Struggling javelin throwers first ever Indians to play for major US baseball team

December 27th, 2008 - 4:15 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 27 (ANI): Two struggling javelin throwers from India, who starred in and won a reality TV show which changed their lives, are to become star pitchers for a Major League American baseball team.

Dinesh Patel (19), a right-hander, and Rinku Singh (20), a left-hander, may never have played a competitive baseball game in their lives, but on the strength of their performances on a reality TV competition they have been signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the five-time World Series Champions.

They are first Indian citizens to sign a contract with a major US team in any sport, The Times reported.

Singh, the son of a lorry driver and the youngest of nine children, won the Million-Dollar Arm competition by throwing a baseball faster and more accurately than 30,000 other contestants from across the sub-continent.

The feat earned him a 100,000 dollars cash prize, six months intensive coaching and the opportunity to try out for Americas leading baseball teams.

Patel, who was brought up in a dusty village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh by his uncle and grandmother after his parents found that they could not afford to raise him, fouled his competition throw.

However, his ability to hurl a baseball at more than 90 miles an hour having never been coached was sufficiently impressive for the competitions backers to pay for his passage to the US.

The pair will report to the Pirates training complex next month to prepare for spring training.

The Pirates, who have struggled in recent seasons, are not claiming that their Indian imports will transform the teams performance overnight.

Indeed, the side looks to be playing a much longer game, one with an eye to future television deals as well as a potentially massive talent pool, the paper said. (ANI)

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