Hothpur (Uttar Pradesh), Nov 5 (ANI): Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel hailing from two obscure places in Uttar Pradesh have made India proud by excelling as the first ever Indian baseball players to play in the professional league of USA.
Both of them have been signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, a major baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US after winning 'The Million Dollar Arm' reality show which was launched in November 2007 to find the fastest arm in India and nurture them to play professional baseball in the US.
Family members and neighbours of Rinku Singh in Hothpur village of Bhadohi block in Varanasi district hailed his 'home coming' with traditional gaiety on Wednesday (November 04).
Accompanied by Dinesh Patel, the local hero Rinku Singh was given a hero's welcome as he returned home after 18 months.
It was their victory in the 'Million Dollar Arm' contest that changed their fate overnight.
J B Bernstein, promotor of the 'The Million Dollar Arm' show who served as an agent and guardian and made them become professional baseball players in the US, spotted them.
Interestingly, both pitchers, who had no clue as to what the game of baseball was until they were spotted are presently signed to the Pittsburgh Pirates and have completed their first season of Rookie A-Ball with the Bradenton Pirates.
Patel, hailing from Khanpur village also located in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh always had a strong inclination towards games and recreational sports.
"In the beginning, baseball game was very tough for us. But now that we are playing it, it is not much of a problem. Now we know the game very well and we would try to play better in the future and make India proud.
In India, training was okay but not many facilities were available. The diet offered to us at Lucknow Hostel was better than what we were offered at our homes. As for America, they have good facilities and better coaches and other trainers," noted Dinesh Patel, ace Indian baseball player.
Both the youngsters, now in their mid-20s, said that success did not come easily to them and it took a lot of hard work and struggle to reach where they are.
Rinku Singh who usually was never second to none in various competitions too seemed very excited about playing baseball in the US.
"We would start planning by the end of this week as we have received our workout sheet. It is off-season now. So we plan to do hard workout, training and other exercises like weightlifting to keep fit and in order to increase our stamina and get ready for the next season," said Rinku Singh, another ace Indian baseball player.
J B Bernstein, coach and manager of both the boys mentioned that he hopes to find more of talents like Patel and Singh from India in the forthcoming talent spotting 'Million Dollar Arms', an event promoted by him. (ANI)