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May 13, 1988 - Image 53

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-05-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Mike Crain and Jason Novetsky.

mix it up a lot and let my
fielders do a lot of work."
Novetsky has a strong
curve and a moving fastball
which tails away from right-
handed hitters. He considers
that his best pitch. "It's hard
to hit something that's mov-
ing in different directions all
the time, than just something
straight down the middle," he
explains. He wants to add a

"You've got to
have good form to
be a good pitcher."

change-up and a split-
fingered fastball which he
feels will soon be as standard
a pitchas the curve ball is
today.
Novetsky was 3-0 in the
tough Legion competition
while playing for Ferndale
last summer. It was there
that pro scouts first noticed
him, although the scouts
originally came to see other
players. Novetsky has signed
to pitch for Coach Annis
Joseph's team again this
summer.
His first Legion game pro-
vided Novetsky with a quick
lesson in pitch location. "My
first pitch I threw, the guy hit
a triple off the wall. The third
baseman comes up to me and
says, 'Welcome to American
Legion baseball. You better
keep the ball down.' "
Despite the superiority of
Legion competition, Novetsky
credits his high school coach
with developing his skills. "I
have to give it all to Mr.
Crain. I came in as a

freshman, no form what-
soever, and he put me in a
winter program. As a
freshman I made JV. Halfway
through the year I was
brought up to varsity. He
taught me almost everything
I know. The pitching form —
without form you're nothing.
You've got to have good form
to be a good pitcher."
Novetsky recalled the time
when Crain first watched him
pitch, for Oak Park's
Roosevelt Middle School.
"Here I was, like a five-foot
kid just throwing the ball and
getting a strike over once in
a while. He turned me around
totally. He taught me all the
basics. We started off real
slow. I didn't throw a ball un-
til the third week into the
winter program."
On the mound, Novetsky
tries to use his head as much
as his arm. "You've got to just
know the hitters, you've got
to see the first pitch. If they
come close to your fastball, if
they foul it off real good,
you've got to mix it up for 'ern.
If they're not coming close to
your fastball you just go right
at 'ern."
With the goal of defending
Oak Park's league title,
Novetsky will start the Red-
skins' key league games for
the remainder of the season.
He will attempt to focus on
those games, and not on his
possible professional future.
"I'm just trying to have a
good season. I'm not setting
any high (personal) goals. I
just want to concentrate and
not let all the scouts and
everything get way over my
head." ❑

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THE DETROIT JEWISH,NEWS

53

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