MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – In Memphis, you can find top talent in basketball, football, track, soccer, volleyball, badminton, boxing, bowling, swimming; basically everything, including baseball. Isaiah Nolan is a top talent in baseball, who has a huge opportunity this month.
Rain or shine, you can find 12-year-old Isaiah putting in the work.
“It’s like therapy for me. It takes care of my emotions and everything.”
Isaiah, a rising 7th grader at Harding Academy, will compete this month for a spot on USA Baseball’s 12-U National Travel Team.
“Whenever I’m on the field I feel this sense of like swag, and like I got this. I got every play that comes to me.”
He’s one of just 128 players invited to the 12-U National Open, the final tryout before USA Baseball selects 18 players to travel to Taiwan to compete in the World Cup.
“To me, it’s really getting me out there on the radar and it’s setting me up with another opportunity to make it to the MLB. And it’s getting me out there to USA Baseball. USA Baseball is a very high level of baseball and my dad has introduced them to me.”
Isaiah’s dad Thomas played college baseball himself.
“I look up to him 100%. He’s my role model in my life. He’s like my best friend.”
Thomas knew from his son’s tee-ball days that he had something special.
“If the ball was hit to left field, he’d run from short stop to left field to get a ball that another kid was supposed to get. But I had to contain him because he thought every ball he was supposed to get,” said dad.
Isaiah’s goals have skyrocketed since; major league baseball, college baseball.
“He can only write the ticket of where he wants to go by how hard he works and the effort he puts in and stays focused and stay in school and keep his grades up,” said Thomas.
“Every choice I make has to benefit me on the baseball field,” said Isaiah.
In a city like Memphis that tends to focus on basketball and football, Isaiah hopes he can change that.
“I try to strive and tell little kids that play baseball and just keep their minds on the road, keep in their lane and they’ll make it,” said Isaiah.
A game plan Isaiah wants to follow all the way to the majors.