Sports Section B Page 1 Local, State, World Sports Tuesday Morning, June 4,1985 Sports Phone 744-3611 Blue Jays select Batiste in 2nd round RV t^rTl TfTTf T"!^/"! ARRO fllll ositird n *.«t. ini-^nmrYT * r _ _ • _ , . . , .. . *• -"«•«*.-•*•—*~ niMMIM»»illiH.i.ii»r ._.„ __ ^ By CHUCK DeC ARBO News Sports Writer GALVESTON — The Toronto Blue Jays selected Ball Kigh's Kevin Batiste in the second round of Monday's free agent baseball draft. Batiste, who just graduated from Ball High, was a three-year All-District performer and the 53rd player chosen overall and the 26th in the second round. A representative for the Blue Jays made the trip to Batiste's house Monday night, but as of 11:30 p.m., no agreement had been reached between the Blue Jays and Batiste. Batiste said he was hoping to get a signing bonus of $100,000, but the first offer he received from the Blue Jays was $52,500. "If the money is right, I'm going to play baseball," Batiste said after being informed that he was drafted. "I'm looking for a $100,000 signing bonus. When negotiations stalmated near midnight, Batiste said, "It's getting pretty late, so I think we'll continue in the morning." The Blue Jays were just one of the many teams who coveted the fleet-footed centerfielder. "There was a lot of them (scouts) looking at me all year, but the Blue Jays came around near the end," Batiste said. "They showed interest in me at the end." The fact that Batiste went so high didn't surprise his high school coaches at all. "I haven't heard anything yet, but we expect him to go in the first or second round," Ball High assistant baseball coach Ron Holmes said earlier Monday. "He'll definitely go by the third round, at least that's what all the scouts told us." Ball High Head Coach Kurt Engle was back home in Illinois and was unavailable for comment on his star centerfielder. "The way everyone has been talking, Kevin was a top-round draft choice," Holmes said. "We knew by them that he would go no lower than the third round. Even though he didn't hit real well this year, he can run, field and throw." Batiste now has a choice to make. He was a standout quarterback for the Tors and led them to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs and also earned a full scholarship to SMU. He signed a letter-of-intent for SMU in February. But Batiste said if all things were equal, football is his preference. Since there's a lucrative signing bonus for baseball, he's opted to play professional baseball and forego a college education at this point. "I feel all right," Batiste said about his chances of making the majors. "It's up to me as to where I'll play. If I play well starting off, I can make it a lot faster. It's all up to me and how well I play." The Blue Jays didn't give any indication as to where Batiste would start his professional career once he signs. "They don't know either," Batiste said. "It all depends on how I play." Another Tor who has a chaise of being drafted in the remaining rounds is Craig Newlcirk, who recently signed a letter of intent to piay baseball with the University of Texas. Only the first two rounds were held Monday. Newkirk, who like Batiste was an All-District performer in both baseball and football, recently made an impressive showing at a tryout camp of the Philadelphia Phillies in Arlington. "From what I heard, they were impressed by him," Holmes said. "People like him because he can hit. His only handicap is he doesn't have the speed of Batiste. "A lot of people know he can hit and has a good glove, but his range isn't that good, so he may be a second or third baseman. They think he could be a good second or third baseman." Although Newkirk had a good performance, he said he won't sign a professional contract. He's going to school. "I did all right," he said about the tryout. "They made me run and throw and I hit all right, I guess. I don't know if I'll get drafted. They haven't said anything about it. "But if I do get drafted, I won't sign. No sir. No way." Newkirk has his mind made up to get his education first at UT, then worry about a possible baseball career. Bird wins MV: News photo by Vince Stiglich Jr. What should I do? The decision Kevin Batiste of Ball High has to make isn't to pitch the ball or keep it but wneu.er to fuliili a college football scholarship he signed with SMU or to sign a professional baseball contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Batiste was drafted in the second round of Monday's free agent draft by Toronto. INGLEWOOD, Calif (AP) - Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics on JJonday became the fifth player and first non-center to be named the National Basketball Association's Most Valuable Player in consecutive years. The 6-foot-9 Bird was second in the league in scoring with a 28.7 average and was eighth in rebounding with 10.5 per game. He also averaged 6.6 assists, led the Celtics in steals and shot 88.2 percent from the free-throw line. Bird, who led the Celtics to a 63-19 regular-season record, best in the NBA, and the finals of the championship series, received 73 of 78 first-place votes from a nationwide media panel. Each member of the panel picked five players, with the first through fifth choices receiving 10-7-5-3-i votes, respectively. Bird totaled 763 points, while Earvin "Magic" Johnson of Los Angeles was far behind in second with Stallions rally past Gamblers HOUSTON (AP) - Birmingham's Danny Miller kicked field goals of 47, 43 and 20 yards, and Cliff Stoudt dove one yard for a fourth quarter touchdown to rally the Stallions to a 29-27 United States Football League victory over the Houston Gamblers. The Stallions, 11-4, clinched at least a wild card playoff berth with the victory. The Gamblers, playing without last year's MVP Jim Kelly, dropped to a 9-6 record. Miller's 20-yard field goal came after Houston's Durwood Roquemore had intercepted a pass by Stoudt in the end zone. But Houston's Adrian Simpson was called for holding on the play and the drive continued. After Millers' boot, Stoudt capitalized on Bill Roe's interception with a one-yard keeper with 5:51 to play. Birmingham also was aided on the drive by a personal foul against defensive tackle Hosea Taylor on fourth down. Dillon got the Gamblers on the Scoreboard one minute deep into the game when he hit Sam Harrell with a 23-yard touchdown pass on the second play after Paul Caruth fumbled the opening kickoff and Ladell Wills recovered at the Stallions 16. The Gamblers took a 21-20 halftime lead on Dillon's touchdown passes of 23 yards to Harrell and 36 yards to Richard Johnson and Harrell's six yard run. The Stallions started their scoring in spectacular fashion with a 12-yard pass from Stoudt to Darryl Mason, who then lateralled to Joey Jones, who ran 11 yardds for the touchdown. Caruth added a six-yard touchdown run. 264, followed by Moses Malone of Philadelphia with 218, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of Los Angeles with 206, Terry Cummings of Milwaukee with 138 and rookie Michael Jordan of Chicago with 134. Jordan and Cummings had two first-place votes apiece, while Johnson got one. Bird joins Boston's Bill Russell (1961-63) Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain (1966-68), Abdul- Jabbar of Milwaukee and Los Angeles (1971-72 and 1976-77) and Malone of Houston and Philadelphia (1982-83) as the only players to repeat as winner of the MVP. The other four repeaters were centers. "It's a great honor to be considered one of the best players in the league," he said at a news conference to announce the award. "I'm pleased with my performance through the regular season, although I'm not too pleased with it now." Ironically, Bird has struggled in the playoffs al- for second straight year r»nt» r»f T^Viil a/^^l^Vii-ri utitv. *u-^, —u *.i /-i.itr i____ • ,.. ,. - _ ^^ though the Celtics have reached the finals and trail Los Angeles 2-1. After making 52.2 percent of his field-goal attempts in the regular season, he has hit only 46.3 percent in 17 postseason games. "My shooting comes and goes," Bird said. "I'm a 50 percent shooter over the long run and it all averages out. I've had some good shots and missed them. I've been shooting real well in practice and they won't fall for me in the games." Bird was asked if he agreed with the opinion of many that he is the game's best player. "There are a lot of great players in the league," he said. "I'd like to be considered one of the best, but I don't know about being called THE best." As far as his ranking among the best players ever, Bird said, "It's hard for me to think that anyone could be called the best player ever. As time goes on, people tend to forget how good players were. Ten years from now, some kid will come along and people will call him the best ever and forget about me." Bird said he tries to make his game consistent at the 25-point, 10-rebound level, rather than trying to have40-point games. "Once you start to score a bunch of points, it puts a lot of pressure on you because people expect it from you," he said. "I'd rather be consistent and reach a level where my teammates will know what to expect of me night in and night out." Celtics President Red Auerbach said that consistency is what marked Bird's year. "A lot of guys had great games, but he was the most consistent MVP I've ever seen," Auerbach said. "To win the MVP from the forward position is a great deal harder to win it as a center or guard. Guards have the ball in their hands more and centers are the dominating force in the middle. To do it from a corner position isdifficult." Staff photo by Jim Cruz Gambler's Luther Bradley (27) breaks up a pass intended for Stallion-' Ken Toler nip Hogs OMAHA, Neb. ( A P) — Mississippi State's Will Clark, the second selection in the major league draft earlier in the day, belted a two-run homer and drove in two other runs Monday to lead the &:>i]dogs to a 5-4 victory over Arkan;,, z Ir, the College World Series. The verdict advances Mississippi State, 50-13, to a winners' bracket game Thursday against Miami or Texas. Arkansas. 50-14, will play Stanford in a losers' bracket game Wednesday. Mississippi State trailed 4-3 when Frank Davis led off the seventh inning with a looping double that spun out of the glove of left fielder Norm Roberts, who dove for the ball. One out later, Gator Thiesen's fly ball landed on the right field foul line and rolled into the corner for an RBI triple that tied the score. Clark followed with a single up the middle that scored Thiesen with the winning run. Jeff Brantley, 18-2, pitched around 11 hits and a walk to earn the complete-game victory. He struck out seven and was helped by three double plays. Jeff King rapped three hits, scored one run and drove in one to lead Arkansas, which had won 17 straight games. Its last loss was to Mississippi State on April 30. Clark socked his 24th homer in the fifth inning off losing pitcher Fred Farwell, 11-2, to tie the score 3-3. Clark was drafted by the San Francisco Giants earlier Monday. In the early game Monday, Freshman Jack McDowell scattered nine hits, Walt Harris drove in three runs and Mike DeBenon belted a grand slam homer to lift top-ranked Stanford to a 9-2 victory over Arizona in the losers bracket of the NCAA College World Series Sunday night.
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