Thursday, June 18, 1981
The Michigan Daily
FLYING THE COOP
Elam, Hool sign with Blue Jays
By RON POLLACK
Daily sports writer
Ever since the College World Series began two-and-
a-half weeks ago, nothing has gone right for the
Michigan baseball team. The Wolverines were
quickly sent packing as they dropped their first two
games to Mississippi State and Texas.
And now the Wolverines' losses continue to mount
as sophomore pitcher Scott Elam and catcher Gerry
Hool, a senior with possible eligibility remaining,
have signed with the Toronto Blue Jays of the
American League. Elam, the ace of Michigan's star-
ting pitching staff, posted an 11-3 record this past
petition, but day-in and day-out I think they will get
better competition in the minors."
GILLICK ADDED that he believes both players
have the ability to make it out of the minors and into
the big leagues. "I. think they are good prospects,"
said Gillick. "Anytime we draft and sign a player,
and put him into the organization, and spend money
on him, we think he has a chance. We're happy to get
both of them."
The Blue Jays' Vice President also said that he was
uncertain whether Elam would choose to go pro, sin-
ce he was only a sophomore last season. "It was kind
of an iffy situation," said Gillick. "We thought it was
still feels that the absence of Hool will be felt.
"WE HAVE JOHN Young returning (at catcher),
and Rich Bair, and we have Jim Price," said Mid-
daugh. "I'm very happy to have all three, although
that's not to say we won't miss Gerry Hool. He's a
player we'll sorely miss."
The only other non-senior that was drafted was
right-fielder Jim Paciorek, a junior. Paciorek was
selected by Cleveland, and the two parties have
begun contract talks. "Bob Quinn, our farm system
director, has opened negotiations with Jim," said
assistant farm system director Phil Thomas. "But
we have not come to terms yet."
Prior to the draft, Paciorek had said that he would
season with a 1.88 earned run average, while Hool hit
his way to a .344 average.
ELAM HAS BEEN assigned to the Blue Jays' AA
ballclub in Knoxville, Tennessee. Hool, meanwhile,
has been sent to the team's A outfit in Florence, South
Pat Gillick, Vice President of Baseball Operations
for Toronto, believes that both Michigan players have
a strong background coming out of college ball, but
have reached the point in their respective careers
when the-minor leagues will do them the most good.
"I think with (Michigan) Coach (Bud) Middaugh,
they have an excellent foundation," said Gillick. "I
think he's brought them along fundamentally and
mechanically very well. But now they need the every
day competition. Basically I think that they both need
experience and to play in better competition, day-in
and day-out. In the Big Ten they have good com-
Despite the uncertainty the Toronto organization
had in regard to Elam's decision, Middaugh says that
he was not caught off guard by the Trenton, Ohio
native's defection to pro ball.
"I THINK THAT'S something any (college) coach
prepares himself for," said Middaugh. "We'd like to
think that in the two years Scott has been here, the
University has helped him academically and in
Although Middaugh says that he supports his star
pitcher's decision, he insisted that Elam make him
one promise.:"The only thing that I asked him, was to
come back and finish his degree," said the
Wolverines' mentor. "I was pretty emphatic about
that. He said he would."
With the loss of Hool, Michigan must find a new
starting catcher. While there is a good deal of talent
remaining at this position to choose from, Middaugh
go pro if the right offer were made to him. When he
lasted until the 14th round, such an offer seemed im-
probable. But he will play with the United States
Federation team in Hawaii, Korea and Japan this
summer, and in Middaugh's opinion this could be the
difference between him playing professional or
college baseball next season.
"He won't make a decision until Cleveland does,"
said Middaugh. "That's going to be drawn out all
summer. Cleveland will watch him this summer, and
if they like what they see they'll offer him quite a bit
of money. If not he'll come back to school."
Elam and Hool were not the only Michigan players
to sign with a major league ballclub, as senior Mark
Clinton signed with the Houston Astros. Clinton, the
Astro's 17th round draft choice, has been assigned to
the Sarasota Astros, Houston's rookie division team
in the Gulf Coast League.
NEW ORLEANS (AP)-Heisman Trophy winner George
Rogers, the first player taken in the National Football
League draft, signed a three-year contract yesterday for the
biggest sum ever given a rookie by the New Orleans Saints.
Team owner John Mecom Jr. would not say how much the
former South Carolina running back will be making, but it
was estimated at around $350,000 a season.
"IT'S A LONG term contract-three years-with an op-
tion," Mecom said.
By signing Rogers ended a bidding war with the Montreal
Allouttes, which reportedly offered $250,000 a year for two
"I'm glad to be with the Saints," Rogers said.
"I'D JUST LIKE to thank the people in Montreal for the
hospitality they showed me."
"I'm sorry things didn't work out for them, but I really
wanted to play in the NFL."
Rogers' agent-Jack Mills of Boulder, Colo.-arrived late
Tuesday night for a final round of negotiations with Pat Pep-
pler, chief negotiator for Coach Bum Phillips, and other Sain-
ts' officials. Those negotiations were held yesterday mor-
OTHER THAN that, he said, his immediate plans included
a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday and working
out in preparation for the start of preseason camp at Vero
Beach, Fla., on July 13.
He said Mills handled the negotiations with the Alouettes
and the Saints.
"Like everybody else, I was hearing more on the radio than
I knew myself," Rogers said. -
MILLS SAID negotiations with the Saints were har-
"We're just very pleased to have it taken care of now, so we
won't have it drag out into the training camp," he said.