carroll does best.