Kiwi baseballer signs with Toronto Blue Jays

Last updated 12:19 04/07/2012

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The latest baseball star to come out of New Zealand has signed a contract with Major Leage Baseball (MLB) club the Toronto Blue Jays.

Daniel Devonshire was drafted in the 37th round of the MLB draft last month told the Moose Jaw Times Herald signing the contract was a "surreal" experience.

 "I came to North America with a dream to play professional baseball and that's why I came here," he said.

"I always thought that I would go to school and finish school and get my education, but when I got drafted, I thought that I was here for one reason and that's to play ball."

The 20-year-old Aucklander is a catcher and first baseman and will likely not see any MLB action for at least five years, with rookie and instructional leagues the first step.

He follows fellow Aucklander, 17-year-old Pita Rona who signed this year with the Baltimore Orioles, to the Major League.

A New Zealander has never played in the world's top league, with former Black Sox softballer Travis Wilson coming closest with the Atlanta Braves in 2001.

Devonshire had been playing summer league baseball in Moose Jaw, Canada before being drafted on June 8.

He will now play in the rookie Gulf Coast League in Florida for the rest of the Northern Hemisphere summer.

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- Fairfax Media

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