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Bags to riches? Time will tell

Between going to school and bagging groceries, UNLV senior Calvin Beamon had to find the energy to play baseball every day.

And none of those priorities was his first. His family — fiancee Krissy Diaz and 18-month-old son Kairon — receives most of his attention.

Beamon’s college career ended last week, and he’s about to surrender his part-time job as a cashier at Smith’s in Summerlin.

The outfielder has signed with the Seattle Mariners and is preparing to report to their short-season Class-A team in Everett, Wash.

“I’m so excited to be able to play baseball instead of having 1,000 things to do,” Beamon said. “It seems like there is never enough time in the day.

“It’s my job now. It’s the only thing besides my family I have to focus on. It’s something I’ve been waiting on for a long time.”

Beamon, from Aurora, Colo., was a member of two championship teams in college, but he did not win a title with the Rebels.

He was part of the Community College of Southern Nevada team that won the Junior College World Series in 2003.

After graduating from CCSN in 2004, he went to Texas and was a part-time starter for the Longhorns when they won the College World Series in 2005. In search of more playing time, he transferred to UNLV.

Beamon redshirted in 2006 because of academic issues but came back this past season to start 56 games for the Rebels and hit .298 with one home run, 29 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.

He is three classes shy of earning his degree in university studies and said he plans to finish school in the offseason.

“Calvin assured me that was something he wanted to do,” UNLV coach Buddy Gouldsmith said. “I am extremely happy for him as well as his entire family. He has persevered through many things over the past two years, and it is a privilege to see him rewarded for his efforts.”

As a fifth-year senior, Bea-mon, 23, had until May 31 to sign with a major league team or wait for next week’s amateur draft. He said several teams pursued him, with the Chicago Cubs making a serious offer. He signed with the Mariners for a $25,000 bonus.

That’s money he needs with a family to help support. He said he will marry Diaz soon. They are driving to Washington on June 9, and his season begins June 17.

“The drive and motivation I’m going to receive is from my family to provide for them,” Beamon said. “We’re going to be able to get by. I’m not going to be making a killing in the minor leagues.

“I wouldn’t say I was satisfied with the season I had, but at the same time, I hadn’t played in about two years. I did some good things. What I’m going to have to do is outwork a lot of people.”

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