|Published:||Jun 11, 2011 6:10 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jun 11, 2011 6:12 PM EDT|
Over a hundred aspiring baseball players showed up at Hammond Stadium Saturday morning for their shot at playing in the big leagues.
"We're chasing the dream.. Trying to play ball," said baseball player Danny Pichardo.
The Ttwins have held open tryouts in southwest Florida for 50 years.. it's the only chance players have to make the team outside of Minnesota.
"For those of us who didn't get drafted we weren't that lucky then they have these tryouts around we go and we get another opportunity," Pichardo continued.
That opportunity draws hopefuls from all over the country who bring their "A game" and a dream of getting noticed.
"There might be a handful, you know, it's a longshot realistically but we're seeing some good talent out here so far so you never know," said Brian Maloney, Coordinator of Florida Operations for the Twins.
"There's a lot of really good guys out here today so hopefully one of them will make it," baseball mother Anthony Maguire said.
But players like Danny Pichardo say even if they don't get called up to the major league after Saturday's tryouts, the exposure will be worth the time.
"I know they don't sign a lot of people but everybody has that hope out of this but mostly if they like me and they can recommend me to an independent team so I can play some pro ball and keep going and see what comes out of that," Pichardo explained.
Contract or not, many players say support from their family is what keeps them motivated to try out year after year.
"He's always loved baseball since he was very very little so its very exciting to watch and to hope and pray that it does come true for him," Maguire said of her son.
Only three players have ever made it on the Minnesota Twins roster as a result of the Fort Myers tryouts -- most recently -- pitcher Gary Serum in 1975.
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