St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on June 30, 1988 · Page 72
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 72

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 30, 1988
Page 72
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ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH PORT THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 1988 4N Mundy Has Dream Come True By Signing With Cubs The secret is out: Deep down, Rick Mundy has always been a Chicago Cubs fan. "My dad loved to drive. One summer, we went to Chicago eight times," he said. "I've always enjoyed the city and thought about living there one day. But my No. 1 dream has always been to play at Wrigley Field." Mundy, who recently was drafted and signed by the Cubs, is playing Class A ball for the Geneva (N.Y.) Cubs of the New York-Penn League. He's a long way from the Windy City, Rixford Gives A Grand Finale For Pattonville By Earl Austin Jr. Of the Post-Dispatch Staff Robbie Rixford was not one to rest on the laurels of his past baseball success. For that reason, Rixford enjoyed a excellent senior year at Pattonville even though his team made a premature exit from the state tournament. Like the rest of his teammates, Rixford came on strong as a junior and the Pirates advanced to the Missouri Class 4A state baseball semifinals in what was expected to be a rebuiding year. With most of the Pirates returning this spring, Pattonville was expected to returned to Columbia. But the Pirates' title hopes came to an abrupt halt in a first-round district loss to Parkway North. "It was a shock because it all happened so quick," Rixford said. "After the season we had and all of the sudden it was my last game. I just couldn't believe we lost." Coach Bob Benben said many of the players enjoyed outstanding junior seasons, but did not have the same success as seniors. "That happens at all levels of play, including the major leagues," Benben said. "The players aren't going to have their best years every year." Rixford turned out to be one of the exceptions to the rule. He performed at a peak level throughout the season as a pitcher and first baseman. While teammate Shawn Cooper garnered most of the headlines, Rixford quietly became a driving force in Patton-ville's 16-7 record. Former Visitation Player Returns Better Than Ever By Cathie Bumes Beebe Of the Post-Dispatch Staff Mary Helen Walker had just taken a breather from play in the Old Ladies Basketball League when she happened to walk past Thad Stro-bach, her coach when she played at Visitation Academy. "It's still fun to watch you play," Strobach said. The forum Tuesday night was not exactly conducive to classic performances. It was the opening night for the league and many of the women were playing together for the first time. But for Walker, that didn't matter. She was leading the fast break, diving for loose balls, penetrating the middle to feed her new teammates for layups. In short, it was business as usual for one of the top players in Missouri girls basketball history. "She just has that intensity on the court," Strobach said. "She plays that way all the time. That's just the type of player she is." Strobach would know. He coached Walker for four seasons, ending in Lindenwood Receives $600,000 Gift By Alan Fredman Of the Post-Dispatch Staff Thanks to a generous gift from a west St. Louis County osteopath, a major renovation is in the works for the athletic facilities at Lindenwood College. Dr. Harlen C. Hunter, president of the St. Louis Orthopedic Sports Medicine Clinic in Chesterfield, has donated $600,000 to Lindenwood. Among the projects for which the money will be used is the installation of a new artifical turf on the school's soccerfootball field, Lindenwood president James Spainhower said. The school also plans to build a soccer practice field, a baseball field and Softball field adjacent to the artificial turf field, Spainhower said. Those fields will be natural grass. The Lindenwood Board of Trustees has voted to name the area the "Harlen C. Hunter Sports Complex." Spainhower said the college also was looking Into the possibilty of constructing a new gym. Although no definite plans have been made, Spainhower said he was hopeful a gym could be built within the next few years. The Lindenwood men's and women's basketball teams have been playing their home games at St. but it's a start. "My friends have really been on me, calling me a traitor," Mundy said with a laugh. "I still like the Cardinals, always have, but I'm really happy being a Cub." Mundy, an 18-year-old graduate of Pattonville High, is off to a typical first-year start in Geneva. "I'm not exactly tearing up the league, but I'm learning and I'm feeling more comfortable with every game," said Mundy, whose first professional hit went for a home run. "I "Rob was one guy who really moved up one level after his junior season," Benben said. "There was nobody better in the league defensively at his position and he worked hard on his hitting in the offseason." Assistant coach Mark Hahn said: "The key was that Robbie had a great attitude going into the season. He knew he would have to work twice as hard to get the results because everybody knew about him. He was by far one of the top workers on the team." The proof was in Rixford's statistics. He batted .316 as a junior and raised it to a team-leading .44i as a senior. He was 4-2 as second pitcher behind Cooper. Rixford drove in fewer runs as a senior because Benben moved him up to the second position in the lineup. He proved to be the consumate contact man, striking out only twice in 68 plate appearances. He was an All-Suburban North first-team selection at first base. At the end of the season, Rixford was chosen Pattonville's most valuable player by his teammates. "That was real exciting," Rixford said. "I had set a lot of goals before the season, but winning the team MVP wasn't one of them. It was a nice surprise because it was my senior year." The success has carried over so far into this summer in American Legion ball. Rixford is 2-1 and is hitting close to .400 for his Maryland Heights team. "I worked very hard in the winter See RIXFORD, Page 5N BASKETBALL 1987 when Walker led the Vivettes to the school's fifth state basketball title. "In terms of overall talent, she was the best player I've coached," Strobach said. "There may have been a player who could do a particular thing better, but overall Mary Helen was the best." And after watching her play Tuesday night, Strobach thinks she's even better. It was the first time that Strobach had seen Walker play in a competitive situation since she returned from her freshman year at Holy Cross. "She is a shade better in every aspect of her play," Strobach said. "But what convinced me is when she didn't hesitate to take the outside shot." Despite being plagued by a stress fracture in her right foot, Walker still had a solid freshman season for the Worcester, Mass., college. She averaged nine points a game and was named her conference's newcomer of the week several times during the season. "It was a wonderful year school-wise, people-wise, basketball-wise," COLLEGE U A r modern liberal arts college has to have a wide offering of sports. 9f JAMES SPAINHOWER, Lindenwood College president Charles High. In addition, Spainhower announced the school has received a $25,000 gift from alumnus Dorothy Warner of Clinton, 111. That money has been earmarked for the remodeling of the swimming pool in the basement of Butler Hall. "It's the oldest indoor pool west of haven't had many hits yet, but I'm hitting the ball hard. It's an adjustment time for me, but I'm confident that I can handle it." With Geneva off to a 1-11 start, Mundy finds himself in a trying situation. "It is a little tougher when the ball-club's struggling," he said. "I want to impress the coaches and so do the rest of the guys. But since we're off to such a slow start, we're all pressing a little, trying to do too much. "But the coaches have been real r t -' ft t .!' Saving Grace Goalkeeper Jeff Robben of the St. Louis Busch Seniors open championship of the BudweiserUnited States Soccer makes the save on a shot by Michael Deleroy of the San Federation Challenge Cup. Busch Seniors earned a 2-1 over-Francisco Greek-Americans in thetitle game in the men's . time triumph. Walker said. "Holy Cross is a small school that plays tough basketball. In that way it's a lot like Viz." Walker knew that she would have to make some adjustments for the college game. At 5-foot-10, she was one of the tallest players on a high school court. At Holy Cross, she was one of the smallest; thus, the days of roaming inside at will were gone. "I knew playing college basketball was going to take hard work. Anything worthwhile is going to take hard work," Walker said. "We had a real rigorous preseason. We'd have 6 a.m. workouts and we lifted weights twice a week. We'd also do biometrics. "Those were long days. My legs hurt because I was at a college full of stairs." The only negative of the year was the stress fracture. "It didn't come from anything specific; it was just from the pounding on the basketball court," Walker said. "About the second game of the season I felt it but I didn't think it was anything serious. It finally got to the point where I had to do something ATHLETICS - " i . --" i f t f -r - V . ; hi IO iL the Mississippi River," Spainhower said. "It was constructed in 1917." With the donated money, Spainhower said that Lindenwood can make a commitment to improve its total athletic program. Lindenwood athletes and athletic officials have criticized the school repeatedly in recent years for not upgradiig the pro- 1 BASEBALL understanding. They just keep telling us to relax and play ball." Bob Benben, Mundy's coach at Pattonville and a part-time scout with the Cardinals, doesn't foresee the Cubs rushing Mundy. "Most teams pretty well discount the first year as a transition year," the coach said. "You've got a bunch of kids away from home, trying to learn the pro game. It takes time." Mundy thinks the main adjustment is the transition from aluminum to wooden bats. i I 4 I z- ?! J. I; ' ' " 4 t - f ' Mary Helen Walker about it." Walker did not let the situation get the best of her. "I'd try to keep the enthusiasm on the bench," she said. "I stayed up at school for a month over Christmas so I still felt part of the team. We were a close-knit group and that helped." And if Walker ever felt the inclination to feel sorry for herself, those feelings ended when she attended a special party over the Christmas See WALKER, Page 5N gram and facilities. "A modern liberal arts college has to have a wide offering of sports," Spainhower said. The school currently offers men's and women's basketball and men's and women's soccer on a full-fledged basis. A baseball program likely will be reinstated in the spring of 1990, Spainhower said. The school dropped its baseball program several years ago. Skeleton programs in tennis, cross country and Softball also will be upgraded. In addition, Spainhower said there was a possibility that golf and swimming will be added. Spainhower is hoping an increased interest in athletics will increase the school's full-time enrollment, which is about 500. The total enrollment at Lindenwood is about 1,800. Lindenwood currently offers no physical education major. Spainhower said the school was comtem-plating adding a PE major in addition to a major in sports medicine, something in which Hunter is very much interested. Hunter is a 47-year-old Iowa native. He received his undergraduate See GIFT, Rage 5N 9 i i "With aluminum bats, you can muscle a pitch off the fists for a hit. With wood, the ball's in front of the plate and the bat's in pieces," he said. "Heck, I've already gone through nine or 10 bats myself." Mundy, who is working with roving instructor and ex-major leaguer Richie Zisk, feels he's making great strides at the plate. "The home run helped a lot because it showed me that the power was still there," he said. "I'm hitting the ball real well in batting practice SOCCER 'A i V 1 -. y BASEBALL Stockham Team Is Flying High By Cathie Burnes Beebe Of the Post-Dispatch Staff Before the start of this American Legion baseball season, Jeff Herman operated under the assumption that the times would be better for his Stockham team. "I figured that with the number of kids we had coming back that we would be an improved team," Herman said. Improved is an understatement. The Stockham team has raced to a 19-5 record this season, one of the best performances of any area Legion squad this summer. The 19 victories are just nine below Stockham's total of a year ago when the team finished 28-31. "This is such a streaky game," Herman said. "We're just trying to take things as they come." Stockham is winning by the good baseball book, which preaches that a team must be strong up the middle. And Herman says that is where Stockham is at its best. "Dan Kertz (St. Louis U. High) has been really good both offensively and defensively," Herman said. "He's been somewhat of a surprise because he didn't have that good of a season for SLUH. But be's been strong behind the plate and he's hitting .400. "Ray Meyer (Hancock) and Marvel McDaniels (Roosevelt) have formed a really good combination at shortstop and second base. In the 24 games they've pulled off 18 double plays and I've really been pleased. Then in center field Joe Gable of Vianney has really done the job defensively for us. He's tracking down everything that's hit to him." But just as important to Herman has been his pitching staff's ability to get the ball over the plate. "We play at Heine Meine Field and there are a lot of dead spots," Herman said. "There aren't going to be many balls hit out of the park. So if a pitcher can throw strikes and has a good defense behind him, he's going to do well. That's been the key for us." In Roosevelt's Kevin Parham, Jim Foley of Vianney and Ron Blest of Hancock, Herman has three pitchers who are capable of silencing the opposition. Parham and Foley have a combined record of 8-1; Blest is 3-0 with two saves. Stockham also has a solid offense. The clean-up hitter in the Stockham lineup, first baseman Kevin McLaughlin, is coming off a superb high school season for SLUH when he hit .491, with four home runs and 19 runs batted in. He already has five home runs for Stockham this summer while hitting .350. V and in the games, too. It's just one of those things. I hit the ball hard and it's right at somebody. "Sooner or later, they're bound to fall in." Benben, who recommended Mundy to the Cardinals, thinks the Cubs made a wise move in selecting Mundy, a two-time All-Suburban North Conference selection. "Any time you draft a high school kid in the late rounds, it's a gamble, but Rick's got a lot going for him," See MUNDY, Page 5N ft! 7 Tournament Schedule Set The following are the teams and the schedule for the Stockham Holiday Tournament, which begins tonight at three sites. TEAMS: 1. Stockham I; 2. Lena, 111.; 3. New Glarus, Wise; 4. St. Charles; 5. Fenton; 6. Arnold; 7. Wentzville; 8. Raytown South; 9. Monroe City, Mo.; 10. Shawnee, Kan.; 11. Jackson, Tenn.; 12. Imperial, Mo.; 13. Madison, Tenn.; 14. Raytown (Mo.) McDonald's; 15. Anheuser-Busch; 16. Festus; 17. Dodgeville, Wise; 18. Memphis, Tenn.; 19. Gardenville-Aff-ton; 20. Stockham II. TONIGHT At Imperial: 6 p.m. 16-19; 8:30 p.m. 12-15. At Heine-Meine I: 6 p.m. 6-7; 8:30 p.m. 1-5. At Heine-Meine II: 6 p.m. 1- 5. FRIDAY At Imperial: 10 a.m. 2-5; 12:30 p.m. 6-10; 3 p.m. 17-19; 5:30 p.m. 11-14; 8 p.m. 12-13. At Heine-Meine I: 10 a.m. 8-9; 12:30 p.m. 11-12; 3 p.m. 13-15; 5:30 p.m. 1-2; 8 p.m 16-17. At Heine-Meine II: 10 a.m. 16-20; 12:30 p.m. 18-20; 3 p.m. 3-4; 5:30 p.m. 7-9; 8 p.m. 6-8. SATURDAY At Imperial: 10 a.m. 18-19; 12:30 p.m. 11-13; 3 p.m. 4-5; 5:30 p.m. 8-10; 8 p.m. 17-18. At Heine-Meine I: 10 a.m. 9-10; 12:30 p.m. 7-8; 3 p.m. 14-15; 5:30 p.m. 19-20; 8 p.m. 1-3. At Heine-Meine II: 12:30 p.m. 2-3; 3 p.m. 17-20; 5:30 p.m. 6-9; 8 p.m. 13-14. SUNDAY At Imperial: 10 a.m. 7-10; 12:30 p.m. 3-5. At Heine-Meine I: 10 a.m. 2-4; 12:30 p.m. 16-18; 3 p.m. Bracket 1 vs. Bracket 2; 5:30 p.m. Final. At Heine-Meine II: 10 a.m. 11-15; 12:30 p.m. 12-14; Bracket 3 vs. Bracket 4 winners. McLaughlin's future is seen in football, as he signed a national letter of intent to attend Boston College in the fall. "So much was expected of Kevin last fall in football," Herman said. "He was going to be one of the most highly recruited players in the area. But you can't be a glamour player on the line. People expected him to See STCKHAM, Page 5Nj

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