Dinesh Patel

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Dinesh Patel
Born: (1989-05-08) 8 May 1989 (age 30)
Lucknow, India
Bats: Right Throws: Right

Dinesh Kumar Patel (born 8 May 1989, in Lucknow, India) is an Indian right-handed baseball pitcher who played in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Along with Rinku Singh, he was the first Indian national ever to sign a contract with a major American Baseball team. Neither Patel nor Singh had ever thrown a baseball before beating over 37,000 competitors in The Million Dollar Arm, an Indian reality television show designed to find new baseball talent.[1]

Early life

Due to extreme poverty and inability to meet the expenses of raising a child, Patel's parents had left him to be raised by his maternal grandmother in Khanpur, a village of Varanasi district.[2] At the age of 14, he started visiting Sampurnanand Stadium in Sigra where he met athletes and trained himself to play field hockey. In 2004, he was selected for a regional sports hostel in Lucknow.[2] Patel won a gold medal in field hockey at the National School Games at Pune in 2006.[3]

He is an alumnus of the Guru Gobind Singh Sports College, Lucknow.[citation needed]

Professional baseball career

Patel, along with Singh, tried out in front of scouts from 20 Major League Baseball teams in November 2008, reaching 90 mph.[4][5] Reports from Pittsburgh Pirates scouts Joe Ferrone and Sean Campbell led to general manager Neal Huntington signing both to contracts with the organization. With the deal, the pair became the first Indians to sign American major league baseball contracts.[6][7] The total signing bonus for the two was $8,000.[8] After training, the two returned to visit their families in India before entering Pirates training camp in Bradenton, Florida.[5]

Patel, along with Singh, played for the Pirates' Gulf Coast League team.[9] He had a successful, yet brief, 2009 season for the Pirates, picking up a victory on 13 August (exactly one month after his countryman Singh got his first, and only, win of the year) and finishing with a 1–0 record and 1.42 ERA, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks in 6​13 innings, holding opposing batters to a .192 batting average in six relief appearances.[10] Patel's 2010 season was less successful, with an 8.59 ERA in 7​13 innings, over nine games; he was released in December 2010. He played errorless defense over the two seasons.[11]

Later years

Patel returned home to finish school.[12] He also taught baseball in Delhi, and in 2011 he helped his village boys prepare for the second season of the Million Dollar Arm talent hunt for about two months, without charge. After his return, Patel was also "seriously" practicing the javelin. Patel participated at the national athletics championship in Kolkata in 2011 and the Federation Cup athletics championship in April 2012.[3] In 2012, Patel said,

"My family's economical and emotional conditions have improved. I could renovate home in the village and my sister's wedding was arranged with the money that I sent home. My family gathered self esteem and respect in society. It is always good to see your near and dear ones happy."[2]


Patel and Singh's story is the basis for the Walt Disney Pictures sports film, Million Dollar Arm, where Patel is portrayed by Madhur Mittal.[13]

See also


  1. ^ Vercammen, Paul (11 December 2008). "Indian pitchers are first for America's national pastime". CNN. Retrieved 9 April 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Chandra, Swati (5 April 2012). "A journey from Penury to Pittsburgh". The Times of India.
  3. ^ a b Shah, Wajiha (26 March 2012). "Baseball dream ends but 23-yr-old Varanasi youth returns a winner".
  4. ^ "Pirates sign Indian _ not Cleveland _ pitchers". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  5. ^ a b Langosch, Jenifer (25 November 2008). "Indian hurlers' inking opens new market". MLB.com. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  6. ^ Vercammen, Paul (11 December 2008). "Indian pitchers are first for America's national pastime". CNN. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  7. ^ Fornelli, Tom (5 November 2008). "International Pastime: Pitcher Is Latest American Job to Be Outsourced to India". Fanhouse. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  8. ^ Kovacevic, Dejan (10 July 2009). "The Bradenton Pirates: They are the world". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  9. ^ White, Paul (4 March 2009). "Pirates pitching imports from India are a work in progress". USA Today. Retrieved 23 June 2009. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  10. ^ "Dinesh Patel Stats". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  11. ^ "Dinesh Patel". MILB.com. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Pirates release pitcher Dinesh Patel". ESPN. 2 December 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2012. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  13. ^ "Disney's "Million Dollar Arm" begins production film shooting in India, Georgia and Los Angeles". The Walt Disney Studios. 30 May 2013. Archived from the original (Press release) on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • Million-Dollar Arm blog
  • SAJA call-in web radio show with Dinesh Patel, Rinku Singh and JB Bernstein, November 2008
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