Chris Archer has become a household name here in the Triangle. He is a professional baseball player for the Tampa Bay Rays and is a native of Clayton.
But it wasn't easy getting where he is today.
Christopher Alan Archer was born in September of 1988 in Clayton. He was raised by his grandparents, Ron and Donna.
"For whatever reason, my real parents didn't want me -- a little unclear, but it was the greatest gift that I could ever be given because I wouldn't be sitting here right now if I wasn't raised by my biological grandparents," Archer said.
That was the major league pitcher's first obstacle in life. His second came in middle school, when he didn't make the baseball team.
"The way they did cuts back then was they gave you an envelope and they were like, ‘Here, this tells you if you made it or not,'" Archer said. "Well, I ended up opening it up on the bus and it took everything in me to not start crying."
Instead of playing for his middle school, Archer played recreational ball before eventually making the cut for high school baseball. Archer used his drive to work hard and to be better at the game he greatly enjoyed.
In high school, he signed a letter of intent and was off to the University of Miami, a college baseball powerhouse, with a scholarship. And then in 2006, he was picked in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball Draft.
With the Rays last season, he had a 9-7 record and earned-run average of 3.22. He finished third in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year.
"If I could use this baseball platform to say, ‘Hey I was adopted, I didn't make the teams, I had some adversity coming up,' it may not be exactly what someone else has going on, but they can relate." Archer said.
The pitcher's determination is seen by many as he continues his dream in the majors.
"The thing you can't really change a lot with an athlete is their internal motivation. Chris has drive and a determination to succeed and be great at what he does," said William Parker, a professional trainer with Athletes Performance in Raleigh.
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