Give 'em Hellas

Can you picture these guys playing baseball for Greece in the Olympics? Hey, all you need is a little talent and an ancestor who left Athens on a Westbound steamer.

Originally Published: January 5, 2004
By Jim Caple | ESPN The Magazine
Once upon a time, before there was gray in his goatee, righthander Clint Zavaras was a top prospect for the Seattle Mariners. He made his major league debut in 1989 against Nolan Ryan, which was unfortunate. The Express fired a one-hitter, handing Zavaras the first of his six career losses. By 1994, with one win to his credit, he was done.

Zavaras, 37, now runs a baseball school with 23 batting cages in a suburb of Denver. Yet here he is on a late-November morning, standing nervously in a Fort Lauderdale dugout, about to try to pitch his way into the Olympics. "I have no idea what's going to happen when I go out there," he says. "I don't know whether I'll throw a ball or a strike. I don't know if I'll hit seven batters."

Jim Caple | email

ESPN Senior Writer
Author of "The Devil Wears Pinstripes" and winner of a Sports Emmy. Reported from 17 World Series, 9 Olympics, 6 continents.