Americans love a rag-to-riches story.
Chris Heisey is the people's choice and fights the odds for playing time with the Cincinnati Reds.
Tuesday night Heisey singled off Jeff Samardzjia to drive in lockermmate, Zach Cozart, with the deciding run in the Reds' 3-2 victory.
"I you would have told me when I was a freshman at Messiah College, that I would have four years in the major leagues, I wouldn't have believed you," said the 29-year old outfielder. "Everybody wants to be the guy. Every bench player in the league wants to play every day. I just have to keep playing and get my chance."
The Reds' manager Bryan Price realizes that Heisey has 'every day' ability.
"I believe that Chris can be an every day player," Price said in spring training. "He just needs to show it when he has that chance."
Heisey had a big opportunity last season when Ryan Ludwick dislocated his shoulder on opening day. Unfortunately, Heisey strained his right hamstring and missed two months, in part because he tried to comeback too soon.
"I've never made the club out of camp, where they've told me that even if you hit .200 a couple months, it is your job, but I don't view myself as an underdog" Heisey said.
Heisey has made himself so valuable off the bench that it may work against him. He is hitting .400 as a pinch hitter this season with a home run and six RBI. He is aggressive in those situations.
"I don't want to take three pitches," Heisey said. "There are times when you are starting that you want to see some pitches and it is held against you if you only see three pitches in a game and don't have a hit."
Heisey can also play all three outfield positions and takes pride in his ability to cover the outfield. Sean Marohn, the Reds' new strength coach considers Heisey the strongest player on the team.
"I've always considered myself an pretty good defender," Heisey said. "I've had pitchers tell me that they like having me out there when they're on the mound."