The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida on June 6, 1988 · 44
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The Tampa Tribune from Tampa, Florida · 44

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10-Northwest The Tampa Tribune, Monday, June 6, 1988 Lefco's Park pitches ivay to Tomy Saladmo Airaird By FRANK ROSSETTI Tribune Sports Writer BRANDON When Min Park arrived in America from Seoul, South Korea in 1984, he had no knowledge of the English language "zero." But he found he could communicate with kids his own age, using baseball as a language. "Baseball is kind of (the) same everywhere," Min Park said. However, the Leto High senior doesn't play the game on the same level as his colleagues. Fact is, he plays better than most. That's why he was voted as the 18th annual Tony Saladino Award winner. Park received the award, which goes to Hillsborough County's most outstanding senior player as voted on by prep coaches, in an informal ceremony Sunday night at the home of Tony Saladino Jr., who started the award in 1971 in memory of his father. The 18-year-old's talents are most obvious when he's on a pitcher's mound. This season, the right-hander had a 9-2 record with a 0.81 ERA (he allowed nine earned runs in 77 innings). He struck out 98 batters and walked 31. One-dimensional? Hardly. When he wasn't pitching, he deftly handled the second-base position. And, at the plate, he gave pitcher's a difficult time by batting .347, with two home runs, six doubles and 17 RBI. "He's versatile," Leto coach Lou Llerandi said. "A college coach has a decision to make with him. He can play second base, be a DH, play third, or pitch. He's that type of athlete. He's a quality pitcher and pitching is the name of the game." Llerandi has seen Park grow and mature as a baseball player. And he's sure Park will continue to get better. "But there's something else," Llerandi said. "I have a lot of respect for him. Anyone who can do what he did come to a new country, learn a new language, do well in school, make friends and play well you've got to give him a lot of credit. I'll tell you, he's one of the special ones I've had a chance to coach." Llerandi also gives credit to Park's uncle and aunt, Prep Baseball Tony and Michele Brula, who helped their nephew make the transition from Seoul to Tampa. After Park's mother and father (Keun and Jae) decided to move the family to the U.S. to be near other family members, Brula and his wife offered to help by having Min live with them. Park said his ninth-grade year was total confusion. "Phew," he said. "That first year I would go to school and (fall) asleep. I didn't know what was going on." Sleeping in class may have been a defense mechanism, or maybe it was to rest for the studying he would do at night with the Brula's. "He would come back from school with notes from his teachers about what he had to read," Tony Brula said. "We would read the chapter and my wife would interpret it. That went on for a year. He flunked three classes that year, all related to the English language." But those were the last three classes he would flunk. After making those classes up in summer school, Park went to Leto for his sophomore year. "He started that first year at Leto by taking an extra class, one more than required," Brula recalled. "That was just in case he flunked one. He did that every year, just in case. But he never flunked (a class)." Park ended up with a 2.6 average, taking home his share of As and Bs. He adjusted to a new country in a hurry. "I think I'm OK with everything now," Park said before an American Legion game Thursday afternoon. "I think I've got it. By my junior year, I was OK. The first couple of years (Tony and Michele Brula) helped out a lot." His teammates eased the transition as well. "Playing baseball helped me a lot," he said. "It helped me learn English and make friends. Playing for the high school team, people talk to you and pay attention to you in school. And teachers help you out too." Park says he misses South Korea "a little bit." In Saladino Award winners Year Winner School 1988 Min Park Leto 1987 Chris Myers Plant 1986 Gary Sheffield Hillsborough 1985 Tino Martinez Jefferson 1984 Chuck Donahue Robinson 1983 John Ramos Plant 1982 Richard Monteleone Tampa Catholic 1981 Vance Lovelace Hillsborough 1980 David Magadan Jesuit 1979 Rick Flgueredo Plant 1978 Lenny Faedo Jefferson 1977 Danny Pickern Plant City 1976 Sammy Spence Brandon 1975 John Shouse Chamberlain 1974 Nick Ray Robinson 1973 Mike Heath Hillsborough 1972 ' Anthony Lazzara TBV-T Danny Bazarte Leto 1971 Davian Menendez Tampa Catholic Rick Faulkner Plant particular, he misses his favorite native food kim chee. "It's Korean cabbage," Brula explained. "It's made hot, hotter and hottest. He's getting used to eating pizza and hamburgers now." There were baseball communication problems to deal with early on, Brula remembered. When Park first played in the Town 'N Country Colts League, Tony and Michele worked as a translation team. "We also made a sheet with 1 through 10 on it for the coach," he said. "Next to each number was some instruction a pitcher would need to know. Then the coach could point to one when he needed to tell Min something." Now all a coach has to do is ask, and Min understands. "Everything the coach would ask me to do, I'd do it," Park said. No one had to translate the game to Park. "Everything, fundamentals and all, is the same here as it is over there (in Korea)," he said. Park's baseball schedule remains busy. He will play - "" n, V - .X ft V h X J" 1 S4Ut Tribune photograph by BONNIE JO MOUNT. Saladino Award winner Min Park plans to play; for Manatee Community College next year. American Legion ball this summer and at Manatee; Community College in the fall. Park, who prefers pitch- ing, just wants to play. "I'll play wherever they want I me to play," he said. "Pitchers have to sit down be-; tween games, I want to play." After junior college, Park has one eye on four-year '. schools and another eye on the pros. With his talent; that's understandable in any language. . - i - I V " . hi $ f' f ' 'Vw I 'A V- A ' , V s 1' Griffin plans to dream all the way to the majors Associated Press photograph Tampa's Ty Griffin passed up his senior year at Georgia Tech to sign with the Chicago Cubs. TAMPA Tyrome Griffin has to occasionally pinch himself to make sure he isn't dreaming. Truth is, he's actually living a dream. What seems like a baseball fairy tale filled with great experiences on and off the field is nothing but reality for Griffin, a 1985 King High graduate and former Georgia Tech star second baseman. Griffin, 20, forfeited his senior season at Tech and an opportunity to graduate on time (in four years) with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering to live out his longtime dream of being a pro baseball player. Griffin became a Chicago Cub Saturday, signing a one-year, minor-league contract featuring a hefty signing bonus as the ninth pick of the first round in Major League Baseball's amateur draft Wednesday. "This is all so hard to believe. It is something I have dreamed and thought about for so many, many times since I started swinging the bat and throwing the baseball," Griffin said. "I sometimes wonder if I'm going to wake up and find out this is all not true." Oh yes, Ty. This is all true. And, you know, it couldn't of happened to a nicer, more-deserving student-athlete than Griffin, an All-American in every way. Cary J Waldman jjffi' This is not the first time Griffin has been drafted. The switch-hitting infielder of Belmont Heights Little League fame was drafted out of high school by the Baltimore Orioles in the 12th round of the 1985 draft. The reportedly $20,000 signing bonus the Orioles offered Griffin at the time was not enough to sway him from the enticing full scholarship offer from Tech, where he has been a solid B-average student for three years. Griffin is wiser, with three years of college education behind him, and wealthier because of his patience and decision to attend Tech. Griffin said he's only one school year away from attaining his engineering degree. The six-figure signing bonus the Cubs awarded him also makes Griffin's three-year wait to turn pro worthwhile. "I'm going to give professional baseball a shot, then come back and finish my degree work no matter what happens," Griffin said. "I would like to be with the Cubs and in the major leagues in two years. I feel that gives me enough time to make it to the top. "But I also know how important getting that college degree is. I'm not going to let three years of hard work in the classroom go down the drain. I worked too hard to let that happen. That would be wasteful." Griffin was so intent on signing with the Cubs this past weekend that he took a flight in from Atlanta to get the contact negotiations settled. The reason: He wanted to return to school Sunday to prepare for several final exams this week and then, of course, get ready for the Olympics. Despite the nice bonus, which Griffin said he will eventually use in part for a new car, and the strong : possibility of making the 25-mem-ber United States Olympic baseball team, the former King standout still has college school work as his top priority. "As a coach, you just don't get too many kids like a Ty Griffin," King baseball coach Jim Macaluso said. "He's had an unbelievable year, and it's only going to get better." And how. The Cubs have given Griffin permission to try out for the Olympic team with 39 other college players. The infielder will be able to maintain his amateur status de-. spite signing the contract with the; Cubs. The money, however, can't be ; spent until after the Olympic-Games. Griffin, who starred for this; country's silver-medalist winning team in last summer's Pan Ameri-! can Games in Indianapolis, will re-; port to the Olympic Trails Sunday-in Millington, Tenn. The Sporting New first-team; All-American and Baseball America third-team All-American is almost assured a spot on the U.S. squad Griffin, though, doesn't believe so. ' And if for some strange reason Griffin doesn't make the team, which is highly unlikely with the way he has played this year, he will report to the Cubs' Class A minor-league affiliate in Peoria, 111. " Not a bad option, either. "I want to make this U.S. team very badly. It will be an experience I would never forget," Griffin said. "I wouldn't be losing anything by not going into the minors right away. Not with the games the U.S. team has scheduled." The American team will play 50 exhibition games against minor-league and amateur teams in this country, Japan and Italy before going to Seoul, South Korea, for the Olympic Games. Don't wake up yet, Ty. Enjoy the dream. WIBC national tourney leaves Alvarez smiling Rick Nelson Bowling Dee Alvarez left Reno, Nev. shaking her head. And it wasn't because she had lost a fortune at the roulette wheel. She had just competed in the 1988 Women's International Bowling Congress Championship Tournament at Bally's Grand Lanes, and let's just say it wasn't what she expected. She wasn't thrilled with the lane conditions. She didn't care for the tournament's one-practice-ball rule. Her roommate and travel part ner, Lucy Giovinco, was struggling. So what could possibly have Dee Alvarez smiling? Since May 7, Alvarez, of Tampa, and her partner, touring pro Pat Castello of Merritt Island, have been leading doubles in the Open Division. As of Sunday, they held a three-pin advantage over the second-place team of JoAnn Civella-Cindy Kesterson (1,216-1,213). Christine Evering of Palm Harbor and Joan McCormick of Orlando were third (1,184). Shooting on lanes 33-34, at 10:30 p.m. Reno time, Alvarez managed games of 144, 170 and 221 for 535. Castello, who thrives on long-oil conditions such as Bally's, scorched the lanes for 227, 245, 209 681. But their combined effort was anything but safe. "Well, I really was surprised (to still be in first place)," Alvarez said. "We shot 1,215, and I thought the score was so low that I was wondering if I'd even get up on the board," referring to the computerized scoreboard at Bally's that posts the top-10 leaders. "So, golly, it was kinda neat. The score went up, and I was so excited. You know, that weekend all the big guns are In because of the Queens (national tournament), so all the pros are there, all the great amateurs are there, so I figured, 'Well ... (the score won't be posted on the leaderboard). When the score finally made it, I ran and told Pat. I said, 'Well, Pat, you'll wanna come take a look at this because it's not going to last long.' " That was nearly a month ago. The tournament, which began March 31, ends July 4. So there's a chance the Alvarez-Castello effort could be topped, but don't count on it. According to Brooke Puhlmann, the WIBC media room helper, "all the really good bowlers are already gone." Should Alvarez-Castello win the national doubles ti tle, they'll have the pleasure of splitting $3,300. "We both did not have any idea that it (the score) would stay," Alvarez said. "The conditions are so bad." Ah, the lane conditions. The way Alvarez describes them, Bally's lanes were oiled heavily on the outside but the heads were dry, with oil immediately afterward, forcing many bowlers Including Alvarez and Castello to use an inside line. There was no outside shot at the time. Giovinco, having averaged 213 at Crown Lanes where the outside line has been golden, struggled. She shot 432 (133, 161, 138) in singles, 484 (182, 138, 164) in doubles and 605 (234, 178, 193) in team. Evering had a better time of It, scoring 563 (209, 182, 172) in singles and 685 (210, 233, 242) in doubles. Her all-events score of 1,828 was In fifth place behind leader Lisa Wagner of Palmetto (1,871). Wagner was in third place In singles with a 649 series. "It was just the weirdest condition I've seen in a long time," Alvarez, 51, said. "I started out terrible. Well, then I moved inside because Pat was in there, and she shot 681. Once I moved inside (late in the first game), things changed. But I kept thinking, 'Do I move my mark? I don't want to go in there, but " Alvarez's other complaint concerned the WIBC's warm up policy. "You get there and you only get one practice ball, OK?" she said. "One practice ball. That's It I mean, that's like Chris (Evert) or Martina (Navratllova) getting up there and the officials saying, 'OK, you can hit one ball one time and then you must start play.' You know? I don't know why they (WIBC officials) do that, but they do, and it's the pits. You're not warmed up. You're not ready." But Dee Alvarez handled it. Pat Castello flourished. And, golly Dee, you could become a national champion. "Now, I would like a national title. That would really be neat." State leaders. While Dee Alvarez was making friends with Lady Luck in Reno, Rich Kehrer and Mark Boryk of Tampa were blistering the pins at Don Carter's Tamarac Lanes in Fort Lauderdale during the 54th Florida State Bowling Association Annual Tournament, which was also being staged at Lauderdale Lanes. This doubles team, riding the strength of Kehrer's string of 22 strikes Including a 300 game went on to post a 1,475 total May 29 to lead scratch and handicap in this event. They were followed by,Tom Leggett- Bill Jenkins of Jacksonville (1,451), Howard Bostlck-Willie Grant (1,438) of Tampa and Mannie Godwin of Tampa and Robert Stockton of Broward (1,416). Bowling on lanes 7-8 at Tamarac, Kehrer started his remarkable string in the fourth frame of the first game, winding up with a 279. Boryk tried his best to keep up, shooting a 257. According to Boryk, Tamarac's shot was similar to the one at Florida Lanes, which was the pair's home house. "All of a sudden Rich just got lined up, and I got lined up, and it was Just a carry contest from then on," Boryk said. By now people had crowded behind lanes 7-8 as Kehrer, 41, and Boryk, 34, threw bomb after bomb. In the second game, when Boryk left several corner pins to finish with a 205, Kehrer kept striking. And striking. And striking. "I Just got wired up and got off and runnln', " Kehrer said. "When I walked over on 7-8 (for doubles), I had about three more boards to the pocket than I did on 5-6 (for singles). And it was like, 'OK, I've got finish on the ball (because of drier back ends). I can go ahead and trust it.' " Trust it he did. "It seemed there was at least a hundred people back behind the bowling circle, maybe more, for the ninth and 10th frames," Kehrer said, "and when I threw that 12th ball, they all screamed." Boryk called it pandemonium. Kehrer ran out the 12th shot on his knees, sliding back toward the bowling circle. He knew it was there. The amazed spectators knew it was there. God knew it was there. "The last ball, I mean I torqued it up as much as I could," Kehrer said. "I shot it out about three boards further than the rest of them, and when it came back (from the 2-board), it would have carried 20 pins." Kehrer had just tossed the greatest shot of his life. He was mobbed. He was hugged. And after it was all over, he was spent, emotionally and mentally. But he had one game to go, and more importantly, a shot at an 800 series. Kehrer shot a 168. No 800. Just a nice 747, which sounds too much like an airlines promotion. But Kehrer's score, combined with Boryk's 716 series (he shot 254 in the final game), was good enough for first place. "When they screamed, my adrenaline just came out," Kehrer said. "I'll tell ya, I never experienced that in my life. I really pretty much keep in control. I don't choke under most situations." Area scores BRANDON LANES: Men: Rich Mayor 725279, Ken Hen-driokson 717257, Tom Baughman 694246, Dave Lopez 658264, Craig Miller 653253, Rick Nelson 635255, Dorsey Sawlcki 617246, Tim Craig 605233, Wayne Geiser 605223, Dave Mayor 605236, Crls Miller 605233. Women: Judy Garbee 543, Charlie Jenks 514, Ruth Melbig 462 (135 pins over average). CROWN LANES: Men: Shell Wilson 669, Richard Partridge 647258, Ken Bellamy 643245. FLORIDA LANES: Men: Nick Oliver 703267, Gerry Vlcedo 682258, Ron Tucker 675279, Joe Riendeau 673. Will Ward 660247, Joe Riendeau 658251, Bill Ralston 653, Mike Pupanek 649252, Mendy Graham 636256, Dusty Walker 631. Women: Kathy Gordy 593, Linda Doll 595. High game: Chip DeShong 267. OAKFIELD LANES: Men: Hugh Burbage 757279, Lee Helton 643233, Glenn O'Steen 606212, Hank Jenks 598233, Herb Thai 558223. Women: Charlie Jenks 617213, Evle Plato 585224, Teresa Terry 536214, Barbara Kennedy 524201 (first 500 and 200). PALM RIVER LANES: Men: Mark Boryk 727268, Nate Butler 715258, Ken Richard 681256, Dave Summer 670233, Gene Crouse 664248, Sammy Busclglio 639234, Ron Ward Sr. 638226, Ken Dahm 631245, Ronnie Ward Jr. 621226, Charlie Devore 620237, Glenn O'Steen 620220. Woman: Pattl Ruskl 635246, JoAnn Jackson 603224, Gaye Flnley 594216, Liz O'Steen 583216, Ann Diaz 540222, Sandl Hampton 557236, Elaine Wilson 541222, Jurleen Jones 516190. High game: Bill Schnltzer 259. Miscellaneous: Speedy Bee league champion: Consuelo Mexican Cuisine (Tommy Phillips, Mike Cobb, Nate Butler, Rich Khrer and Mark Boryk). High average: Mike Pryor 214, High scratch game: Charlie DeVore 300. Harold Cagle 604200-245 (first 600 series and 200 games). REGAL LANES: Men: Noel Splndler 659235, Dave Tarbut-ton 643221, Scott Carlstianos 633242, Eddie Gauntt 617254, Mike DeGroot 614233. Women: Lucy Giovinco 598210, June Paclga 577211. TAMPA LANES: Men: Jerry Howsmon 718258, Mario Mo-ley 678257, Stan Noe 641263, Women: Rose DeMott 635237, Sharrl Johnson 610234, Margaret Wilcox 615233, Lynn Barton 607228, Denlse Richardson 606221, Llllle Franklin 605246, Sharrl Johnson 589246. High game: Anthony Pullara 255. THUNDERBIRD LANES: Men: Ron Sexton 645245, Raymond Tindel 627268, Bob Tiberlo 617, Harold Asp 616, Guy Woolweaver 609, Nate Butler 604, Ed Magnuson 603, Clayton Groce 601, Greg Meredith 601. Women: Debbie Rimes 574, Dottle Rowe 542220, Donna Feierstadt 539, Theresa Hardin 521. Certainly, bowling 300 at state doesn't come under "most situations." More state stuff. Other area bowlers doing well at state include George Guerrette, whose 2,073 pin total was In third place. Charles Keithley's 2,052 was in seventh. In team event, Tampa's Best (Perry Little, Jeffery Shoats, Monsca Foster Jr., Douglas Jonas and Albert Sapp) was fourth in team event at 3,156. Rick Nelson's Bowling column appears each Monday in the suburban editions f The Tampa Tribune,

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