© St. Petersburg Times, published March 31, 2002
Major-league name game
Much publicized are the players who have played in the Saladino Tournament and gone on to appear in the major leagues. That doesn't happen to everyone. But there are some players in this year's tournament who can at least claim their names are of major-league quality.
Neil Allen is a senior outfielder for Wharton. There is also a Neil Allen who pitched for five pro teams from 1979-89, most notably the Mets. He compiled a career record of 58-70 and was 0-8 in 1987 with the Yankees and White Sox.
Mike Bell. The Brandon coach played in the minors but never made it to the majors. Another Mike Bell, however, played 53 games for Atlanta in 1990 and 1991. He batted .200 lifetime with two home runs and six RBIs.
Jose Hernandez is a senior who plays infield for Durant. Another played for Texas, Cleveland and the Cubs. In 1998, he hit 23 home runs and drove in 75 RBIs.
Jose Ortiz. We know about Riverview's junior catcher, but how about the Jose Ortiz who played for the Cubs and White Sox from 1969-71? That Ortiz hit .301 in 67 games with 12 strikeouts and seven walks.
Scott. There are a couple of Scotts in the tournament, including Scott Slein, a sophomore catcher for Armwood, and Tyler Scott, a 10th-grade infielder for Brandon. There was also a player known only as Scott (first or last name we don't know) who played for Baltimore in 1884, collected 12 hits, scored 10 runs, hit a home run and recorded an RBI.
Matt Young. Besides the senior third baseman for Wharton there was a pitcher who made his major-league debut April 6, 1983, for Seattle. He made the All-Star team as a rookie. That year Young finished with an 11-15 record and 3.27 ERA. He eventually played for the Dodgers, A's, Red Sox and Indians, winding up with a 55-95 career record.
Thomas Wright. There's the junior infielder for Tampa Bay Tech and then there's the Tom Wright who played in the late 40s and early 50s for Boston, St. Louis, the White Sox and Washington Senators. His career spanned more than 10 years and his strikeouts outnumbered his walks every year but one.
Domingo Martinez. The pitcher/outfielder for East Bay might only be a sophomore but he can aspire to be like his namesake, who for Toronto in 1992 and '93 played in 15 games, collected nine hits and drove in six runs. Of course, two of those hits were home runs.
John Young. The one we know is a senior pitcher for Hillsborough. The one you haven't heard of made his major-league debut for the Tigers on Sept. 9, 1971. He played in two games, got four at-bats, hit a double, knocked in a run ... and never played in the big leagues again.
Before Saturday, a lot of people didn't think of Riverview infielder D.R. Warfield as a power hitter. But that thinking might have changed.
Warfield won Saturday's home run derby, beating 13 players from county schools. After several elimination rounds, Warfield defeated Gaither first baseman Jason Baroff in the final, belting two homers to Baroff's one.
MVP -- Grant Chapman, Sickles
1B -- Manny Navas, Leto
INF -- Josh Johnson, King; Jeorge Rayneri, Leto; Mickey Penrose, Plant City
OF -- Ernie Diez, Sickles; Ty Taborelli, Gaither; Matt Joyce, Armwood
C -- Jeorge Bravo, Leto
P -- Chris Kemper, Bloomingdale; Steve Otterness, Durant
DH -- Kyle Adkins, Durant
Defensive player award -- Brian Scoville, Sickles
Best hitter -- Andrew Kuykendall, Plant