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Fryer: O.C. All-Star game always filled with top talent

STAFF COLUMNIST

People who attend high school sporting events see future college and pro stars.

The biggest concentration of them annually is at the Orange County All-Star Baseball game.

Just look at the 2009 county baseball game. The players in that game included Nolan Arenado, El Toro High and now with the Colorado Rockies; Trayce Thompson, Santa Margarita, now with the Dodgers; and Rob Refsnyder, Laguna Hills, now with the Yankees. All three were on the South roster.

The list of O.C. All-Star Game players who advanced to the majors is long and impressive. Two pitchers in the 1969 game were Randy Jones of Brea Olinda and Bert Blyleven of Santiago.

Jones won the Cy Young Award with the Padres in 1976. Blyleven pitched for several teams, including the Angels, and is in the Hall of Fame (and, true story, he worked in the shoe department at the long-gone JC Penney’s in downtown Santa Ana).

A catcher at Sunny Hills, Gary Carter, played in the ’72 game. The late, great “Kid” Carter is in the Hall of Fame. His North teammate, Don Aase of Savanna, had a 13-season career in which he pitched for the Angels and Dodgers.

Future MLB players and coaches Tim Flannery, Anaheim, and University’s Tim Wallach were in the ’75 game.

Mike Witt, one of the better pitchers in Angels history and now pitching coach at Santa Margarita, represented Servite in the ’78 game.

Many other MLBers played in the O.C. All Star Game. Lenny Dykstra of Garden Grove was in the 1981 game. Aaron Boone, now an ace broadcaster, of Villa Park, was in the ’91 game, longtime catcher Gerald Laird of La Quinta was in the ’98 game.

This season’s game is Tuesday night at La Palma Park’s Dee Fee Field in Anaheim.

Pregame ceremonies – player introductions, national anthem, etc. – start at 6:40 p.m. Admission is $5. The game is organized and managed by the Kiwanis Club of Greater Anaheim for charity.

Parking is plentiful north of the football portion of La Palma Park. It’s permit parking now in the neighborhood south of La Palma Park, so avoid that.

It will be hard to avoid seeing a future MLB star or two Tuesday, given the history of the game.

Taking a look around Orange County high school sports:

• Admission to the CIF-Southern Section baseball championship games Saturday at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino is $14 for adults, $5 for students with valid student identification and for children 13 and younger. One ticket is good for all four games, including Laguna Beach vs. Kaiser of Fontana, the Division 4 final at 10 a.m., and Woodbridge vs. Redondo Union, the Division 3 final at 1 p.m. Cash, debit and credit cards will be accepted. Parking is $5.

• Admission to the CIF-SS baseball finals Saturday at UC Riverside, where Sage Hill plays Crean Lutheran in an all-Academy League Division 7 final at 3:30 p.m., is $10 for adults and $5 for students with valid student I.D. and for children 13 and younger. Parking, which is not plentiful, is $5.

• The daily admission charge the CIF-SS softball championships, Friday and Saturday at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, is $10 for adults and $5 for students with valid student I.D. and for children 13 and younger. Mission Viejo plays Valley View of Moreno Valley in the Division 2 final Friday at 7 p.m. On Saturday, it’s Savanna vs. Paraclete of Lancaster in the Division 6 final at 12:30 p.m. and the all-Trinity League matchup of Mater Dei and Orange Lutheran in the Division 1 game at 6 p.m.

• Whichever finals you attend: hydrate.

• The average high temperature for Clovis, site of the CIF State Track and Field Championships, on June 4 is 90 degrees. So the scorching temperatures forecast for that town Saturday, which forced rescheduling of state meet events for later in the evening, is not shocking.

• The CIF State likes to split its state championship events between the south and north part of the state as much as possible, although cost and availability of venues can mess with that goal. Perhaps pursuing a more coastal location for the state track meet will be in the near future.

Chris Conlin has retired after 29 seasons as baseball coach at University. He also was the football defensive coordinator there for many of the past 30 or so years, and was the school’s wrestling coach, too. And there goes another of the all-time great people of county high school sports …

• The county football all-star game is July 8 at Orange Coast College. The oc-allstarfootball.com website has all sorts of information on rosters, tickets and more.

Jeff Beeler is leaving Sage Hill, where he has been the boys basketball coach for nine years, to take the coaching position at Capistrano Valley Christian, where he replaces Zach Brogdon, who now is the coach at JSerra.

Pearson Parker, an All-Trinity League first-team guard at Servite last season as a sophomore, will be at Santa Margarita for his junior year.

• From the CIF-SS office: A CIF-SS athlete has been on an NBA Finals roster for 45 of the past 51 years. A player from Santa Margarita named Klay Thompson has made some contributions to the Golden State Warriors.

• Fountain Valley this week interviewed candidates for its football coaching position, and more interviews are coming next week, according to Fountain Valley athletic director Steve Eggert.

• MaxPreps.com, a national high school sports website, released its early football preseason national rankings. It has Mater Dei at No. 6. Another Trinity League team, St. John Bosco, is at No. 9 and Centennial of Corona is No. 21.

• Mater Dei’s nonleague football schedule, in chronological order: at Bishop Amat of La Puente; vs. Mayfair of Lakewood; vs. La Mirada; vs. Upland; and vs. Edison. The Monarchs’ Trinity League opener is a home game against Santa Margarita and its first-year coach Rich Fisher.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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