Kansas University's baseball team has mined another son of a former Kansas City Royal from Blue Springs, Mo.
Jim Terrell, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound shortstop from Tri-City Christian School, has signed a letter of intent to play for the Jayhawks next fall.
His father is Jerry Terrell, an eight-year major-league infielder who concluded his career in 1980, his third season with the Kansas City Royals. One of the elder Terrell's contemporaries was pitcher Paul Splittorff, whose son, Jamie, just completed his three-year college career at Kansas.
"I'd never really thought about that," Jim Terrell said. "But the comparisons don't bother me. There are a few Royals who live around here."
One of Jerry Terrell's teammates when he was with the Minnesota Twins was first-year KU baseball coach Bobby Randall.
"I didn't know coach Randall personally," Jim Terrell said. "But my dad did. My dad told me a little about him, but I could tell just talking to him that he was a good guy."
Jim Terrell hit .627 with 23 RBIs and three home runs for tiny Tri-City, a kindergarten-through-12 school that competes against other Christian schools in the area. Terrell's graduating class numbers just 23.
"That's kind of misleading," Terrell said of his lofty batting average. "I only saw a couple of curveballs all year. The fastest ball I ever saw was probably 65 mph."
Facing faster heat and more curves, Terrell hit .450 with 62 RBIs and 11 homers over the summer while playing for Oak Grove, Mo., Post 379. He also traveled to Japan as part of a U.S. Select Team that played against the Japanese national team. In August, he went to Korea to play the Korean national team.
"I had never seen any pitching like that," Terrell said. "The balls came faster. I think I did pretty good. My fielding was very good, but the hitting was hard to get used to."
Terrell signed without ever taking an official visit. He dropped by the KU program, but he took his official visits to Arkansas, Baylor and Hawaii.
"I liked KU's academics, I like Bobby Randall as a coach and I liked the facilities," Terrell said. "The program looks great, the campus is beautiful and it's close to home."
Terrell is the third confirmed player to sign with KU during the early signing period. The other two are Shane Wedd, a catcher-designated hitter from Lawrence High, and Josh Bailey, a right-handed pitcher from Hutchinson Community College.