Two youngsters from small Indian villages, who dreamt to be part of the Indian Cricket Team, are now hoping to be starting pitchers and play for the Pittsburgh Pirates in Major League Baseball someday.
The story of Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh is a rags to riches story. Dinesh Patel hails from the village of Khanpur near the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh state of India. Only a few years ago, Patel was working as a construction worker to help pay for his admission fees to the Guru Gobind Singh Sports College in the city of Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh. Rinku Singh is the son of a truck driver and can hardly speak or understand English. Rinku won the Million Dollar Arm reality contest that was sponsored on Indian Television by an American company scouting for Baseball players in India. Rinku won the contest with a 89 miles per hour ball and while Dinesh Patel was able to throw better than Rinku, his throw was called as a foul and had to settle for the runner up position.
Dinesh Patel and Rinku had not even heard of Baseball, let alone knowing anything about pitching. They started their Baseball career on the USC campus and recently signed minor league contracts with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Their arms are now way richer than a million dollars and India might have found another sport to follow, other than cricket. According to the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Neal Huntington, they are both still very raw and have a long way to go before they can dream about pitching in a MLB game. Here is a video on the players from USA Today.
You can follow Dinesh and Rinku on their blogs at http://www.themilliondollararm.com/blog/