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The Dispatch from Moline, Illinois • Page 34
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The Dispatch from Moline, Illinois • Page 34

The Dispatchi
Moline, Illinois
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E2 THE SUNDAY DISPATCH AND ARGUS April 29, 1990 Baseball Not MTV, but Q-C Triple A video a smash Quad-City AAA season ticket opportunities are limited! Don't miss this opportunity to show your support and be a part of our winning team. I hereby pledge my support to Quad-City AAA Baseball andor the Quad-City Angels as follows: Ticket Packages 1 (number) Options on AAA Baseball season tickets $50op- tion to be held in escrow until January 1, 1992. All options are fully refundable. 2 (number) 1990 Quad City Angels box seat tickets $175 per season ticket 3 (number) 1990 Quad City Angels reserved seat season tickets $125 per season ticket Craig DeVrieze the buyers are Iowans. That won't do.

"Davenport can't do this by itself," Pells said. "It's got to be all of the Quad-Cities." Whatever happened to "Joined by a River?" "I don't know," Pells said when asked why the lag in interest is in the Illinois Q-Cs. "Maybe it's this river that still combats us. But we're not going to let that stop us." Pells said the ticket drive, which the committee had hoped would be wrapped up last week, now will continue for three weeks more. During that time, the Triple A group will be making a hard sell on the Illinois side.

Never say never, is this committee's motto. And that's not just wishful thinking. "This is real," Pells said again of the Quad-Cities' chances. "We wouldn't be making this attempt if it wasn't" But Pells and his pals can't make it happen by themselves. "The public has got to step forward and tell us they want it," Pells said.

So tell them, Quad-Cities. Tell them you want your Triple A They'll follow up the video mailing with a slew of personal telephone calls. After that, the Triple-A decision-makers can look forward to receiving two separate written proposals documenting the Quad-Cities Triple-A qualifications. Then in July, assuming nothing's been decided, a sizable Q-C contingent will attend the Triple-A Alliance AU-Star Fest in Las Vegas. "Well be putting on a show at that one," Pells promised.

And, in the meantime, the committee will continue to try and enlist allies here at home in its Triple-A bid. So far, Pells conceded, there have been surprisingly too few of those. At least on the Illinois side of the river. With that in mind, the committee will host a reception next Wednesday at Velie's in Moline, one designed to kick-start Illinois side interest in the Triple-A push. A similar reception was held in Davenport last month, where 1,600 season-ticket options quickly were gobbled up.

Yet only 150 additional options have been purchased since, and Pells is sad to say the bulk of You can have your MTV. The Quad-Cities wants its Triple A At least, a part of it does. The Q-C Triple-A Baseball Committee officially entered the video business this past week when it unveiled a polished, Quad-Cities-sell-ing, seven-minute promotional tape that is geared to gain the hearts and minds of baseball's expansionists. And committee chairman Harry Pells Jr. wants it known this latest step in a concerted push to land the Q-Cs a step closer to big-league baseball is not a case of spending money for nothing.

With a drive to sell 2,500 $50 season-ticket options currently stalled well short of its goal, Pells suspects some Quad-Citians have suspicions that Triple A can't happen here. And he's here to tell them they are dead wrong. "It's imperative that the public knows this is real," Pells said of the Quad-Cities' Triple-A chances after Wednesday's video premier at John O'Donnell Stadium. "We've definitely got a shot at this." And as that carefully crafted, seven-minute piece of videotape proves, the Quad-Cities group is de- Signature Name. Business Street City Zip I I I I termined to pull out all the stops to see that its shot is heard 'round the baseball world.

Copies of the tape soon will be destined for the home mail boxes of each and every owner of an existing Triple-A franchise. And assuming some detective work by Q-C Angel owner Rick Holtzman is successful the video also will be sent to members of the committee in charge of Triple-A expansion. The Q-C vid bid, Pells said, is a unique step being taken to encourage Triple-A's decision-makers to give the Q-Cs a look-see. "I'm going to be very surprised if any other city does this," he said. Other cities likely won't do a lot of things the Quad-Cities committee has done, is doing, will do.

And that's because Pells and pals mean business. Note: If signing up as just an individual, put own address and phone number down and ignore business line. Please send this cou-f pon to: I I Quad-City AAA Baseball Association, Inc. P.O. Box 4515 Davenport, Iowa 52808 I L.

illiniums' 1 a Don Long, Quad-City Angels manager 9 angels go over .500 6y Kerry Patrick taff sports writer The two-out hit arrived just in time for the Quad-City Angels Saturday night. lllliliKii Corey Kapano two-out two-run double in the bottom of the sixth in- 'MY Vv til ft I ning opened up a 1 1-0 and en abled the Angels to pull away to a 4-1 win against the Peoria Chiefs in front of a crowd of caught his shorts and ripped them off. The guy runs for a touchdown and waves the ball around with nothing on but a jockstrap. And of course, I yelled to the girls on the other side of the field to look." WHAT PEOPLE SAY BEHIND MY BACK: "I don't know. As a manager, not everything is going to be good and I know that, but I can't let it bother me.

I'm always going to be second-guessed. Hopefully, they're saying 'he's pretty much an easy-going guy who doesn't take things too In this business, you have to laugh things off." PERSON IN HISTORY I'D LIKE TO MEET: "Abraham Lincoln. Abe was a loser most of his life. He couldn't find a break, but he never quit and his determination and effort got him to the Presidency. I admire anyone who does not quit." WHAT I'LL DO SEPT.

1 WHEN THE SEASON IS OVER: "Hopefully it won't be over and I'll be making plans to manage in the playoffs." TOUGHEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: "Keeping 25 or 26 guys happy when there are only nine spots that play. And keeping Joe (Georger) and (pitching coach) Mitch (Seone) working and clothed." 1 BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON MY LIFE: "My parents, because they taught me at an early age it's OK to be kind and caring, to have fun and work hard." THE PERFECT JOB FOR ME IS: "Doing what I'm doing, managing a baseball team. It sure beats working back in Washington selling Christmas trees." THE THING THAT REALLY TURNS ME OFF ABOUT PEOPLE IS: Back-stabbers, hypocritical and lazy people like the two I work with (just kidding)." BIGGEST THRILL: "Team I played on professionally in Fresno in '84. We had a good team and a great bunch of guys." MY BIGGEST FEAR IS: "Baseball-wise, I don't have any. I can't worry about anything.

You can't have fear in this job because you won't work according to your style. There are things not related to baseball like losing your parents someday." THE THING PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE ABOUT DON "That I love to have fun. And that you can have a lot of fun doing this particular job." SPORTS HERO: "Jerry West He's as tough and talented a man as I've known. He fought and worked hard for everything. Plus, he's a THE BEST THING ABOUT THE QUAD-CITIES IS: "The people.

They are genuine and friendly and care about each other. A young man comes into the Quad-Cities and is accepted, unlike some other minor league towns." By SportsWeekend's John Marx NAME: Don Long. AGE: 28. OCCUPATION: Quad-City Angels manager. EDUCATION: High school in Mead-owdale, Wash.

Washington State University (signed with the San Francisco Giants in 1983 after junior year). FAMILY: Single. HOBBIES: "Reading I guess would be the main one. I used to read a lot of autobiography-type books, but I have started to read a lot of fiction lately." FAVORITE BOOK: "Showtime, by Los Angeles Lakers' coach Pat Riley. First of all, it's entertaining and, secondly, Pat Riley has always intrigued me because he has the best players and still manages to win every year." FAVORITE MOVIE: "Retch.

I'm a big Chevy Chase fan." FAVORITE FOOD: "Chicken. Any kind." WHEELS: "None. I get a rental car to drive while I'm managing, but I sold my Honda Prelude." IDEAL EVENING: "Having a nice dinner with my girlfriend. And any night where pitching coach Joe Georger is nowhere to be found." MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT: "I struck out five times in a game once, and if that's not embarrassing enough, I don't know what is. I guess knowing Joe Georger is another.

Also, the time in high school playing flag football when I reached for a guy's flag and Q-C Angel manager Don Long, center, huddles at the plate prior to Saturday's game. (Photo by Gary Krambeck) Corey Kapano i)236 at John. Q'Donnell Stadium. The Angels improved to 9-8 in the Midwest League, while Peoria drops to 7-14. "We needed that," said Quad-City manager Don Long, whose team ended a four-game losing Was a key hit He drove the ball into tpe gap with runners on first and second." Rick Hirtensteiner capped the ifelly by driving in Kapano.

Angel starter Erik Bennett, 2-1, packed up the victory, lasting six innings and striking out eight After reliever Roberto Castillo surrendered one run in two innings of vork, Les Haffner closed out the ninth and picked up his second save. i "We were lucky to win," admitted Long. "The guys played very lackadaisical. Their team sat back a little, ajid we sat back right with them. I "I was very disappointed.

We haven't played for two days (because of rainouts), and I thought tfiey would come out hungrier. I feel confident they'll come out ready to pjay tomorrow." The Angels will host Peoria again at 2 this afternoon. Chiefs' starter Travis Willis, 1-3, suffered the loss, giving up four hits ii) six innings. i The Chiefs loaded the bases in the ninth with two outs, but Haffner irtduced Pedro Castellano to hit into aifielder's choice. Kapano had given the Angels a 10 lead in the fifth when he scored fijom third on a fielder's choice.

For the game, Kapano went 2 for 3 with afwalk and two runs scored. Peoria's lone run came in the seventh. Lead-off hitter Kraig Washington singled home Jerrone Williams with two away. Angels' King sharp in final shot By John Marx Staff sports writer Steve King is no longer top secret. A one-time engineer for the U.S.

Department of Defense, King was in tune with protecting our country. Now, the 25-year-old, hard-throwing right-hander for the Quad-City Angels is in tune with protecting a lead when the game is on the line. As the Angels' set-up man, King has been brilliant. In six games, he is 1-1 with a paltry earned-run average of 1.42. In 19 innings he has a whopping 17 strikeouts.

Baseball is now top priority. 'Yes, I worked for the Department of Defense," he said. "I was an electronics engineer for helicopter warfare. I had top-secret clearance and the whole shot I did that for two years, but it wasn't baseball. Nothing could fill baseball's void" For a while, though, King thought a real-life position could do just that.

A 20th-round selection of the Montreal Expos in the June, 1986, draft, King made two successful stops that summer. His first with Jamestown of the New York Penn League, and his second with Burlington of the Midwest League. Expecting a promotion but sent back to Burlington the next spring, the easy-going King packed his baseball bags and booked. "After having what I felt was a great year and knowing the organization was going to send me back to a league I had mastered, I was going to get out," said King, a 1986 Mississippi State graduate. "I didn't need to make Class-A money when I could go out and get a job making five times what I made in baseball." But top-secret work for Uncle Sam was not baseball.

So the crafty King, engaged at the time, devised a plan, one to which his wife-to-be was not yet privy. "I was going to be married in November of 1988," he said. "But I hadn't told my future wife I had baseball plans for the next summer. She was under the impression I would keep my job and maybe start work on my master's degree, and she might go to law school. But when I sprung baseball on her as a one-time shot, she somehow bought the idea.

She wasn't crazy about it because she likes to spend money, but she accepted it." King then spent his agreed-upon one summer of fun with the Boise Night-hawks, an independent team in the Northwest League. But enough was enough. Fun time was over and it was time to get back to the real world where he and his wife were going to tackle the University of Indiana she at law school and he on a program for his master's. But the California Angels threw King a curve and selected him in last winter's re-entry draft. The new breath of baseball life again had King hoping once again to scratch his baseball itch.

"The Angels guaranteed me a legitimate shot and I had to chase it," he said with a coy grin. "I told my wife I don't dream at night of being an engineer. I dream about pitching in the big leagues." So it was back to the Midwest League. But this time, it's a one-shot try for King. "Some guys can take a great deal of time to see if they'll make it, but my timetable has to be more stringent," he added.

"I don't have time to wait and see. My progression has to be rapid or I'm going to give it up." Quad-City Angels pitching coach Joe Georger says King has the tools, but has to turn some heads. "He has the talent and people in the organization know it," said Georger. "He's done a great job for us here. He's 25, and the move has to come soon.

Hopefully he'll get his shot. If he keeps doing what he's done for us, you never know what will happen." But if King doesn't make it to the big leagues, he can still follow the baseball happenings of a few old friends from his Mississippi State days guys like major leaguers Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, Bobby Thigpen and Jeff Brantley. "I still can't believe I played with a group of players like that," King said of the now-famous foursome. "I knew Will and Rafael would be big time big league players, but Bobby was a better outfielder than he was a pitcher. Look at him now.

"It was a neat situation playing with them. You always knew what was going on because the press was constantly hounding the big boys. I'm hoping to be able to play with them, not watch them." Angel notes I Erik Bennett's eight strikeouts. Saturday night pushed his season -j-ioiai to za 203 ij innings, moving il him into a tie for I second place in 4, I the Midwest I League. Darrin 0f Madison Erik Bennett leads with 29.

Wednesday and Thursday's rainouts in Cedar Rapids will be added to single games on June 11 and 12. STEVE KING Familiarity a common bond for this year's Quad-City Angel crew John Marx Save the "chemistry" for the lab. The 1990 Quad-City Angels have another intangible working for them. Clearly, this group seems to know what the next guy is going to do. With several of this year's group having been teammates before, comfort and trust could very well have something to do with it For example: Pitchers Dave Adams and Erik Bennett played together in college at Cal State-Sacramento.

Infielders Chad Curtis and Ronnie Ortegon and pitcher John Marchese played together at Grand Canyon College and were summer teammates prior to being drafted. Pitcher Wayne Helm, recently re-assigned to extended spring training, was a teammate of outfielder Rick Hirtensteiner at Pep-perdine, while catcher-designated town you're playing in if you have someone to help. It's not easy adjusting alone." Henry Threadgill says an understanding voice is a comfort when things aren't going well. "Brother or friend, when you have a bad day it's nice to have someone who knows you," he said. "I have that in my brother and you have it in someone you've played the game with before." Program, guide top-notch From a cosmetic standpoint, the Quad-City Angels seem to have it all going.

Renovated John O'Donnell Stadium looks out of this world and the playing field is the best it has been in years. Add to the list the 1990 souvenir yearbook and media guide. The yearbook is of major-league quality, 84 pages of clean crisp effort with, what could be the best looking cover in the league. I say probably, because I've yet to see every Midwest League program, but it would take some doing to pass this one. The media guide yes a media guide for a Class A baseball team is factual, good-looking and informative.

Radio technology Q-C play-by-play man Mario Im-pemba was introduced to modern radio technology recently. Imbemba, who harbors a wealth of talent and has no business being just a Class A broadcaster, was waiting one night early last week for the usual signal from local radio sa- tion KSTT AM-1170 to start his broadcast. But when there was no signal, Im-pemba decided to check things out He called the station to get sports director Jeff Roberts. After several minutes of knob-twisting and tinkering, Roberts was clueless. Then, after consulting the station's engineer, Impemba was instructed to climb up on a chair and give his marti-transmitter a swift bop on the top.

So Impemba did, and Presto, radio transmission. Wait, there's more. The broadcast signal started to fade again about the seventh inning and, of course, what did Impemba do? Whack! So much for modern technology. Midwest League bloodlines The Midwest League, features some pretty solid baseball bloodlines this season. Two players in particular are from pretty fair baseball backgrounds.

Pedro Borbon, son of ex-Cincinnati Reds star reliever Pedro Borbon, is a starting pitcher for the Burlington Braves. The younger Borbon formerly property of the Chicago White Sox is doing great work, leading the Midwest League with a 4-0 mark and a solid 1.59 ERA In 28V innings, he has 28 strikeouts. Keith Kessinger, son of ex-Chicago Cubs star and former Chicago White Sox manager Don Kessinger, is a backup infielder with the Wau-sau Timbers. Kessinger, an All-Academic SEC player at Mississippi, was a finalist for the 1989 Silver Spikes Award. hitter Jeff Gay and pitcher Mike Hook were high school teammates in Santee, Calif.

Both Hook and Gay were drafted in the same round in 1986. And don't forget the Threadgills, Chris and Henry. They sort of know one another from growing up in the same house in Whiteville, N.C. Says the slick-fielding Ortegon, "It makes it easier to adjust to the.

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