Louisville, KY (WDRB) -- Less than one percent of aspiring baseball players makes it from the sandlot to the major leagues.
But WDRB's Sterling Riggs got to swap gigs with the Louisville Bats to see what it takes to be a professional ball player. Equipped with vintage cleats from his college football days and his childhood Louisville Slugger glove, a lifelong dream finally became a reality.
Cincinnati's AAA team, the Louisville Bats invited him out to practice with the team. Let's be honest; the only realistic roster spot Riggs could ever fill with the Bats is being the bat boy. But that didn't stop him from giving it his all and proving to the coaches that he still has some gas left in the tank.
It's just a game right? Well, not at this level. Playing baseball is how these guys provide for their families.
Catcher Corky Miller has been with the team for 9 years. He says it's a daily challenge to perform at an elite level and stay employed. "The key is consistency. That's how you stick around. You have to keep going out there and doing well. Probably 50 guys get sent home from training camp and they will never play professional baseball again."
Batting coach Tony Jarmillio said the toughest challenge is being consistent at the plate. "In golf they set it on the tee. Here it's cutting moving and sinking going 95. Hitting is one of the hardest things to do in sports. It's never in the same spot so good luck."
After a few quick tips, it was time to step into the batters box for some live batting practice. "Hitting is timing. The sooner you get started, the better chance your eyes have to see the ball." says Jarmillio.
And before Riggs knew it, his major league practice debut was over. He didn't get an offer to officially join the team, but he says it sure was fun to spend a day at the office with the Louisville Bats.
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