What, you expected me to say “lifelong dream”? Well, that too, but only thanks to the divine intervention of a college coach, a nifty dismount, and David Eckstein’s brother.
Still sounds like gibberish? Yeah, understood. But that’s the great thing about baseball, right? Some top prospects are plucked from camps and bred to swing the bat flawlessly from Year 1, and some nearly give the game up before a helpful coach steers them properly along the way.
And, if literally everything breaks right following that moment, those nearly forgotten prospects could end up like Reks, starting in left in a key divisional matchup in mid-June.
There’s a lot more to Reks’ fantastic baseball life that we’ll get to in a second, but before we can fully grasp it, we need to address his origin story.
While at Kentucky, Reks quit the program before assistant coach Rick Eckstein — yes, one of those Ecksteins — saw him hop off a moped with great agility and decided, “Yeah, I want that dude.” The gambit worked.
Dodgers prospect Zach Reks only made MLB because of a scooter dismount.
Side note, imagine if he’d tried out as a walk-on after the whole scooter business, only for Eckstein to pull him aside again and be like, “Yeah, I was wrong. You ain’t got it. But nice scooter trick!”
Luckily, that’s not the sequence of events that transpired. Instead, that bizarre encounter set in motion a career that brought the 27-year-old Reks to the bigs on the heels of an impressive .341/.445/.577/1.022 line with five homers at Triple-A OKC thus far in 2021.
In addition to scooting, which we assume is a passion of his, Reks appears to have an extremely varied collection of interests, and channeled his pandemic energy into the opening stages of creating a nonprofit for minor-leaguers who are unable to make ends meet with their meager salaries and subpar housing.
In essence, Reks has a lot to share with the world, and we’re especially glad his MLB career began with a somewhat chance encounter.
Reks’ first game didn’t exactly go as planned, featuring an 0-for-2 day that was ended by AJ Pollock subbing in for him in left field.
Somehow, though, we doubt a hitless evening and a loss in San Diego will derail Reks’ momentum, unless someone saw him pulling out of the players’ parking lot and decided he had the moxie to become a stunt driver.