All-State Tournament: The Final Eight Previews
Here are some quick previews for next week’s Final Eight games! As always, would love for you to subscribe and come along for the ride.
Monday, July 25: No. 1 California vs. No. 8 Ohio
Ohio California 1. Barry Larkin, SS 1. Tony Gwynn, RF 2. Pete Rose, 2B 2. Joe DiMaggio, CF 3. Mike Schmidt, 3B 3. Ted Williams, DH 4. Jimmy Wynn, DH 4. Barry Bonds, LF 5. Ed Delahanty, LF 5. Gary Carter C 6. Thurman Munson, C 6. Chase Utley, 2B 7. David Justice, RF 7. Alan Trammell, SS 8. George Sisler, 1B 8. Nolan Arenado, 3B 9. Garry Maddox, CF 9. Keith Hernandez, 1B Game 1: Roger Clemens Game 1: Tom Seaver Game 2: Cy Young Game 2: Randy Johnson Game 3*: Phil Niekro Game 3*: Don Drysdale
California made some changes in its lineup — replacing third baseman Graig Nettles with Nolan Arenado and first baseman Eddie Murray with Keith Hernandez. “We have incredible depth,” California captain Tony Gwynn said. “Why not use it?” … There was some discussion in the Ohio camp of swapping Barry Larkin and Pete Rose in the lineup. In the end, they decided to keep it the same as the first round. “Doesn’t matter to me,” Rose said. “I can hit anywhere in the lineup.” … When Roger Clemens was introduced to Cy Young for the first time, he said: “I have seven of you.” … Thurman Munson was seen working with broadcaster Bob Uecker on catching the knuckleball should he have to catch Phil Niekro in a decisive third game. Ueck caught Niekro in 1967, the year he had 27 passed balls. “The way to catch a knuckleball,” Ueck told Munson, “is to wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up.
Tuesday, July 26: No. 4 New York vs. No. 5 Texas
Texas New York 1. Tris Speaker, CF 1. Eddie Collins, 2B 2. Joe Morgan, 2B 2. Frankie Frisch, 3B 3. Rogers Hornsby, DH 3. Alex Rodriguez, SS 4. Frank Robinson, RF 4. Lou Gehrig, 1B 5. Ernie Banks, SS 5. Carl Yastrzemski, LF 6. Eddie Mathews, 3B 6. Edgar Martinez, DH 7. Lance Berkman, 1B 7. Joe Torre, C 8. Biz Mackey, C 8. Craig Biggio, CF 9. Carl Crawford, LF 9. Wee Willie Keeler, RF Game 1: Greg Maddux Game 1: Sandy Koufax Game 2: Nolan Ryan Game 2: Jim Palmer Game 3*: Clayton Kershaw Game 3*: Whitey Ford
Craig Biggio reached out to Joe Torre during the break and offered to play some catcher if Torre wanted a break. Torre was thankful but declined … There was some buzz about the possibility of Clayton Kershaw starting in Game 1 against his hero and role model, Sandy Koufax, but in the end, Texas went with Maddux. “Obvious choice,” Kershaw said. … Nolan Ryan and Jim Palmer — the expected Game 2 matchup — have faced each other before. In fact, each has batted against the other . Palmer faced Ryan one time and struck out swinging. Ryan faced Palmer once and struck out looking. … Biz Mackey, one of the heroes of Texas’ opening-round victory, says that catching Ryan is a lot like catching the young Satchel Paige. “Ryan might throw it a little harder,” Mackey said, “but Satch had a better idea where it was going.”
Wednesday, July 27: No. 2 Pennsylvania vs. No. 10 Indiana
Indiana Pennsylvania 1. Max Carey, LF 1. Honus Wagner, SS 2. Kenny Lofton, DH 2. Stan Musial, LF 3. Oscar Charleston, CF 3. Ken Griffey Jr., CF 4. Scott Rolen, 3B 4. Reggie Jackson, RF 5. Don Mattingly, 1B 5. Mike Piazza, DH 6. Chuck Klein, RF 6. Dick Allen, 1B 7. Ted Strong, SS 7. Roy Campanella, C 8. Bubbles Hargrave, C 8. Buddy Bell, 3B 9. Billy Herman, 2B 9. Nellie Fox, 2B Game 1: Three Finger Brown Game 1: Christy Mathewson Game 2: Tommy John Game 2: Mike Mussina Game 3*: Amos Rusie Game 3*: Rube Waddell
Last-minute notes: Don Mattingly returned home to Indiana to a hero’s welcome after his four-hit game helped the Hoosier state upset Florida in the first round. “It might be a bit awkward returning to Miami to manage after this is over,” Mattingly said. “Hopefully it won’t be over for a while.” … Several players on the Pennsylvania team had some fun during a workout this week by trying to use Honus Wagner’s 44-ounce bat in batting practice. “This thing is ridiculous,” Ken Griffey Jr., said after swinging and missing at a pitch. “How do you even swing that tree trunk?” The only player who homered using the bat was Reggie Jackson. “I could have been a star in your time too, Hans,” he said.
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Thursday, July 28: No. 6 Alabama vs. No. 14 Louisiana
Louisiana Alabama 1. Reggie Smith, CF 1. Joe Sewell, 3B 2. Will Clark, 1B 2. Billy Williams, DH 3. Mel Ott, RF 3. Willie Mays, CF 4. Albert Belle, DH 4. Henry Aaron, RF 5. Bill Dickey, C 5. Willie McCovey, 1B 6. Willard Brown, CF 6. Willie Wilson, LF 7. Rusty Staub, LF 7. Frank Boling, 2B 8. Wayne Causey, SS 8. Double Duty Radcliffe, C 9. Connie Ryan, 2B 9. Ozzie Smith, SS Game 1: Ron Guidry Game 1: Satchel Paige Game 2: Ted Lyons Game 2: Don Sutton Game 3*: Andy Pettitte Game 3*: Early Wynn
Mel Ott finds himself deeply impressed by Louisiana designated hitter Albert Belle. “This fellow can really hit a baseball,” Ott said. … Willie Mays was retelling the story of the first time he ever hit against his teammate Satchel Paige. He said he was just 17 years old, and Satchel threw him a curveball which he rifled off the wall for a double. Next time he came up, Paige said: “This time there’ll be no foolin’.” He threw three fastballs by Mays and was walking toward the dugout before the third one even reached home plate. Then he said: “OK, you can sit down now.” Paige himself did not remember the story but admitted, “That sounds like me.”