ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Tyler Sparger signs with the Seattle Mariners

With one inning of impressive work in the Northwoods League All-Star Game, Tyler Sparger earned himself a professional contract with the Seattle Mariners organization.

"Obviously this is my dream, but I didn't think it would be this quick," says Sparger. "I didn't think that within the first 24 hours of the first scout talking to me that I'll be signing my name on a line, signing my life away. Saying here we go, you're getting on a plane tomorrow."

Sparger signed with the Express as temporary player, but soon earned a roster spot as the teams closer. Manager Dale Varsho made it a personal mission to shine the spotlight on his talented reliever.

"The Spargers and I have worked hard of trying to get him looked at. It's kind of a hard thing to do, especially when he only got 9 innings in at school," says Express field manager, Dale Varsho. "Just trying to get him showcased a little more and just let him know that, this kid's pretty good."

"Put the bug in the ear about me and they all came out and I did what I have to do on the mound and I owe a lot to Dale, that's for sure," says Sparger.

Sparger's success is just another example why the Northwoods League has become premiere venue for developing professional players.

"It's kind what the leagues about, it's kind of what were all about of just trying to get them to play at the next level," adds Varsho. "Tyler's ready, Tyler's ready to go. I mean, hopefully he does well, he does what he's done here, he works hard, be a good teammate. He's got a Major League arm."

"We definitely didn't think it would get to this point, and I just never gave up my dream, and here it is I get my opportunity," says Sparger.

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