SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A local baseball player who nearly made it to the big leagues gave up his dream for a different uniform.
Vinnie Catricala was a baseball standout at Jesuit High School and many believed he was bound for the majors. But it seems his destiny instead was in law enforcement.
In 2009, Catricala was drafted by the Seattle Mariners. His mom says she could barely keep it together as her son was about to realize a lifelong dream.
“We hear the 10th round, Vinnie Catricala, and I just screamed I was like ‘Oh my gosh,’” said Renee Catricala.
But that euphoric feeling wouldn’t last.
After a breakout 2011 season, Catricala struggled on the diamond for the first time in his life.
“It was a big learning experience for me,” he said.
He started questioning everything, wondering if he wanted to keep chasing his big league dreams.
By the end of the 2013 season, he’d had enough. Unsure what to do, he thought back to his fondest memories with his cousin when they were kids.
“We always played firemen and policemen, and the older I got it was less firefighter and more policeman,” he said.
Within months of coming home, Vinnie was hired by the Sacramento Police Department.
“Going to big league camp and putting on a professional jersey was awesome, but this was—I don’t know I can’t describe it,” he said.
While he may have given up on baseball, the scouts are still after him. But this time it’s to play on the Sacramento Police softball team.
But he doesn’t think that’s the only reason he was hired.
“No, no,” he said laughing. “I’d like to think it is for me as a person.”
He may not know if he will play on the force’s softball team, but he admits he isn’t quitting baseball forever. The next time, he says it will likely be as a coach.