Austin Riley has transformed himself into one of the best third basemen in the MLB with the Atlanta Braves. As he looks to continue his strong momentum and help the Braves win, Riley revealed his strongest inspiration.
Despite Riley signing a $212 million contract extension, his father continues to work three jobs. Mike Riley, who is now 53-years-old, works for FedEx, operates a lawn service and provides hitting lessons around Hernando, Mississippi. His son might be a lot richer now, but it hasn’t stopped Mike, via Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
“He just goes, goes, goes,” Riley said of his father. “I got him this summer to maybe back off to doing just two jobs, just the grass cutting and working at FedEx. He might back off the lessons. He just can’t sit still. He’s always got to be doing something.”
Riley has taken his father’s work ethic and added it to his own game. The third baseman said he always wanted to improve because, “there’s always something that can be improved.” He worked diligently on his approach at the plate, which has reaped bountiful rewards.
Austin Riley earned his first All Star nod in 2022. He hit .273 with 38 home runs and 93 RBI. He earned his first Silver Slugger in 2021, hitting .303 with 33 home runs and 107 RBI. Riley has been top 10 in NL MVP voting over the past two seasons.
The Braves have now committed to Riley for the next decade. He plans to continue to put in the work and only improve as he looks for his third straight 30+ home run season. Just like his dad taught him.