North Central College and Waubonsie Valley graduate Kris Singh always knew he wanted to play professional baseball when his time at NCC was over.
But how was he going to do that coming from a Division III school?
“That was my goal in life,” Singh said. “Toward the end (of the NCC season), people told me that I had to start doing tryouts. People kept telling me that I had a chance.”
With a little help from NCC coach John Fitzgerald, Singh received his opportunity last week. Fitzgerald’s relationship with Schaumburg Boomers pitching coach T.J. Nall landed Singh a tryout, and last week, the independent league team inked him to a deal.
“Ultimately, he just needed the opportunity,” Fitzgerald said.
He has already made two appearances out of the Boomers’ bullpen, earning his first professional win in his first outing on July 4.
“It’s been awesome,” Singh said. “It’s a dream come true. I want to play as long as possible. This is ideal (being so close to home). I’m commuting. It was perfect. Of all the teams I tried out for (the Gary SouthShore RailCats and Normal CornBelters also had him throw), this was the team I wanted to pitch for.”
In his three years after transferring to NCC from Valparaiso, Singh finished with the best ERA in program history — 2.97 — and also finished in the top 10 in innings pitched, games started, strikeouts and wins. He was 6-0 with a 2.18 ERA this spring.
“I’m thrilled for Kris,” Fitzgerald said. “Kris worked very hard over the past 12 months. Had he not, he wouldn’t have had this opportunity. He is smart, competitive and self-motivated. He truly represents everything that I want our players to aspire to both on and off the field.
“I’m so very proud to have been able to work with him over the past three years and so happy to see the type of man he has developed into.”
While not many Division III players get this chance, Singh pointed out there are other D-III players on the Boomers. And in his short time as a pro, he has realized it’s still the game he’s always played.
“It’s baseball,” Singh said. “We all have the same experience. All the guys are really cool. It’s been a great experience the past few days. It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s been awesome.”
For North Central College, it’s a great tool for Fitzgerald to show to recruits and his current team.
“Any time you have a player sign a professional contract, I think it helps break down the misconception that Division III baseball programs do not produce professional baseball players,” Fitzgerald said. “I think Kris’ signing has the ability to obviously help with regard to recruiting, but more importantly give our current players a palpable example of the results that they can derive from hard work and determination.”Tags: Baseball