Scott Stump | Nov. 19, 2013 | Yahoo! Sports
It was the spring of 2009 when Ryan Doherty and good friend Steve Johnson decided to head a half hour south to the casinos of Atlantic City, N.J., for a guys' night out.
In the midst of the drive, Doherty dropped a bombshell.
"We're driving down the Parkway, and Ryan says, 'Hopefully I can win a couple of bucks. I'm moving out to California tomorrow,'" Johnson said. "I was like, 'What?! Are you crazy?!'''
At 25 years old, Doherty had spontaneously decided he was going to pack everything he owned into his car and drive to Huntington Beach, Calif., to pursue a professional beach volleyball career. He had $5,000 left to his name, no job lined up in California, nowhere to stay, and a failed professional baseball career in his rearview mirror.
After being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, the 7-foot-1 former Notre Dame closer had dabbled in beach volleyball while living in South Carolina with Johnson. What started as a way to blow off steam had become an obsession that prompted him to abruptly move to Huntington, a beach volleyball mecca.