Dreams of MLB glory have possessed everyone from Heisman Trophy winners to Michael Jordan, but speed skater Eddy Alvarez might be the most unique crossover athlete to ever sign a deal with a major league affiliate.
The 25-year-old Olympian posted a video of the signing process to Instagram on Tuesday, showing himself going over a White Sox contract.
So...why Alvarez? Why bring a speed skater into the dugout? What’s he going to do? Slide around the bases really fast?
Well, yea, Alvarez can do that. He’s also pretty handy with a bat.
According to Sam Dykstra of MiLB.com, Alvarez played baseball in high school and at Salt Lake Community College—a powerhouse on the JuCo circuit. Dykstra rattles off the healthy list of accomplishments the young skater had at the ballpark while keeping one foot on the ice:
The 5-foot-9 shortstop owned a .311/.390/.478 slash line and led the Scenic West Athletic Conference with 16 doubles to go with two homers, four triples, 46 RBIs and seven steals in 63 games. He earned a spot on the all-conference team along with a nomination as a Junior College All-American. Scouts turned up to see if Alvarez was back on the diamond for good. His answer? Not yet.
No, baseball wasn’t Alvarez’s final destination then and it may never be. He left baseball after 2011, continued skating and his efforts eventually earned him a silver medal in the 5,000-meter relay at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
No matter what happens on the ice, however, Alvarez says baseball will always be a part of his life.
“Baseball's just something that's always been a part of my family," Alvarez told Dykstra. "My dad did it, my brother did it, I grew up doing it. It was before skating, too. I was 2 years old and already swinging bats and throwing balls. I knew that was something that I was going do."
And that, is the story of America’s first speed skating shortstop, who is reportedly already working out at the White Sox’s spring training facilities in Glendale, Arizona.
See? He’s quick off the line. Now he’ll just have to adjust to training in summertime Arizona—the opposite of a refrigerated, ice rink.
On the Twitters.