It could not have been easy for Joel Torres to learn that he was being released from the Cleveland Indians minor league system late last month.
But he probably couldn't have been launched to the unemployment line with a better parachute. A month earlier, the 21-year-old outfielder had won $1 million in the New York State Lottery's "Sweet Millions" game after buying a ticket in Queens while visiting his mother over the winter.
Yes, that sound you heard was mothers everywhere asking if we see what happens when you act like a good son and visit your mum. Anyway, Torres' victory was revealed when he picked up his lump sum payment of $660,300 over the weekend. He bought the ticket on Feb. 24.
"The first thing I plan to do with the money is buy my mom a new house," said Torres. He said the money will allow him to pursue his hopes of playing ball in the major leagues.
What's interesting is that the N.Y. Post has pictures of Torres picking up his oversized check and he's still wearing a Indians cap. Presumably he now has a little more scratch to buy a lid of a team that didn't dump him onto the free-agent scrap heap.
And hopefully his newfound financial freedom will allow him some more peace of mind in pursuing his dream. Torres played 38 games for the Indians team in the Arizona Fall League and posted a .184/.260/.307 line with one homer and 14 RBIs — numbers that will never prove anywhere near as profitable as whatever numbers he played in the lotto.
Big BLS H/N: Indians Prospect Insider
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