Field of Dreams

Unknown Nicaraguan pitcher strikes out three major leaguers at WBC, immediately gets signed by Detroit Tigers

There’s no shortage of great baseball stories out there. They’ve even made a few movies about them over the years. ‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘The Natural,’ ‘A League of Their Own,’ ‘Angels in the Outfield,’ ‘The Rookie,’ ‘Moneyball,’ ‘Major League.’ Perhaps you’ve heard of them. On Monday night at the World Baseball Classic, previously unknown 21-year-old Nicaraguan pitcher Duque Hebbert delivered another tall tale, striking out Juan Soto, Julio Rodriguez, and Rafael Devers in a single odds-defying inning. After the game, Hebbert was approached by a Detroit Tigers scout, who immediately signed him to a minor-league deal.

If Hollywood wrote this script, it would be too on the nose. Thankfully this was real life not the movies, and now Hebbert has a chance to one day make his major-league dreams a reality. Don’t get us wrong, the minors aren't a cake walk. More promising prospects than Hebbert get chewed up and spit out of it on a yearly basis, but the kid has a shot now, and sometimes getting that shot is the hardest part.

Unfortunately Nicaragua wasn't so lucky. Despite the made-for-the-movies moment, they lost 6-1 and sit dead last in the Pool D, winless and set to face one of the tournament favorites in Venezuela in their final group-stage game. But no matter the outcome, Hebbert will walk away one of the tournament’s biggest winners.