"Me next! Me next!"
Hayden Parker could hardly believe it. On his screen was an Instagram direct message from one of his favorite Major League Baseball players, Chicago White Sox ace Lucas Giolito.
Giolito had seen Parker's work -- a series of hilarious, creatively Photoshopped images posted on Instagram called MLB Minis, which in just a little over a month have generated nearly 2.5 million impressions, gained more than 15,000 followers and even led to a freelancing gig for the Major League Baseball Players Association. And Giolito was asking to be a part of it.
"I was like a kid in a candy store, [Giolito] messaging me, some 21-year-old nobody, basically," said Parker, a Division III pitcher for Nebraska Wesleyan University. "I'm just so excited that something I offered was super cool. My teammates have been super supportive and always asking about who's messaging me, like, 'Oh my god, that's so crazy. Tell him I say hi.'"
Baseball fans and big leaguers have been drawn to Parker's Instagram account, which takes action scenes from MLB games and hits the key players with a shrink ray, resulting in surreal and eye-catching results.