Once a standout athlete at Melrose-Mindoro and Viterbo
Blake Shepherd is now on the verge of playing professional
baseball with the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier
Shepherd reports to his new team ...
on Monday after signing a contract with the Grizzlies
and being added to their roster at the start of the
Since that big moment...he's been working out and
preparing for the opportunity.
Players have gone from Frontier League to becoming
M-L-B All-Stars....so for Shepherd it's about performing
well and getting noticed.
Kind of a dream come true I guess.
Kind of a reality check.
Exciting to finally get that piece of paper, sign
it, and keep the dream alive.
Shepherd says he's approaching this like any other
He started out at Viterbo as a pitcher...but moved
to outfield after shoulder surgery.
Only to leave Viterbo top-five in many of the school's
career statistical offensive categories...including
home runs and r-b-i's.
Shepherd also spent his summers playing in both the
Northwoods League and Cape Cod League.
There are no guarantees in professional baseball,
it can be cut-throat at times so he's going to have
to continue to prove himself.
But if there is ever anybody deserving of an opportunity,
it would be Blake just because of the amount of time
he's put into the game, his committment to the game
the last four years.
Blake has spent the spring as an assistant coach with
Another former Viterbo player turned assistant coach
Chris Dunn...will also play professionally in another