There are a few Major League Baseball players that follow my twitter feed like Omar Infante from of the Royals, former San Francisco Giants player Fred Lewis, St. Louis Cardinals favorite second baseman Tommy Herr and Riley King of the Kansas city Royals. Just recently I was able to have a brief interview with Mr. King about his career. Riley King was born and raised in Missoula , Montana.. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals from Carroll College(Helena, MT) in 2013 during the 24th round. He bats right and throws right . He is able to play all three outfield positions. At one point the San Diego Padres were also interested in him as a pitcher before being drafted by the Royals. Just a side note the first five questions where asked by me and the last two by my son Gabriel.
Cardinal Red Baseball: Tell us about how your beginnings in baseball and how you got to this point in your career with the Kansas City Royals?
Riley King: I have played baseball, basketball, and football ever since I can remember. I continued to play all three despite multiple people telling to focus on one or at least two. I played legion baseball in Montana because we aren’t able to have high school baseball due to the weather up here in Montana. I wasn’t able to do travel tournaments, showcases or any camps for baseball because I played three sports year around. I ended up being scouted by a couple teams and couldn’t more excited and grateful for the Kansas City Royals drafting me.
Cardinal Red Baseball: What was your reaction when you got the call that you were drafted by the Kansas City Royals?
Riley King: On draft day, I wasn’t sure whether it was a for sure deal or not I was going to get drafted. I actually had a double header the day of the draft, therefore I gave my laptop and phone to my dad and told him to answer any calls during the draft for me because I wasn’t able to due to being on the field. I was in the middle of game one in center field and saw my father answer a phone, hug my family, and give people high fives. That is when I knew I was drafted, I just didn’t know what team. I came in and met my dad behind the dugout and gave my family hugs and was so relieved. It was an extremely special feeling and moment.
Cardinal Red Baseball: What MLB team did you follow when growing up in Montana? who were your favorite players on that team?
Riley King: Being from Montana, people are fans of teams from all over the place due to not having a big league team here. I never really had a favorite team that I was a die hard fan for. I loved watching the Yankees and am a big Derek Jeter fan because of the way he plays the game.
Cardinal Red Baseball: Tell us about your career when you played at Carroll College?
Riley King: I committed to Carroll College to play basketball my senior year knowing I was able to come back and play my final year of Montana legion baseball. I thought I was going to be a college quarterback for my whole life, however a knee injury in my first game senior year resulted in losing all my scholarship offers. I went to Carroll College my freshman year and played basketball. The school didn’t have baseball and didn’t even play baseball in college. Therefore I was eligible for the draft. I came back to play my final season of baseball and ended up getting drafted and leaving school to pursue my dream of professional baseball.
Cardinal Red Baseball: My son Gabe has been playing baseball for the past seven years. He started out in tee-ball and now plays 10U baseball here in St. Louis, Mo. He plays different positions, catcher, left field, third base shortstop and first base and he also pitches. What kind of advice would you give him in order to make it in the big leagues?
Riley King: If I had any advice for a young baseball player, I would say to control what you can control. They’re plenty of things that are out of a baseball players control. However, they can always control attitude, effort, working hard and having fun. You have to have fun playing this game. Remember, people always are out there working hard and after the same dream you are. Enjoy it all, it goes by quick and have fun playing a wonderful game with your best friends.
Gabriel: Are you a St. Louis Cardinals fan? and if so who is your favorite player?
Riley King: I enjoy watching the cardinals play and respect the organization as well as how they play. They are a impressive organization that has a great farm system as well as successful big league team. I am a big Carlos Beltran fan, so I enjoyed watching him play for them.
Gabrie : If you were traded to another MLB team, which teams would be on your trade list and why?
Riley King:If I was to get traded to another MLB team I would just hope it was with an organization that is impressive and great as the Royals. The Royals are run by great people, as well do the right things, Like I said earlier, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that they have given me and hope to make the most of it.
Gabe and I want to wish Mr. King a fabulous 2015 season and a big thanks for the interview.