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March 23, 1990 - Image 97

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-23

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

4311111111111111111111111111111

SPORTS

come rummage
thru our
rummage!
Ready, But Concerne
Including a Lot of Really

Great Furniture Floor Samples
and Leftovers From Our
Recent Half-Yearly Sale!

A "BARGAIN HUNTER'S PARADISE-
EVERYTHING FROM FILES TO CHAIRS
• FROM DESKS TO OFFICE SUPPLIES AND
PRODUCTS-A FEW OF SOME THINGS • A
LOT OF OTHERS-SOME DINGED & DENTED
& IN RATHER SORRY SHAPE • SOME BRAND
NEW & IN PERFECT CONDITION-ALL AT
REALLY LOW PRICES.

C.L1

= 1

(LOOK FOR THE
WATER TOWER)

DAVISON

DAVISON
EXIT

VICTOR

<> FVT

DAVISON

Silvers

garage

341 Victor (Off Oakland between Davison & 6 Mile) Watch for the Water Tower - 869-7682
ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED

HOLIDAY DRESS-UP SALE!!

20% OFF

Original
Ticket
Price

Coats • Suits • Dresses

LINCOLN CENTER
10% at Greenfield

BOYS and GIRLS WEAR

968-8808

. . . because your children are special!

N

YOUR EXERCISE CONNECTION

• TREADMILLS-Electric/Manual
• STAIR CLIMBERS
• HEALTH BIKES
Manual/Dual Action/Electric
• ROWING MACHINES
• MISC. GYM EQUIPMENT

(ALL ITEMS DISCOUNTED)

LARRY ARONOFF

ACTON RENTAL & SALES

891.6500

94

540.5550

FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 1990

MIKE ROSENBAUM

Special to The Jewish News

T

OPEN TUES. thru SAT.
8 AM to 5 PM

6 MILE

Tiger acquisition Wapnick welcomes the start of spring training.

he recent baseball
lockout, which has
delayed the start of the
season, was particularly
frustrating to one of the
newest Detroit Tigers, right-
handed relief pitcher Steve
Wapnick.
"I was pretty much dwelling
on it all day, every day," said
Wapnick, a fourth-year pro
player who jumped to the big
leagues and the Tigers after
beginning last season in Class
A — three long steps below the
majors.
Because he lives in sunny
Sepulveda, Calif., and had
Pierce Junior College nearby,
Wapnick was able to do his
running and pitching. "I think
I'll be where I want to be" at
spring training, he said.
Wapnick was picked from
the Toronto Blue Jays
organization by the Tigers in
the Rule 5 draft of minor
leaguers at the winter
meetings. A player selected in
that draft remains on the new
team's roster the entire
season, unless the former club
exercises an option to buy him
back for only $25,000 — half
the pick-up price.
Wapnick was pleased that
the Tigers had selected him
"not only just because I would
have a chance to make a club,
but because it was Detroit. I
have a lot of family that lives
in Detroit. Hopefully, I'll get
to see them this season," he
said.
At the urging of his Detroit
family members, Wapnick has
begun reading the auto-
biography of the Tigers' legen-
dary Jewish superstar, Hank
Greenberg. And he is excited
about the possibility of being
the only other active Jewish
major leaguer besides the
Chicago White Sox' Steve
Rosenberg.
Wapnick likes the fact that
Rule 5 players are assured of
getting a good look in spring
training and are practically
guaranteed a spot on the big
league roster.
"I'd just be relaxed and go
out there and just have fun."
But the training delay con-
cerned him because "I have a
shorter amount of time to
open their eyes. I don't know
how I'm going to react. I just
hope that I'm relaxed and able
to throw like I can."
The 24-year-old was born in
Panorama City, in southern-
California, near the family's
home in Sepulveda.

Steve Wapnick:
Family in Detroit.

Like most American boys,
Wapnick had dreams of major
league stardom. Unlike most
pro ballplayers, however, his
dreams did not seem realistic
until he was 20 years old.
In high school, Wapnick was
a bench-warming third
baseman. At Moorpark Junior
College, Wapnick impressed
the coaches with his strong
arm at third and "they just
moved me to the pitcher's
mound and I took my lumps
there until I developed as a
pitcher," he said.
Even then, he was not an in-
stant success. "My first year
pitching was kind of a
disaster. It wasn't a smooth
transition."
Wapnick improved dra-
matically his second juco year.
His strong arm caught the at-
tention of major league scouts.
He was picked in both the
summer and winter amateur
drafts, but opted for a baseball
scholarship to Fresno State
University when the big
league clubs didn't offer
enough money.
Wapnick split his first year
at Fresno State between star-
ting and relieving, but pitch-
ed only 15 innings his senior
season.
"I started to out-think
myself," Wapnick said. "I was
trying to throw curve balls
and sliders when I should've
been more agressive.
"Now, I think I'm an ag-
gressive pitcher. I'll go after
the hitters with the hard
stuff."
Wapnick was considered
enough of a prospect to be
drafted by Toronto, but in the
30th round. He signed and pit-
ched for the Blue Jays' Rookie
League team in St. Cather-

ines in 1987. In 2 games, 14
in relief, Wapnick posted a 3-4
record with one save and a
respectable 3.02 ERA. More
impressive were his 63
strikeouts, compared to only
21 walks, in 66 innings
pitched.
In 1988, Wapnick advanced
to Class A at Myrtle Beach,
where pitching coach and
former major leaguer Bill
Monboquette "helped me get
the aggressiveness I needed."'
In 54 games, all in relief,
Wapnick was 4-3 with 12
saves and a 2.24 ERA. In 60
innings, he allowed just 44
hits, walked 31 and struck
out an impressive 69 hitters.
Wapnick moved to another
Toronto Class A club,
Dunedin, to begin last year
then pitched at Class AA
Knoxville and AAA Syracuse.
He posted a combined 6-0
record in 42 games, with nine
saves and 89 strike outs in
971/2 innings, allowing just 69
hits and 34 walks.
"It didn't surprise me to
move to AA,"said Wapnick,
"because I thought I was
throwing the ball well and I
should've been moved. Once I

"I'm just really
encouraged to get
that chance to
pitch against
Toronto."
Steve Wapnick

got to AA, I was doing well —
as well as anyone else on our
staff. Then someone got mov-
ed up to the big club and there
was an opening at AAA."

When he learned he was
moving up, "I was kind of sur-
prised because I was only a
month out of A ball, and all of
a sudden, I'd progressed that
far."
Wapnick said a Blue Jay
scout indicated that if he
doesn't make the Tigers,
Toronto will buy him back.
"Hopefully, I won't give them
the opportunity to do that,"
Wapnick said. "I'm not angry
with them at all. I just see this
as a good career possibility for
me. I'm just really encourag-
ed to get that chance to pitch
against Ibronto."
Wapnick said that, although
he's only started two games
the past two seasons, Tiger
general manager Bill Lajoie
told him "that whatever posi-
tion I could fill would be what
I was doing.
"If I ended up being able to

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