MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — From Hoover, to the Samford program and then down on the Plains with the Tigers, former Auburn baseball standout Sonny DiChiara has played baseball in the state of Alabama for his whole life.

Now DiChiara is getting to stay in the Yellowhammer State to start his professional career with the Rocket City Trash Pandas, which is something he considers to be a real blessing for himself and his family.

So what kind of young man are Trash Pandas fans getting both on and off the field?

“I’m just a guy out there having fun. I love the game and I hate losing so I’m going to play as hard as I can and work with my teammates as hard as I can to build these relationships,” DiChiara said. “Just being able to build that strong bond so we’re ready for the playoffs and I’m able to be here and be apart of this. I wasn’t able to be here that first half and I can feel the energy of these guys that they just really love being together and just really excited for this opportunity.”

DiChiara says he’s ready to get to work here in North Alabama using the life lessons he learned during his time with both the Samford and Auburn programs.

“The one thing that I learned from playing at these two different programs and playing in college for four years is you can’t take anything for granted. You’ve got to work hard every day. I think that’s something I’m going to take with me forever,” DiChiara said. “It really taught me how to overcome adversity and just overcome any problem I was faced with on the field or in life. I could just kind of relate it to the field and what I would do on the field.”

DiChiara says he’s thankful to be a part of the Angels organization and is also thrilled that he’ll be playing so close to home so his family and friends can still come watch him as he begins this next step of his career.