GRAPELAND, TX (KTRE) - Every year around this time, we witness some of the top baseball prospects as they are given a chance to play for a major league baseball team.
13 years ago, a former Grapeland senior was given that opportunity but passed it up for his passion.
This is Officer Monty Clark, with the Grapeland Police Department, 12 years ago he faced a career choice.
"The money sounded great, don't get me wrong, but I had a passion for this," said Clark.
Clark, was given a conditional offer to play with the Atlanta Braves after they had scouted him his senior season, but his love for family and law enforcement outweighed his skills on the diamond.
"I looked at it as part of how long I would be gone. It's a lot of planes, a lot of buses and a lot of time away from family, and I didn't think that was the life I wanted," said Clark.
After completing the Kilgore Police Academy, Clark spent time in various departments in East Texas and three weeks ago, he returned home to Grapeland.
"I never thought about coming back to Grapeland but it did look good and this is home. Everything is the same. It's still a small town; it's good people," said Clark.
Those who remember Clark from high school know he will make the town of Grapeland safer.
"Monty seems to have a strong character and I think that will help the kids here," said Debbi Warner.
During a ride along with Officer Clark, he said he still reflects on his days as a MLB prospect.
"I have come through here sometimes since joining the police department and it has. There are a few things that have changed since I played here, but it does bring back memories," said Clark.
"I may have a little regret, but I know law enforcement has been good to me," said Clark.
Officer Clark says his passion for law enforcement came from a family history.
Clark's great uncle worked with federal law enforcement as a U.S. Customs Agent.