Skip to main content

Tryout Signee Rice is Living the Dream

From his time as a star with Washington Township High School, through his years of college, Bill Rice would keep tabs on the annual Major League Baseball draft. He never heard his name called. The Sewell, NJ native never gave up hope, however and forced a professional team to take a close look at him when he attended an open tryout hosted by the Phillies in Lakewood last summer. The result of that was everything he hoped for.

The tryout had a large turnout. The lefty hitting Rice, who played at Gloucester County College prior to transferring to the University of South Carolina-Aiken, had low expectations going in, but felt that an opportunity to be seen by professional talent evaluators couldn't be a bad thing.

Following the audition, Rice said there was a stretch when he didn't hear anything from the Phillies and he began to doubt there ever would be. Rice thought the club would never reach out to him. However, roughly three weeks later, a phone call from the Phils' assistant director of minor league operations proved his suspicions wrong.

"Steve Noworyta called me and said, 'I think we're gonna bring you on board', and I was a little shocked. I didn't really get it. At first it didn't sink in. I was stunned. It didn't really hit me till two days later," Rice said.

Rice's very first trip to Lakewood's FirstEnergy Park was for the tryout in June 2010, but he ensured that it wasn't his last visit there by putting up solid numbers (.305 BA) with the Gulf Coast Phillies. He earned a promotion, up two levels, to the BlueClaws of the Class A South Atlantic League.

There was considerable disappointment for Rice as he went undrafted year after year. But the 5-foot-11-inch 185-pounder used that level of discouragement as fuel to help himself stay focused on achieving his goal of playing professional baseball.

"I watched the entire draft every time, waiting for a phone call and it was disappointing. But I was never the type of person to give up, and my family helped to support me," Rice explained.

The 22-year-old considers playing professional baseball in his home state a dream come true and expects to have a lot of friends and family at each game in the Jersey Shore town of Lakewood. Previously, Rice's father would drive over 17 hours to see him play in Florida. Now dad is less than 90 minutes from seeing his son in action.

Rice joins Jesse Biddle as BlueClaws players that grew up as Phillies fans. Extremely excited to be part of the Philadelphia organization, Rice was fortunate enough to be coached by some of his boyhood idols.

"I always liked [Mickey] Morandini and Kevin Jordan a lot, and then I got to play under those guys in spring training," Rice said. "It was pretty neat and I just remember calling my dad and saying, 'Mickey Morandini is so cool!'"

As Rice lives his dream and continues to meet and play for some of his childhood heroes, he tries to enjoy each day as it comes, taking nothing for granted. The most memorable aspect of his professional career has been playing in front of the Lakewood crowd and it's something he'll take away from this whole experience and treasure, as a highlight of his baseball career.

"This ballpark's great. It holds a ton of people...to hear that crowd roar after a good play and things like that...that's what you play for- to have a crowd. It's all I've wanted."

_______________________________________

You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE.

You can also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Comments

Anonymous said…
You have the great possibility to play new and different free online flash games, which are as follows: Insane Sky Jump,Extreme Pamplona,Candy Magic,Light Temple,Rubble Trouble at [url="http://ow.ly/5X5j5"]PLAY HERE[/url]

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Wassup with dat? Vito Friscia edition

Friscia, image- Jay Floyd What's up with that Vito Friscia guy?  Well, he's a 24-year-old righty batting catcher that was drafted by the Phillies out of Hofstra University in 2019 with the team's final selection, 1200th overall, in the 40th round. But what's his deal?  Friscia opened the season with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, where, in 16 games, he notched a .264 batting average with a pair of home runs, five doubles and seven RBI.  Last week, when Triple-A Lehigh Valley needed a reserve backstop, Friscia was promoted to fill their void.  When Rafael Marchan returned from a short stint in the big leagues, Friscia was assigned to the Double-A Reading roster.   Is he just a backup catcher?  For now, it seems that's his role.  But check out this quote from BlueClaws skipper Chris Adamson from earlier this month when I asked him about which player stood out to him as a guy that deserved recognition, but may not be getting it. "Vito Friscia is a guy that, earl