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Newhan got taste of majors at young age


Newhan got taste of majors at young age
As a youngster in the mid-1980s, current IronPig David Newhan remembers hanging around with Aaron Boone and his older brother Bret in the California Angels clubhouse.

He remembers catching fungoes from the likes of Rod Carew on the field of what was then Anaheim Stadium, and players giving him a $10 bill to go get a hot dog and telling him to "keep the change."

But when it was time for the Boones' father, former Phillies catcher Bob Boone, and Carew to get ready for work, Newhan and his dad headed to the stadium's press box.

Ross Newhan spent 44 years as a sportswriter in the Los Angeles area covering the Angels, the Dodgers and the national Baseball scene, first for the Long Beach Press-Telegraph, then for the Los Angeles Times, until his retirement in 2004.

Oh, and like Carew, Ross Newhan is also a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 2000, Ross Newhan received the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, named after the late editor of The Sporting News, honoring a Baseball writer (or writers) "for meritorious contributions to Baseball writing."

Recipients don't receive a plaque, but they are permanently recognized in the Hall's "Scribes & Mikemen" exhibit, the same exhibit that immortalized the late Harry Kalas as the Ford C. Frick Award winner in 2002.

"I can't wait for a couple years when I can take my son and daughter to Cooperstown and say, "That's grandpa,"' said the younger Newhan, a utility infielder for the IronPigs with five years of major league service, who spent this past spring training with Houston before being released near the end of camp,

The major league Baseball world Newhan was exposed to back then is vastly different than the one he eventually played in.

Back then sportswriters often traveled on the team plane and hung out with players in the hotel bar after games. Newhan remembers a time when his dad, then the beat writer for the Dodgers, commuted to work with Dodgers pitcher Burt Hooten.

(Can you picture Brett Myers riding to Citizens Bank Park with a Phillies beat writer?)

"It's such a different era today than it was back then," said Newhan, adding that those days in the Angels locker room helped steer him on the course that eventually took him to the major leagues, where he played 413 games with San Diego, the Phillies , Baltimore, the New York Mets and Houston.

"It helped me realize that I'd rather play than write about others playing like my dad was doing," Newhan said with a smile.

His dad's occupation meant he missed watching his son play as he developed his skills on the fields of Southern California.

"He didn't see me play all that much until he got the national position with the Times," said Newhan, who was Oakland's 17th-round pick in 1995 out of nearby Pepperdine University. "But that was OK. I understood what dad was doing, and how much he enjoyed doing it. And any chance he had to come to one of my games, he did."

Newhan, obtained by the Phillies from San Diego in August 2000 for Desi Relaford, was playing for the Phils when his father received his award during the 2001 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

"It was just an amazing weekend," said Newhan, who was sidelined with a torn labrum at the time (although even if he wasn't injured, the Phillies had given him permission to attend the ceremonies).

"To be part of all the gala and all the hoopla was incredible. I mean, the night before they had a private party at the Hall for the inductees, and I'm sitting in the room with all the plaques drinking a beer with George Brett. It was just a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and I was just so proud that my dad was part of it all."

jeff.schuler@mcall.com

610-820-6781

Phillies MINOR LEAGUE TEAM STANDINGS

Team Class Leag. Wk. OR GB

Lehigh Valley AAA Int'l 3-3 13-14 9.5

Reading AA Eastern 4-2 16-9 4.0

Clearwater A Fla. St. 2-5 14-14 7.0

Lakewood A S. Atl. 3-3 15-13 1.5

INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE LEADERS

BATTING

Average: Michael Abrey, Columbus .387; Nolan Reimold, Norfolk .379; Oscar Salazar, Norfolk 369; Andy Phillips, Charlotte 358..

Runs: Shelly Duncan, Scranton/WB 26; Todd Linden, Scranton/WB 25; John Rodriguez, Scranton/WB 25

Hits: Salazar, Norfolk 41; Linden, Scranton/WB 40; Barbaro Canizares, Gwinnett 38; Phillips, Charlotte 38; Reimold, Norfolk 36.

Doubles: Fernando Martinez, Buffalo 12; Linden, Scranton/WB 12; Salazar, Norfolk 11; Jason Donald, Lehigh Valley 10; four players tied with nine.

Triples: Andrew McCutchen, Indianapolis 6; Will Rhymes, Toledo 4; Norris Hopper, Louisville 3; 13 players tied with 2.

Homers: Duncan, Scranton/WB 10; Reimold, Norfolk 8; John Mayberry, LehighValley 6; Michael Restovich, Charlotte 6; Johnny Gomes, Louisville 6; five other players tied with 6.

RBI: Duncan, Scranton/WB 29; Linden, Scranton/WB 28; Reimold, Norfolk 25; John Rodriguez, Scranton/WB 25; Two players tied with 24.

Stolen bases: Wilkin Ramirez, Toledo 12; Michael Brantley, Columbus 10; four players tied with 9.

PITCHING

Wins: Kris Medlen, Gwinnett 4; Justin Lehr, Lehigh Valley 4; Enrique Gonzalez, Pawtucket 4; David Huff, Columbus 4; Jason Childers, Durham 4.

ERA (minimum 10 innings pitched): Carlos Torres, Charlotte 0.96; Michael Bowden, Pawtucket 1.01.

Strikeouts: Tommy Hanson, Gwinnett 48; Medlen Gwinnett 38; two pitcher tied with 35.

Saves: Daniel Bard, Pawtucket 6; Luis Valdez, Gwinnett 6; Jim Miller, Norfolk 6; Chris Bootcheck, Indianapolis 4 .

FAST FACT

Led by Rich Thompson's 9-for-9, the IronPigs have been successful on 23 of 25 stolen base attempts. However, opposing base-stealers are also 32-for-35, and two of the caught stealings have come on pickoffs by pitchers. The only IronPigs catcher to throw out a baserunner is Paul Hoover.

EIGHT-DAY SCHEDULE

TODAY: At Toledo, 2 p.m.

MONDAY: At Toledo, 10:30 a.m.

TUESDAY: At Columbus, 6:35 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: At Columbus, 6:35 p.m.

THURSDAY: At Columbus, 11:35 a.m.

FRIDAY: At Columbus, 7:05 p.m.

SATURDAY: Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m.

SUNDAY: Gwinnett, 1:35 p.m.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 12, 2009

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