The MLB Draft can be a roller coaster of emotions for those waiting to hear their name called. Nothing can compare, though, to the emotional ride Chris Singleton has experienced over the last two years of his young life, which was capped on Wednesday by the realization of a dream to play baseball professionally.
Singleton was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the final pick of the 19th round of the MLB Draft. His selection comes three days before the two-year anniversary of the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, which claimed the life of his mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and eight others.
When Singleton’s name was called, everyone’s thoughts immediately turned to just how proud his mother would have been. It was her unwavering support that pushed Singleton to not only pursue baseball, but to excel as a player and a student-athlete at Charleston Southern. And it’s her memory that’s motivated him to keep the dream alive at a time when pushing forward must have felt impossible.
— Chris Singleton (@csingleton__2) May 14, 2017
During those two years Singleton has balanced school and athletics with his most important role, which is serving as the lone parental figure for his younger siblings, Camryn and Caleb.
The Charleston and Charleston Southern community have rallied behind Singleton’s family, which has helped give them a foundation. But it’s been up to them to rebuild, and that’s exactly what they’re in the process of doing thanks in large part to Chris’ strength, leadership and determination. All qualities that were clearly evident even in the difficult days that followed the tragedy.
Emotion aside, let’s be clear that Singleton’s selection was earned. He proved himself to be an intriguing prospect during his junior season at Charleston Southern, where he started all 51 games in the outfield and finished with 18 steals, 38 runs scored and four home runs.
His biggest asset was his arm, which produced 10 outfield assists.
Scouts will tell you there’s a lot to like about Chris Singleton the player. All of the tools they can measure suggest he has a future in the game. But there’s so much more to admire about Chris Singleton the person and the qualities he possesses that can’t be measured. That’s what makes him special, and that’s why his support system will only continue to grow regardless of where baseball and life take him.
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