Nightly News   |  October 27, 2013

Parents spend big bucks with hopes of raising future stars

NBC’s Craig Melvin takes a look at one family who is investing in their child’s future as a star athlete, despite the odds of actually making it to the pros.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> as the world series plays out, how many kids and their parents must be thinking of what it would be like to get a shot at the big leagues . turns out some are working hard and spending major money to increase the chances of making the fantasy come true of. our report from nbc's craig melvin.

>> reporter: 16-year-old eric wants to hit hoemeruns and make headlines and highlights.

>> i would love to be one of the all-stars you see on sportscenter every night.

>> reporter: his 16-year-old brother michael also has big dreams .

>> i picture the announcement saying michael feliz is up to bat for the yankees.

>> reporter: they picked up bats at age two. then little league , trainers and elite camps.

>> it's a big sacrifice.

>> reporter: now kayla and her husband shuttle between new jersey and florida every few weeks so they can work and visit thirs sons who are in their third year at img academy , an elite boarding school and athletic training compound. roughly $48,000 for baseball tuition, $18,000 for school tuition. $10,000 for summer league and travel. total price tag for each son, more than $70,000. academics, while important, take a backseat. eric and michael spend nearly five hours a day on a field or in a weight room. all of the money doesn't just buy you private coaching or strength and agility training. you get access to cutting edge sports performance technology. like this device adapted from air force fighter pilot training to help young athletes strengthen eye muscles. it's designed to give kids an edge at ap early age. some here are as young as 8.

>> we don't wanten children's identities to be wrapped up in one specific activity.

>> reporter: some parents push their kids to chase their dreams with little guarantee. according to the n krrcaa, just half of 1% of high school baseball players ever put on a professional uniform. the feliz family knew the odds before spending hundreds of thousands but see it as an investment.

>> if the ultimate goal is to play for a wonderful college team and have a great experience and get their degree it will have paid off. if there is something more after that, so be it.

>> reporter: perhaps wearing the pinstripes at yankee stadium . craig melvin, nbc news, bradenton, florida.