Karan Patel has been picked up by Major League Baseball side Chicago White Sox, making him the first player of Indian origin to be drafted in the MLB, The Times of India reported.

The 22-year-old is the son of Kuldeep Patel who played international cricket for the United States team. Kuldeep travelled to North Carolina about 35 years ago to help at his uncle’s restaurant and ease the burden on his single mother.

Kuldeep had no baseball background but was passionate about sports. He seems to have transferred that to his son who chose baseball and is now about to realise his dream.

“It’s very special for the Indian community here. Many kids are now starting to believe they can excel in American sports too. The senior players in the MLB are starting to know that I am the first of Indian origin to be among them and they are quite in awe,” Karan was quoted as saying in the The Times of India.

According to him, Indian parents in the States push their children towards academics and don’t want them to play many other sports apart from cricket.

In 2008, Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel were picked by MLB from India through a talent hunt to train under MLB sides, but neither was successful in making an impact.