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June 06, 1979 - Image 12

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-06-06

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Page 12-Wednesday, June 6, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Draft Bigo!
Leach, Howe and Perry chosen

By GEOFF LARCOM
With WireServiceReports
Jackpot!
Michigan's baseball team hit major
league paydirt yesterday, when three
Wolverine players were picked in the
first round of pro baseball's free agent
draft.
Rick Leach, the part-time center-
fielder, part-time quarterback over the
past four years, was tabbed by the
Detroit Tigers as their first Dick. going

13th in the very first round.
Three choices later junior lefthander
Steve Howe was chosen by the Los
Angeles Dodgers as their first pick, and
they continued the first-round Blue on-
slaught by taking another Wolverine
hurler, Steve Perry, for their 25th pick,
on a choice obtained from the New York
Yankees.
And while both Perry and Howe are
almost sure bets to sign with the
Dodgers, the Tigers' choice of Leach

marks the beginning of an important
but enjoyable decision-making period
for the multisport star.
"I guess the Tigers were a little more
interested in me than I thought they
were. I had no inkling they were going
to draft me," said Leach, who was
chosen during May in the pro football
draft in the fifth round by the Denver
Broncos. "It indicates the Tigers are
pretty serious about a baseball career
for me."
Leach, who if he ends up playing
baseball, "would like to get started as
soon as possible," talked with Tiger
personnel director Bill Lajoie last night
to discuss his plans. For their part, the
Tigers appear quite confident of
Leach's major league potential.
"He's a pretty good hitter and a good
competitor," said Tiger scout Jack
Tighe, who indicated the club was
projecting Leach to reach the majors in
1981.
"He's always played spring football,
so it's been hard to evaluate his
progress,' Lajoie said. "But we felt he
made much more progress this spring
after not playing spring football. He
had a much better all-around season.
"He's shown us he can hit and he
doesn't have too many rough edges."
While at Michigan, Leach smoothed
his way to a .349 career batting average
in 149 games. Leach's overall mark was
.315 last year, while the lefthanded
swinger batted over four hundred for
the second straight year in conference
play, after winning the title last year.
Like Leach, Howe and Perry were
both expected to go high in the draft,
yet Perry was still completely sur-
prised he went so early - and to the
Dodgers, to boot.
"I only talked to the Dodgers once
last week. Buta lot of other clubs called
me and expressed an interest, including
Milwaukee and Cincinnati," said
Perry.
The fireballing righthander, who at6-
5, 215 pounds, is an intimidating
presence on the hill, will probably
report to a Dodger farm club next
week.
A year ago, after his junior cam-
paign, Perry was also approached by

the Tigers, but instead chose to remain
in school to finish out his collegiate
diamond career, while putting the
finishing touches on his B.G.S. degree.
Perry now is glad he made that
decision.
"Last year was not as good as it could
have been. I got hurt, and this year I
think I matured some," Perry said.
The extra year also gave Perry one
more year of Blue coach Moby
Benedict's tutelage. Perry says that his
coach's emphasis on the game's fun-
damentals should be a boon during his
days with the Dodgers, who
traditionally preach fundamental
baseball to their younger players.
Along with Perry, Howe will meet
Friday with a local Dodger represen-
tative to begin threshing out contract
details. Howe says he will definitely
leave Michigan next year if he gets
what he wants. Perry provided a less
ambiguous comment regarding his
fellow hurler's future.
"He's going for sure," Perry said.
Just like his teammate, Howe was
delighted with his selection by the
Dodgers, and also with the positive
publicity the three selections provided
his alma mater.
"I'm not surprised by three Michigan
players going in the first round, it just
shows the type of talent we have," said
Howe, who owns a bevy of Michigan
pitching records, including most wins
in one season (11). "Los Angeles rec-
cently lost its top lefthander (Doug
Rau), so I hope we'll both get a chance
to see if we can put out."
As could be expected, the atmosphere
in the Michigan athletic office was
jubilant. Phone calls from well wishers
drifted in to the sports information
department, where Perry's parents,
Will and Pat, both work.
A happy Pat Perry sat at her desk
and summed it all up concisely:
"It's been quite a day," she said with
a grin.
Chambers
first pick
in pro draft
Albert Cambers, a high school first
baseman-outfielder from Harrisburg,
Pa., was selected yesterday by the
Seattle Mariners to open the 15th an-
nual free agent baseball draft.
Chambers, 18, a left-handed batter
and thrower, stands 6-4 and tips the
scales at 210. Hal Keller, director of
player development for the Mariners,
calls Chambers "the best high school
bat since Jeff Burroughs was the
nation's top pick in 1969."
The Detroit Tigers, meanwhile,
followed their opening pick of Michigan
outfielder Rick Leach with the first-
round selection of Chris Baker, an out-
fielder from Livonia Franklin High
School.
Other state players selected included
Mike Kwiecinski, a shortstop out of
Warren Cousino High School, by the
Montreal Expos and Pat Sheridan, an
Eastern Michigan flycatcher, who was
tabbed by the Kansas City Royals in the
third round.

uaiiy eMooby U'' """ U
LEACH SWINGS, it's a line drive, headed for deep right field in Tiger
Stadium ... Wishful thinking? Could be. But yesterday's selection of Leach
by the Tigers in the first round of the free agent draft made such an image
much more than just wishful thinking. Along with the departing outfield
star, pitching teammates Steve Perry (graduated) and junior Steve Howe
were both picked in the first round, each by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
BOYD ON RECRUITING MISSI
Kent State aide repla
took the head coaching position at

IN
ces Boyce
recruiting bandwagon in Columbus.

~

By ALAN FANGER
Imagine Michigan basketball coach
Johnny Orr mailing "Mission Im-
possible" orders to a prospective
assistant.
His deep, drawling voice would say
something akin to, "Your mission, if
you decide to accept it, is to strengthen
our recruiting base, especially in Ohio.
You must also seek and secure a big
center and a quick backcourt man, for
that is what this team needs most."
Although Mike Boyd wasn't offered
the Michigan assistantship on tape, the
Kent State University assistant was
agreeable to the task. And that task has
already begun-Boyd is currently
traversing the Midwest in search of
those "magical" cagers.
BOYD SUCCEEDS Jim Boyce, who

Eastern Michigan.
"I'm excited about the job," said
Boyd, who played his collegiate ball at
Northern Michigan before turning in
six years at Kent. "I've always felt that
a basketball program is only as good as
the recruiting. And one thing I can do is
recruit."
"Looking at Michigan overall, I think
that what we need most is size and
quickness. This will be an especially big
year because (Phil) Hubbard is playing
his last season, and we'll be signing
four or five recruits on for next year."
And the coaching staff hopes that
Boyd can break Ohio State's tight grip
on instate superstars like swingman
Clark Kellogg and center Granville
Waiters. Both cagers had strongly con-
sidered signing with the Wolverines
before they joined Eldon Miller's

"WHEN YOU'RE one of the top
players in your own state, there's a lot
of pressure to stay in that state," Boyd
said. "There's pressure from parents,
and people in your hometown.
"Waiters was a big surprise. It looked
like he was going to Michigan, but then
he went the other way. He was a tough
loss."
Although he will be logging a good
share of travel time, Boyd plans to be in
Ann Arbor for some Wolverine home
games, most likely the televised con-
tests.
Actually, Boyd steps into the job with
one particularly impressive creden-
tial-he was Kent's interim head coach
for the last half of the 1977-78 season,
'taking over after Rex Hughes had been
fired.

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