Almost two years to the day his mother was shot and killed in a racially motivated shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, Chris Singleton has realized his lifelong dream. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs to play major league baseball.
He was picked in the 19th round of the draft on Wednesday and the Charleston Southern University junior center fielder started every one of the 51 games this year. He was also among national leaders with 10 assists and stole a remarkable 18 bases.
Saturday marked the two-year anniversary since white supremacist Dylann Roof gunned down nine people, including Singleton’s mother Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton inside Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
At the time of her death, her son called his mother who was a speech therapist and a high school track coach, “a God-fearing woman (who) loved everybody with all her heart.”
Singleton posted about his achievement on social media with the hashtag #CantLetMomsDown.
As moving as Singleton’s backstory is, Jason McLeod, the Cubs’ senior vice president of scouting and player development says it was purely Singleton’s talent that got him the spot on the team.
“We certainly understand and have deep sympathy for his backstory, but what I want to make sure doesn’t get lost is that this guy’s a really good baseball player,” McLeod said.
“We had him evaluated really as a top-10-round-caliber talent,” he went on.
“He’s a very mature young man. His faith and religion are priorities in his life. We’re really looking forward to getting (Singleton) into the organization.”