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Beach signs deal with Kansas City

ROXIE — For 22-years Colby Beach dreamed of the chance to playprofessional baseball. Saturday afternoon that dream became realitywhen the Kansas City Royals signed him to a Rookie-Free Agentcontract.

Beach reports to the Royals rookie league camp in Idaho Falls,Idaho today. He will play in the Royals advanced rookie system withthe Idaho Falls Chukars this summer.

“It’s a shot at playing pro ball,” said Beach from his Roxiehome in Franklin County. “Having the chance to play in the minorleagues and hopefully some day in the majors has always been a goalof mine. It’s really a dream come true.”

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Beach drew pro interest from a number ofteams, including the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, and Boston RedSox, before the Royals offered him Friday.

Kansas City Royals scout Scott Nichols, a Jackson native, signedBeach after a private workout Thursday. Beach played at WesternKentucky this season going 4-3 with noteable wins at Ole Miss, atLouisville, and against New Orleans in the Sun Belt ConferenceChampionship game.

“Colby’s talent speaks for itself,” said Beach’s sports andmarketing agent James O. Covington. “He’s a real bulldog on themound who can throw four pitches for strikes with a fastball thatreaches the low to mid 90’s.”

Beach graduated from Franklin County High in 2003, settingnumerous pitching records as a Bulldog for strikeouts and wins. Heplayed his freshman season at Co-Lin before red-shirting hissophomore year after having season-ending Tommy John Surgery on hisright throwing arm. He played at Delta State in 2006 beforetransferring to Division One Western Kentucky in 2007.

“I’ve really enjoyed the college experience and playing collegebaseball at such a high level,” said Beach. “The opportunityWestern Kentucky gave me was priceless. Winning the Sun BeltTournament Championship will be something I’ll never forget.”

Saturday afternoon, Beach was joined by several family membersand friends at his Roxie home. His parents, Mickey and TriciaBeach, were all smiles for there son’s big opportunity.

“We’re really proud of him,” said Beach’s father. “Ever sincelittle league, me and Tricia have did our best to make every gameof his we could. We’re just proud of this opportunity he has infront of him.”

Beach is the first Franklin County product to sign a probaseball contract since 1997 when Braxton Whitehead was drafted bythe Cincinnati Reds in the 15th round. Last year Franklin Countynative and McComb High grad Alonzo Harris signed with the New YorkMets after being drafted in the 35th round.

“Right now I’m just ready to get started,” said Beach. “Ready toplay pro baseball. It’s a new challenge but it’s something I’vedreamed of all my life.”