21 October, 2020

Dream Home Run

Javelin to baseball, two rustic UPites hit major league

Dream Home Run
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
How hard can you throw a ball? The answer to this question has taken two javelin throwers in their 20s from obscure UP villages all the way to the US where, as the first Indians ever to be signed on by an American Major League baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, they look poised to find both fame and a big fortune.

Dinesh Patel, who hails from the small village of Choppepur near Benares, had never seen a baseball before November 2007, when he chanced upon a newspaper ad for a reality show competition called 'The Million Dollar Arm'. It offered a prize money of Rs 4 crore. "I thought it was a joke—winning that much money just throwing a ball!" says Dinesh. But he decided to give it a shot.

"Thousands had come to compete in the Lucknow round," recalls Dinesh. But, used to fighting impossible odds, he was unfazed. Born in a poor family, with a mentally handicapped father who was unable to earn, Dinesh went to the village school, where he discovered he had a natural aptitude for javelin throwing. After school hours, he worked at...
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