Former prep baseball star flames out on field but wins $250,000 in video game competition

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Never let it be said that no one got rich by spending more time playing video games. It happened … once.

Justin Chavarria gave up being a pitching ace to become a video game star and won $250,000 — Twitter
Justin Chavarria gave up being a pitching ace to become a video game star and won $250,000 — Twitter

As noted by MaxPreps, former Klamath (Ore.) Union High baseball ace Justin Chavarria proved to be the ultimate ace at the MLB 2K13 video game, winning the national Perfect Game Challenge during All-Star Game festivities in New York on Tuesday. For winning the challenge, he earned a whopping $250,000 and a special guest seat at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Citi Field.

Chavarria is currently a junior at the University of Oregon -- what, college kids play video games? Unheard of! -- and spends most of his time studying or practicing MLB 2K13. The former prep star told the Klamath Falls Herald and News that he spent six hours per day practicing the game, all with the goal of competing for the $250,000 grand prize.

He eventually got there, and then he won. Of course, there was precedent for his success on a video game screen during a standout prep career, where Chavarria was an All Southern Sky Conference pitcher. He was also a star basketball player at Klamath Union and continues to play in college, now as a practice player for the Oregon womens basketball team.

There’s no word on how Chavarria plans to spend his prize money, but paying off his Oregon education might be a good place to start. Given the fact that the $250,000 is a one-time break and not a signing bonus as a precursor to a long baseball career, it would behoove him to be shrewd with his selections for every dollar he takes home.

Then again, if he can spend six hours per day playing a video game, just imagine what Chavarria can achieve when he sets his mind to more academic or professional pursuits. The sky -- the Southern Sky perhaps? -- is the limit.

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