In his first year of regular duty behind the plate with the Los Angeles Dodgers, A. J. Ellis had a breakout year. The Dodgers are thrilled Ellis calls it a “dream come true,” and many people had never heard of him until last year.
Ellis, the Austin Peay State University all-time hit leader, was taken by the Dodgers in the 18th Round of the 2003 MLB Draft. He reported to Single-A ball, and spent the next six years climbing to Triple-A. His batting average steadily improved, as did his behind the plate skills. Ellis worked his way up through the Dodgers Farm system to live out his dream.
Last year proved his dream is becoming a reality. In 133 games, Ellis had a .270 BA, .373 OBP, .414 SLG and.786 OPS; couple that with his 13 HRs and 52 RBI. He played a solid backstop, with a fielding percentage of .995. His near perfect play was an inspiration to the Dodgers who gave him the Roy Campanella Award for the most spirited teammate.
He is proof that hard work can really pay off, and dreams can come true. But there’s more to his dream than baseball. Ellis’ personal life is also a dream come true. His Twitter profile reveals just how much that’s true, “Husband, son, brother, father of three, follower of one.” Part of the dream revealed itself again when his wife, Cindy, gave birth to their third child.
Ellis revealed the last part of his dream to a group of 2,500 people with Clayton Kershaw after the June 30, 2012 ballgame against the Mets. “Playing Major League Baseball is a dream come true. Even more than a dream come true is using baseball as a platform to talk about our faith.”
The Dodgers’ organization is fortunate to have another good story of a life where dreams come true.