WHITE HALL — The dream of making the major leagues came true for White Hall’s Tyler Zuber.
In the most recent Major League Baseball draft, Zuber, an Arkansas State University Red Wolves pitcher, was selected in the sixth round by the Kansas City Royals organization. The former White Hall Bulldog, who was an intricate part of the team’s 2012 state championship, left last Friday for the Royals camp in Phoenix, Arizona.
“It was really exciting,” Zuber said of his selection. “It was awesome to finally hear name called. It has been a life-long dream of mine.”
After arriving in Phoenix, Zuber will go through a series of physicals and attend the Royals mini-camps. From there, he will either go to Idaho Falls or Burlington, North Carolina, to join one of the Royals’ short-season minor league teams.
“I will finish out there and come back to Arkansas,” Zuber said.
There is a chance he could wind up on the mound with the Arkansas Naturals in Springdale, which is a double-A affiliate to Kansas City.
However long ago, Zuber started playing baseball in the White Hall Little League organization, where he learned to be a pitcher at age 8.
“We were in batting practice and I was playing third base,” he said. “Our bull pen was off to the side of where I was playing, and I thought it looked kind of fun. I tried it out and threw pretty well. I started taking pitching lessons and got the hang of it. Over the years, I got better and better at it, and it became one of those things I want keep doing.”
After being a part of several winning All-Star Little League teams from White Hall, all his practice and hard work paid off his junior year of high school. He was one of the pitchers to lead the Bulldogs to a state championship at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
“Winning so many titles from Little League on up and the state championship in my junior season was one of the best memories I have,” Zuber said.
Zuber signed to play with the Arkansas State Red Wolves baseball team and pitched for four years at the Division I level.
“It was like a second home to me,” he said.
When his college career came to an end, Zuber was one of the few baseball players selected from Arkansas to play in the major leagues.
“It’s the competition and it is an easy game to love,” Zuber said. “Baseball games are fun to watch. There are so many different plays that can be exciting. In baseball, big strike outs, hitting a home run or a grand slam and walk-off homers are fun to watch. Baseball has been my passion and something I love to do.”
The city of White Hall is also proud of Zuber.
“Tyler is good young man and he comes from an excellent family,” White Hall Mayor Noel Foster said. “He has worked for this and he worked hard for it. I was proud to see him drafted, and you can bet that I am a Kansas City Royals fan now. We all will be rooting for them and Tyler.”
Zuber has some advice for the Little League players who are wanting to follow in his footsteps.
“I would say, stick to what you know and do something that you love,” Zuber said. “You want to do something you are passion about. Play as if every pitch is your last pitch and play as if every game is your last game. You never know about tomorrow.”
During his high school years, Zuber was pitching when college coaches were watching another prospect. He was impressive and turned the recruiters’ eyes to him.
“You never know who is in the stands watching you,” Zuber said. “They may be there watching somebody else and you show out and impress him.”
Zuber is pleased that Kansas City chose him.
“It really didn’t matter who picked me, but I am happy to be with the Royals,” he said. “Their Double-A team is in Arkansas only four hours away and if I am fortunate to make it to the major leagues. It’s only seven hours away. I am pleased to be a part of a great organization like Kansas City.”