A pair of pitchers from India signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates after appearing on an Indian television show called “The Million Dollar Arm” made their pro baseball debuts recently. Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel became the first players from India to play in an American professional baseball game on July 4 by appearing back-to-back in a 4-2 Pirates’ Gulf Coast League loss to the Yankees in Bradenton, Florida. The GCL is a Rookie-level league based at spring training complexes throughout Florida.
Singh pitched the seventh inning, allowing a run on two hits before retiring the last three Yankees batters he faced. Patel came on in the eighth, turning in a hitless, nine-pitch effort on the mound. Singh is left-handed, while Patel is a righty.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, who signed the duo last November, said, “This is going to be a long process, but they continue to make progress.” Huntington added that Patel and Singh will pitch out of the bullpen for the rest of the year and probably in 2010 as well.