Ohio product making name for himself in Niles

He’s the able-bodied Ohioan with a slick fastball and a funny name.

He’s Dace Kime, the Tribune Chronicle’s Scrapper of the Week.

“You were thinking it was an Asian name,” said Kime, a Caucasian, following a recent game at Eastwood Field. “Everybody does at first before they meet me.”

Letter carriers and direct mail services just assume it’s a typo.

“I get so many variations of my name,” he said. “When I get mail, it’ll say ‘Dave,’ ‘Dale’ and everything other than my real name.”

When he entered the world on March 6, 1992, his father, Ray, had long been researching a name for his second child. Ray, an avid outdoorsman, didn’t turn to a published baby names booklet found in the checkout lines of a grocery store. No, he went to his National Rifle Association magazine.

“There was a 12-year old kid in one edition who broke the record for speed pistol shooting,” Kime said. “His name was Dace.”

That covers the first name, but the unique last name still remains a mystery.

“You got to look it up,” he said, “because I couldn’t tell you (what nationality it is).”

If that’s a secret hidden under lock and key, his talent on the diamond soon won’t be. The right-handed pitcher has yet to earn his first minor league win, but he sports a 2.31 ERA in his five starts with the Scrappers. In just 11 innings pitched, he has 11 strikeouts.

Kime joined Mahoning Valley after the New York-Penn League season started. He signed for a $525,000 bonus as the Cleveland Indians third round pick out of the University of Louisville in this year’s MLB First Year Player Draft.

The Cardinals won the Big East title and Kime led the staff with a 6-1 record, 2.99 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 69 innings pitched.

Success has come fairly easy for the 21-year old. He has his older brother, Dakota, to thank.

“He’s two years older than me and always pushed me to be the best person and athlete I could be,” Kime said. “I started playing baseball when I was 3 and it was on Dakota’s tee-ball team. Everything just went from there.”

Dakota was a prep football player, wrestler and baseball player. The brothers actually went to different high schools, played each other three times in baseball and squared off with Dace on the mound just once.

“He went 1-for-3 against me and that’s obviously a Hall of Fame career,” Kime said.

Kime was a four-year letterwinner in basketball and starred on the gridiron.

“I quit football to play fall baseball just to get my name out there because I was getting more recognition,” Kime said. “It was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made.”

Kime is a native of Defiance and his stepdad, Dennis Parrish, is a longtime football coach at the high school. His father lives in a desolate portion of northwest Ohio.

“We’re big country guys into hunting and fishing,” Kime said. “Whenever I have free time, I’ll head out to the woods.”

Though he resides about three hours away from Niles, he considered himself a hometown kid.

“It’s nice being so close,” he said.

But, believe it or not, he didn’t have a favorite MLB team growing up. Sorry, Indians fans.

“My brother and grandpa are huge Indians fans, though,” Kime said. “So they kept pushing me. I just loved baseball. I supported everybody.”

After high school graduation in 2010, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the eighth round of the draft. Kime also was rated as the No. 5 prospect in the state of Ohio that year after earning multiple All-American, All-State and All-Western Buckeye League honors.

Chad Billingsley (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Jon Niese (New York Mets) are also professional pitchers from Defiance.