15 Amateurs Who Got Called Up to the Big Leagues

Better find a telephone booth, Clark. It’s your Superman moment.
15 Amateurs Who Got Called Up to the Big Leagues

In the words of now Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Marshall Mathers, You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, Yo.” We can daydream about “our shot” all we want, but when the time comes, will we step up, or will mom’s spaghetti step up? These amateurs, as nervous as we’re sure they were, heeded the call, and suited up.

Movies will have you believe it happens pretty often, but it’s so incredibly rare for someone to be plucked out of obscurity and thrown into the limelight. For example, since the NHL began using emergency backup goalies, almost 10,000 NHL games have been played, and only 5 EBUGs (as they’re called) have been used. An insurance salesman, and a Zamboni driver did some stretches and actually faced shots from NHL players. 

And don’t worry, this list isn’t all about sports. We’ve got plenty of complete nobodies with zero acting ambitions who were (in one case) discovered on their front porch. Whether in the realms of sports or entertainment, here are 15 complete amateurs who were called up to the big leagues.

Quick, park your Zamboni. You’re goin’ in!

GRACKED A 42 YEAR OLD ZAMBONI DRIVER PLAYS NHL GOALIE. Au DO After 2 pro goalies were injured, David Ayres suited up for the Carolina Hurricanes. Не became the oldest goalie in NHL history to win his debut and the first emergency backup to ever record a victory.

Global News / CBC 

This college football fan was noticed in a contest.

GRACKED TEXAS TECH KICKER: FROM FAN TO TEAMMATE. CAMPBELL 2 CH 85 30 9 TEXASTREN Matt Williams was a Texas Tech audience member who kicked a 30 yard field goal in a contest. Coach Mike Leach (having bad luck with kickers) asked him to join the D1 team and he kicked for them for 3 seasons.

C Dispatch

A local theater castmate recommended Gabourey Sidibe for Precious.

GRACKED GABOUREY SIDIBE WAS RESIGNED TO RECEPTION. AST AMOU G She was a psychology student and receptionist who performed in local theater years earlier. About being recommended for Precious she said, I wasn't an acting student, I never wanted to act. I thought I'd be a receptionist my whole life.

Post Gazette / CNN 

Norman Reedus’ worst day ended on a high note.

GRACKED NORMAN REEDUS AUDITIONED UNKNOWINGLY. ® usbm After being fired from a motorcycle shop for fighting his boss, he went to a party, got drunk, and yelled at people. Someone noticed the rant and asked him to be in a play. His first performance had an agent in the crowd, who began sending him on auditions.

YouTube / People 

An MLB sports agent casts a wide net.

GRACKED MLB PLAYERS DISCOVERED IN A CONTEST. P Pitchers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel were discovered in a televised contest in India called Million Dollar Arm. Both signed contracts with the Pittsburgh Pirates, becoming the first Indian men to sign with an MLB organization.


An unintentional screening for Steven Spielberg.

GRACKED A BAT MITZVAH VIDEO LAUNCHED ALDEN EHRENREICH. As a teenager, a friend asked him to be in a silly video for her friend's bat mitzvah. Steven Spielberg was at said event, loved his performance, and got him an agent.

Vanity Fair / EW 

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