Happy New Year Hoover baseball fans! The 2018 season is right around the corner. Prospective pitchers and catchers start voluntary throwing sessions on January 13th. The State Coaches Clinic is January 18-20 in Columbus. Tryout week begins February 19th. Hoover and all their Federal League opponents will once again compete at the Division I level during the 2018 season. The 2017 Federal League Standings were as follows along with Hoover’s current streak versus each opponent: Jackson 12-0 (L9), Hoover 8-4, Green 8-4 (W2), GlenOak 6-6 (W1), McKinley 3-9 (W10), Perry 3-9 (W8) and Lake 2-10 (W2).
And The Rains Came – Five games lost to weather last season pales in comparison to the 1989 season. That spring, it rained during 14 of a 16-day period causing numerous postponements/rescheduling opportunities near the conclusion of that season.
Ditch Steals Home – A rare steal of home was recorded on May 7, 1962. Rick Ditch stole home to score the winning run as Hoover defeated Perry 2-1. Ditch led off with a walk. He was then sacrificed to second. Two subsequent walks loaded the bases to set up Ditch’s game-winning steal with Mike Keyes at bat.
Louisville Slugger High School All-American – Part of Coach Long’s memorabilia that Trish Long graciously passed on to me recently was some documentation on the successful high school career of Greg Larrick. In June of 1998, Larrick was named to the Louisville Slugger High School All-American team along with such notable players as Drew Henson, Kelly Shoppach, Mark Teixeira, Matt Holliday and Austin Kearns. The Repository featured his signing of a national letter of intent with Ohio State and Coach Bob Todd on November 13, 1997. The article related Larrick’s whirlwind summer of 1997. He played that summer for Zwick’s Manchester A’s and recorded an 8-1 record. His team won both the Penn-Ohio Tournament and the Cocoa Expo International Tournament in Florida. Larrick’s fastball was clocked at 94 during the tournament at Cocoa Beach. He later accepted the Chicago White Sox’ invitation to the Area Code Games in San Diego which drew players from all over the United States as well as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Larrick is Hoover’s career leader in appearances (36) and strikeouts (225).
1983 Season In Review – Several interesting events occurred during that 17-10 season. At the top of list is Paul Jeremiah’s reaching base for 13 consecutive plate appearances along with 10 consecutive hits in 10 at bats. Jeremiah’s incredible streak started on April 25th after Rusty Curry of Massillon retired him in the first inning and ended on April 28th with a deep fly out to left off Jeff Ailing of Marlington. Jeremiah’s streak also included games with GlenOak and McKinley. During his streak, Jeremiah belted three home runs. Fred Heegan and Gregg Fouts both hit rare inside the park home runs within three weeks of each other. Heegan hit his on April 26th at GlenOak and Fouts touched them all on May 12th at Alliance. In that game at Alliance, Aviator catcher Joe Schatz (father of Hoover’s Evan Schatz, 2014 graduate) recorded an RBI on a sacrifice-bunt. The 1983 tournament trail ended in a tough 8-7 district final loss to Jackson. Lefthander Mark Aman of Jackson retired the last three Hoover batters with the tying run on second base.
Happy Birthday Wishes – Paul Bricker of Norwich, Ohio will celebrate his 91st birthday on January 23rd. Bricker graduated from NoCaHi in 1945 is our oldest surviving former Vikings baseball player. Happy Birthday Paul!
As always, Go Vikings!
Craig Haueter (firstname.lastname@example.org), (330) 936-1695