Former pitcher Rinku Singh, whose story inspired the movie “Million Dollar Arm,” is now trying his hand in a different form of athletics and entertainment.
As first reported by ESPN, the 6-foot-3, 256-pound left-hander from Bhadohi, India has signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The WWE’s website has since confirmed the signing, adding that Singh will report to their Performance Center in Orlando, Fla on Tuesday.
[Stream the NFL Playoffs live on the Yahoo Sports mobile app]
Both Singh and Dinesh Patel were discovered by sports agent J.B. Bernstein after winning the “Million Dollar Arm” reality show competition in India. Neither had ever thrown a baseball before entering the competition, but both beat out 37,000 other competitors to win the contest. Together they became the first Indian pitchers to sign with a major-league team after receiving minor league offers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Singh, 29, lasted nearly eight years in the Pirates’ organization, but never advanced beyond A-ball. He walked away from baseball in 2016 after suffering a series of injuries.
Entering the WWE ring won’t be any easier on Singh’s body. WWE performers work tirelessly to hone their craft and spend countless hours in the ring preparing their bodies for almost nightly punishment. It’s not for everyone, but Singh says he’s ready for the challenge.
“As long as I stay focused and stay strong, just as I have over the past 10 years with baseball or track and field … it will lead me in the right direction,” Singh told WWE.com. “Obviously, it’s going to be a totally different training program [at the WWE Performance Center]. But it does not matter where you came from. You’re trying to be something bigger than yourself, and you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got.”
Singh reportedly impressed WWE officials, including Performance Center head coach Matt Bloom and legendary English wrestler William Regal, during an April 2017 tryout in Dubai.
WWE is expected to formally introduce Singh and its other new recruits on Tuesday.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Gronk: Don’t eat laundry detergent, kids
• RudyGobert goes at Fox News host on Twitter
• Hernandez on his prison life: ‘I’m built for this’
• Ball brothers held scoreless in Lithuanian league debut