Sports

Former Wildcat gets to live out dream

Many kids dream about playing professional sports but only a small percentage ever get the chance to live out the dream.

Kyle Carothers, a 1998 graduate of Oak Harbor High School, is now getting that chance with the newly formed Canadian Baseball League. After seeing an ad in the paper at the end of the summer for try-outs, Carothers jumped on an opportunity to prolong his career.

“It’s an opportunity to keep playing,” Carothers said.“Most people don’t get the chance to play past high school, or play in college for that matter.”

A little over a week ago, Carothers got the good news in the mail that the CBL would like him to join their league. He was one of the first 24 players to sign with the league.

“I knew when I received something in the mail it must be a contract,“ Carothers said. “I was just really excited.”

In his four-year career at Whitman College, as primarily a first baseman, Carothers had a batting average of .318 with 21 home runs, 42 doubles and 111 RBI. His senior season was his most offensively productive, as he hit .350 with 11 home runs, 33 RBI and had a .692 slugging percentage.

He graduated this past spring from Whitman College with a degree in economics and will remain in Walla Walla working as an assistant coach for the baseball team until spring training during April.

The CBL, which begins inaugural play this May, is similar to that of professional leagues in Japan, Mexico and Taiwan. There will be a 73-game schedule, with a mid-season all-star game and a post season championship, scheduled for September.

Players from around the world have already committed themselves to the CBL, including many smaller named former major league players.

The league, which is headquartered in Vancover, B.C., contains eight teams stretched across Canada. The Western Division consists of the Saskatoon Legends, Calgary Outlaws, Kelowna Heat and the Victoria Capitals. The Eastern Division has the London Monarchs, Niagara Stars, Montreal Royales and the Trois-Rivieres Saints.

Carothers is unaware of where he will end up. Once the league has signed 200 players it will hold a dispersal draft among the eight teams.

“I would like to go to one of the interior provinces,” Carothers said. “I’ve already seen most of B.C. and I’m not that interested in the Eastern part of Canada.”

One-hundred players are expected to be signed by the end of December, so Carothers expects to find out his destination by the end of January.

Regardless of where he ends up, he made it clear he is just happy to get an opportunity to play after college. This may even be the door to bigger things, like a chance at a major league career.

“If I could move up (to the majors) that would be great,” Carothers said.

Carothers knows that without the help of certain people and self-motivation, he may not of had the opportunity to live out the dream he has carried with him since his freshman year in high school.

“My parents especially helped me and some coaches along the way,” Carothers said. “A lot of it just came from within.”

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