The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland on July 1, 1979 · 204
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The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · 204

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Baltimore, Maryland
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 1, 1979
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204
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tArwKhl lAvtW, THE SUNDAY SUN, JULY I, 1979 sport-light For Odenton's Stefero, signing with O's is dream come true By Pat O'Malley t For many, becoming a pro baseball j player for the hometown team is a i dream that never comes true. But ' that "many" doesn't include Odenton's John Stefero, Jr. ; Stefero signed last week with the Baltimore Orioles, as a catcher. He is .already in Bluefield, W. Va., with the ; Birds' rookie team affiliate of the Ap--palachian League. . "Growing up, I always wanted to be a pro baseball player, and I always hoped I might get that chance with the Orioles. Now it's like a dream come true. I'm still trying to come down to earth," Stefero said after signing. The Orioles had been watching Stefero for two years. He played last summer with Mike's baseball club, which has since disbanded but was then co-sponsored by the Orioles. Stefero became the sixth player from Mike's to go pro this year, but he is the first signed by the Orioles. Jim Gilbert, an Oriole scout, was one of the coaches on Mike's team and helped convert Stefero from an in-fielder to a catcher. "John has a big-league arm, which we rated at 6 at an Oriole tryout camp recently, and that's big league," Gilbert said. "He's an average runner 6.9 to 7.0 seconds in the 60-yard dash, but has good power from the left side." The arm and power obviously attracted the Orioles. Gilbert's persistent prodding played a major part in Stefero's eventual signing by Dick Bowie, Oriole scouting supervisor, and Tom Giordano, director of scouting. In addition, Bowie had seen quite a bit of Stefero's playing with Mike's last summer, and he'd liked what he saw. "From the very beginning, you could see that John had the tools if he wanted to work at it," Bowie said. "Playing every day, he did. We've always liked his arm, and he impressed us in a couple of tryout camps last summer. Then, the day before he signed, he was at our camp in Cecil county and threw very well, and he had showed us some power the day before." The power the day before was the beginning of an eventful week for Stefero. Last Monday, Stefero was a member of the Baltimore Major League Unlimited team, which played against the Korean All-Stars at the Stadium. Watching the game in the stands were Giordano, Bowie and Gil bert. The Koreans won the game, 3 to 1, and the only run for the local team came off Stefero's bat. He stroked one over the 385-foot sign in right-center, into the visitors' bullpen, and sent oohs, ahs and wows through the audience. Giordano sat up and took notice. "We've always liked Stefero and know about the great spring he had in Tennessee at Motlow State Community College), but that ball he hit against the Koreans really convinced me of his power potential because he hit that off a pretty good pitcher who was getting everybody else out," Giordano said. "Power-hitting catchers are a scarce commodity, especially guys who can hit from the left side as John can," he added. "It's something we're short on in our organization, so we signed him. At Bluefield he'll also play some third base and the outfield, besides catching." Stefero set several school records this spring at Motlow as catcher-third baseman. He set a record for homers for the year by drilling a total of 21, 9 in the fall and 12 in the spring. Also, he drove in a record 48 runs, scored 37, had 40 hits (7 doubles) and wal- fciiiiiiiiMiiin ., n.ir, i .iiii. i ii in ,, nun ..mmwii i iir.ri ii ri, n i.nwimiiliil " ""v M.LAjmJ loped two grand slams on a robust .354 batting average. Recently Stefero had been playing the outfield for Johnny's and doing only spot catching. Johnny's skipper Bernie Walter wasn't happy to lose Stefero, but said, "It's a good opportunity and there aren't that many chances. John has the tools, and you have to like him. He has that kind of personality." Stefero grew up playing baseball on the county sandlots in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn. At 13, he became the star of the National Hot Stove champion North Glen team. Then Stefero and Dave Grier, who recently signed with Milwaukee, paced the Brooklyn 14-16 Baseball Club to the Baltimore City Cardinal Gibbons Championship in 1975. Brooklyn then moved up (as Pikesville) to the Babe Ruth League, and Stefero played second base on a state champion team that came back to win it all at the University of Maryland. The following spring, Stefero became the captain of the Mount St. Joseph high school baseball team and led them to the Maryland Scholastic Association championship under coach Bob Maxey. John was selected as the All-MSA second baseman. His summer team that year was Mike's, and he helped them to another state championship in Babe Ruth baseball, this time at the Naval Academy. The team lost in the regional to the eventual winner and World Series representative, New York. Rather than attend college upon graduation from high school, Stefero sat out a year doing odd jobs and working nights at Bojangles Too. His dad, John Stefero, Sr., was the manager of Bojangles, and John, Jr., was a bus boy and this year a doorman. Playing with Mike's last summer, he led the club to the Mason-Dixon championship and to runner-up status in the Altoona regional of the All- American Amateur Baseball Association (AAABA). Then it was on to Tennessee. "I know I matured away from home and really improved. I got stronger, and I started thinking about getting a chance to play pro ball. I always figured I would get the chance, but I didn't think it would happen this fast. I thought maybe next year," Stefero said. His father felt the same way: "At first I didn't know what to tell John, it happened so fast," John, Sr., said. "I think he did the right thing because it's an opportunity which doesn't come along too often, especially a chance to play with the Orioles." John's dad was an exceptional athlete in his day, too, and played baseball with Barry Shetrone, former Oriole and Washington Senator. John, Sr., had a chance to turn pro, but said no and never got the chance again. I had the chance and blew it. I was an outfielder and said no to an opportunity to play minor league baseball. I didn't want John to make the same mistake because you never know what can happen," said John Stefero, Sr. The 19-year-old, 5-foot 10-inch, 175-pounder doesn't smoke or drink, and he thanks his dad for that. John also thanks his dad for not pressuring him to be a pro ball player. Many fathers try to relive their own shots at the big leagues through their sons, with disastrous results. But not the Steferos. So now John Stefero is a junior Oriole playing in Bluefield for manager Junior Miner. He has a standard $600-a-month contract with an incentive clause. That's all he needed. "They told me if I do well I can move up to Miami the Orioles' Class A club this summer," Stefero said. "That's my goal, and I'm going after it." "DAY ON THE BAY" CRUISE James tops at Big Vanilla Sun ptioto Jed Kirjchtwum Tony James (above) dominated the first indoor Club last week. James won tbe singles and cap-tennis championship at tbe Big Vanilla Racquet tured the doubles with Claude England. scoreboard v The following is a list of the standings as of last week in the Annapolis City Recreation Leagues: Fast Pitch National Premium lt-1 Hen ..IM V J Klrcnner's 9- Annapolis Radiator 7-7 Kajle...... 7-7 CcWaryll Ml Mustangs 9-14 Men's Slow Pitch , At II Hobos 11-1 Brack Boys M Slruari .,j..M Eaatport Shell M Juvenile Sjlra 9-9 Hyatt Realty t-1 3atfwelaer 1-U Women's Slow Pitch Reds Does ..I4-I Annapolis Country Club I J-1 Charfiea 19-t Anne Arundel General Hospital t-19 Clarke's 9-19 Annapolis Banking and Tnat t-19 Pete's Place .9-U . The following is the night baseball schedule for the Annapolis Recreation Depart ment: Little League July 6 115PM Navy-Ptoelps iGrlarom No 11 7 41 PM PAL Wnile-MoM Oil re IGrkv com No II 7 45 PM. P A L Maroon-Cardlnala (Grta- eom No. 1 1 July II 15 P M. Pkelps-P A L. While (Grtaeom No. II 15 P M. Cardlnaln-Mount Ohre (Grtaeom No J) 7 41 P.M. Navy-P A.L. Maroon (Gliacom No I or il Men's Fast Pitch July 2 nun Radiator-Eagle. M P.M. Aanapol lunacomno. l) ( P.M. Masunp-Klrckner'l IQrtscom No. 1) f M PM Century ll-Natlonal Premium (urncom no. j) P M. CarnarllkvMera (Qrterom No ll July 5 f M P M Mera-Mextangs IGrlarom No. I) P M EaflefrGambfllla (Grtaeom No 1 1 1 39 PM. Klrraner'e-National Premlam (Gliacom No II PM Amapolla Redlalor-Centiry il (unscomno.il Men's Slow Pitch July 2 ' (All at Collison Field) . M P M Jsrmlle Sales-Hobos 7 M P M. Hystt Realty-A's 99 P M Eastnorl Shell-Strtseel 9.30 P.M. Bodwelaer-Beacl Boys July 9 I M P M Beack Boys-Eaatport Shell 7 30 P M Juvenile Sales-Hyatt Realty 139PM Bsdwetoer-A'a 9.39 P M Hotea-Stnaael Women's Slow Pitch July 3 (All at Collison Field) 1 39 P.M. Pete's PI ace-Anne Arundel General Homtal 7 39 P.M. Strtssel-Aims polls Banking and Tnast 9 39 P.M. Anaapolla Country Dab-Reds Dove 9 39 PM Claries-Charlie'. July 5 39 P M Charlie s-Slrteeel 7 P M Clarke s-Petee Place 9 39 P M Anne Arundel General Hospltal- Arma point Country Club 9 39 P M. Anuapolui Banking and Truet- RedaDore Raska released Frank Raska was released by Wagner's of the Maryland State AAABA league last week. Raska, a 19-year-old outfielder, had been unable to obtain a release from the Maryland State League in order to play with Johnny's of the Baltimore City AAABA franchise. The Maryland State League granted the release last Tuesday. Tues.'Sun. thru labor Day It, fAy ,0lll, " Mty m Children I I (,n1' emission in OnlV I W to Museum) under 12- V Chesapeake Marine Tours 30 1 -268-7600 To St. Michael's on the Eastern Shore from Historical Annapolis Enjoy a 7 hour cruise aboard "The Annopolitan II," Departs Annapolis City Dock 10 A.M., arrives St. Michael's Noon. Have a pleasant lunch at a moderate charge and visit the Chesapeake Maritime Museum in this beautifully restored fishing village dating back to 1621. leave 3:00 p.m. and arrive dock 5:00 P.M. Group Rate and Special Private Charter on request ALIVE CLASSIFIED 761-1732 few -J) QUALITY I I A T THt JUNCTION Of OU ANNAPOIIS 10. (V. 641) !t I AND BEUJ GtOVf IOAD (IT. 170) I I ONt-HAlf Mitt INSIDt THt BAl TIMOKt SB TWA Y B A TOUCHED BY MERLIN'S WIZARDRY I I- To Make Your Dining Experience As Enjoyable As A Feast At I , The Round Table L I Atfi.niftn Franks Regular 8'$-iO'r-Orioie.ib.Pi,8.l 1 9 Franks Beef 8'$ 10'$ Oriole....ib.pkg. 1.29 Seasoned Beef Patties 2 3.75 Early Joy Bacon ib. pk9. 9 5 Ring Polish Sausage ib.l .85 Ham Bologna Mibl .25 Bologna wib. 85C BarbequeLoaf ha. 99C Old Fashioned Loaf , 99 Dutch Loaf 89 Cooked Salami 99 WHERE YOU SPEND LESS AND GET MORE esskayI l'CSSDE 2 Low Fat Plastic Gal. $1.49 Breast-O- Armours Armours Chicken Vienna Chili Chunk Tona Sausage wBeant 69. , 2 is 89 k,-65 Lipton Polaner Duncan Hinet Tea Bags Grope Jelly figfa "1.99 '59t 75, Mrs. Filberts Jif Mrs. Filberts Pure Peanut Golden Mayonnaise Butter Margarine k$1..9 ri.09 , .59 Sates Effective Monday Jury 2nd thtu Sunday July 15th LUCKYfS TEN LOCATIONS OPEN EVERYDAY 8:30 A.M. TO 10:30 P.M. 1.1043 Williams St South Baltimore 2. 2406 Mountain Road Pasadena, Md. 3. 807 Crain Highway Glen Burnie, Md. 4. 8200 Jumpers Hole Road Millersville, Md. 5. 445 East Fort Avenue South Baltimore, Md. 6. 8542 Fort Smallwood Road, Riviera Beach 7. 4409 Annapolis Road Baltimore Highlands 8. 5001 Ritchie Highway Brooklyn, Md. 9. Marley Neck & Old Annapolis Roads 10. Quarterfield Road at Portsmouth Rd.t Severn, Md. A TOUCH OF CLASS ' FROM SALES TO SER VICE i i w 3S 111 II MAKE LIFE AN AnVFISITIIRF I BUY OR LEASE . "THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE" WE'RE SO EASY TO GET TO! non-fat 2-Vi gal. cart. 0 r Homo Vitamin D $155 J Plastic Gal wjimPTroco stamps mn&mmmrimMm&mm WE mmt TH RIGHT TO LiMlT QUANTITIES. J KM. iL

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