WWE has signed former Pittsburgh Pirates minor league pitcher Rinku Singh to a developmental contract. He will report to the WWE Performance Center on Tuesday to begin training for a career in professional wrestling,WWE announced Saturday.
Singh won the Million Dollar Arm reality show in his native India in 2008, and he was signed by the Pirates. He was the first India native to play professional baseball in the United States and went on to spend several years in the minors.
Singh’s rise from javelin thrower to a pitcher was also dramatized in the 2014 Disney movie, Million Dollar Arm, starring Jon Hamm.
In this video posted on Major League Baseball’s YouTube channel in 2014, Singh discussed his journey from a reality show to baseball.
Last April, he joined 40 male and female athletes from India and the Middle East in an invitation-only tryout at the Dubai Opera House. There, he impressed Performance Center coaches and trainers and earned himself a WWE developmental contract.
In an interview with WWE, Singh talked about joining the Performance Center.
“Take a look at where I came from. When I started [playing baseball], there was nothing. Now we have 23 states [in India] playing baseball and softball. As I go through my journey at the Performance Center and WWE, it will continue to make things easier, and I’ll have millions of people in my corner. It’s going to be a fun journey.”
While WWE is referring to Singh as a former MLB pitcher, he never actually played in the Majors. He spent eight years in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization (2009 through 2016) in their lowest level minor league affiliates. Injuries began to mount in 2013, and he had Tommy John surgery in 2014. He did not pitch at all from 2013 through 2015. He returned to action in 2016, but only pitched one inning before retiring from baseball.