The LookOut sports

Mitch Chortkoff

Scouts Keep an Eye On Samohi Baseball Talent

They're the most dedicated, unheralded people in sports. They're the baseball scouts who ride from game to game, hoping to find talent for their organizations.

They're friends --- to a point. They hold stopwatches and time the batter's flight to first base. When one came a little late last week and asked another for the time of the previous batter he was shown a stopwatch.

``You're going to be a good scout,'' he told the younger man. ``You clicked it to zero, zero before you showed it to me.''
Representatives of the Dodgers, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners were at Santa Monica High last week, watching the Vikings' 5-4 victory over North Torrance.

They don't tell you exactly why they've chosen this game out of hundreds to attend. But you can be sure there are players on both teams who have aroused their curiosity.

I know Samohi centerfielder Andre Monroe was one because they all paid close attention when he came to the plate. Monroe didn't have a particularly good day, twice letting balls roll through his legs. But he did hit a two-run double in the seventh, setting up Jeff Gold's game-winning home run.

Although North Torrance lost, it had players who also merited a look. The scouts write in their notebooks and will file an official report with their teams.

Jerry Krause, now General Manager of the Chicago Bulls, was a baseball scout for many years. He told me the reports are filed in case the major league team ever has a chance to acquire a player.

Let's say Monroe becomes a professional. Other organizations would have their own report. They would know the youngster's speed, his arm strength, whether he hits often to left or right or center field, whether he hits with power.

The scouts amuse each other by telling stories as they watch the game. On this occasion the subject was Eric Weaver, a pitcher who briefly made the Dodgers' roster last season before being traded to the Mariners.

Weaver wasn't drafted. He played in an amateur all-star game and threw hard enough to merit attention. When asked where he had been drafted he replied that he hadn't been taken by anyone.

It seems there was a lot of rain that year in the Illinois area and scouts didn't see him pitch. Either a game was rained out or Weaver was ill the day they showed up or any of a dozen other factors came into play.

For whatever reason he slipped through the cracks of the system. One scout stood up to stretch and blocked the view of another, who playfully asked him to sit down.
``I may miss the next DiMaggio,'' he said.

The scouts love to get the pitchers' fastball on their clocks. On this occasion they may have come to see Samohi's Jonas Swyer, who had pitched a no-hitter in his last season. But, alas, Swyer was ill so they got to see Rocky Collis, only a freshman. When Collis threw his fastball the clocks clicked. Let's say he throws 85 mph. Next year they'll come back and see if he's added a little more speed.

The scouts tell me that Crossroads centerfielder David Weiner is another player being watched closely. I expect to see the same guys at Crossroads games later this season.

Samohi Water Polo Stars Are Named All-League Sophomore Cindy Ayala and senior Pam Barba were named first-team All-CIF Division IV in girls water polo.
Samohi's Marty Altamarino and Leyla Ramos were awarded berths on the second team and Byanka Delgadilla on the third team.

SMC Loses in Mens' Volleyball

The Santa Monica College mens volleyball team lost to defending state champion Golden West College 4-15, 7-15, 10-15. The Corsairs, who are at the halfway point of their season, were led by Meletios Exadaktylos' nine kills and steve Jeong's 39 assists.

SMC Defeats Three Track Opponents

The powerful SMC mens track and field team improved its record to 11-2 by defeating Ventura College, Antelope Vally and Citrus in a quadrangular meet.

Their closest score was a 65-45 victory over Citrus.

SMC's twin brothers Solomon and Akhnaton Foster were first and second in the 5000 meters in 16:33 and 16:34.

SMC's double winners were Owen Keville (800 and 1,500 meters) and Joseph Hegba-Mbayen (100 and 200 meters.

Dominic Young won the triple jump (43-2 1/2) and was second in the long jump 22-2 1/2.

SMC is coached by ex-Olympian Tommie Smith.

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