Arkansas Tech product Blaine Sims is living a dream that has been shared by generations of American boys. He's a professional baseball player.
Sims has signed a contract with the Atlanta Braves organization and was assigned to the club's rookie level team in Danville, Va.
By signing with the Braves, Sims gives up his final year of collegiate eligibility. The left-hander pitched for the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys for two seasons, the best of which was his junior campaign in 2010.
Sims was 6-4 with a 5.31 earned run average while helping the Wonder Boys reach the postseason for the first time since 2007, win a postseason game for the first time since 2001 and set a new school record for baseball wins in a season (35).
He went on to pitch for the New Market Rebels in the Valley Baseball League this summer, and it was in that summer collegiate league that his talents were noticed by professional scouts.
Sims was 3-3 with a 2.95 ERA in 12 appearances and 64 innings for New Market. He had a 2.5-to-1 strike out to walk ratio and held opposing hitters to a .232 batting average while competing against some of the top collegiate baseball talent in the country.
“Blaine threw really well out this summer in the Valley Baseball League and the Atlanta Braves liked his stuff and decided to offer him a contract that was too attractive to pass up,” said Arkansas Tech head baseball coach Dave Dawson in a news release from the Arkansas Tech Sports Information Department. “I want to wish Blaine to best of luck as he pursues his goal of becoming of professional baseball player.”
Sims made his professional debut on Friday, Aug. 6, and pitched two innings of relief in a 10-9 loss to Kingsport.
The Danville Braves are the defending Appalachian League champions, and they are currently in second place in the 2010 Appalachian League East Division standings.
Sims is originally from Scott, Ark. He spent one year at Kaskaskia College (Ill.) before transferring to Arkansas Tech.