Athlete of the Week: Riverdog Ian Clarkin
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - Ian Clarkin is a 19-year-old millionaire making a pitch towards his dream of playing in Yankee Stadium. The surfer from San Diego is currently a Riverdog in his first season as a pro.
"Playing professional baseball is a little bit different. I'm not going to class, I'm not sitting at a desk listening to someone talk. I don't do any of that. I don't need a pencil, I don't need any of that. I need myself, my tools, my glove, my cleats, that's it," he said.
The tools of his trade are already bringing him star power. He has a seven-figure contract as a first round draft pick.
"It's always a little more pressure, but you have to take it for what it is. You have to come out every day like everybody else," he said.
The dream for Clarkin is the same for every Riverdog on the roster - a pin-striped uniform and a date in Yankee Stadium.
"You have to. That's what drives us; that's the motivation every single day to wake up and be here. You don't want to be playing minor league baseball for the rest of your life. You want to play Big League baseball," Clarkin said. "I mean, you have to dream about that every single day. And I do."
The dream is still leagues away, but every day at the ballpark is hopefully one day closer.
"It wears on everybody, but you have to have fun with it. You're playing baseball for a living. You have to take it day by day. You have to have fun," he said.
For Clarkin, there's a lot of joy in a journey he's just beginning.