The dream of playing a game you love professionally is something very few people achieve. And of the select few who get the opportunity to play pro sports, even fewer get the chance to play for the team they grew up rooting for.
UT-Arlington outfielder Preston Beck gets to do just that.
"I've always been a huge Rangers fan," Beck said. "I can't imagine any better outcome to the draft. It's such a great opportunity to play for a great club like the Rangers."
Beck, a Dallas native, grew up going to Texas Rangers games. Now he has an opportunity to play for the organization he cheered after being selected in the fifth round (186th overall) of the 2012 MLB Draft.
The selection by the Rangers was especially pleasant for the local talent, considering the Yankees were ready to take him with the very next pick.
Beck is eager to sign with the Rangers and is confident that the two sides can reach an agreement soon.
Rangers director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg said he expects Beck to make a seamless transition to the major leagues and become a solid addition to the organization.
"Being a local kid at UT-Arlington, we had a chance to scout this guy a lot," Fagg said. "We really liked the kid, liked the make-up; it was an easy pick for us."
In his junior season at UTA, Beck was a first team All-Southland Conference selection and led the conference in home runs (14) and RBIs (71). He batted .335 and slugged .602, helping the Mavericks to a Southland Tournament championship and an appearance in the Waco Regional in the NCAA Tournament.
"I hope to progress as a hitter and outfielder and just improve my all-around game," Beck said. "Hopefully I can supply a good bat in the lineup one day and help win some World Series."
His heart is in the right place. Hopefully, if and when Beck gets the call up to the big leagues, the Rangers will still be in the habit of bringing World Series baseball to the Metroplex.