|1960-69 All-Baltimore Team|
|By Keith Mills and Pat O'Malley
Joe Anarino (Brooklyn Park)
Greg Arnold (Southern -- Baltimore)
Jerry Bark (City College)
Dave Boswell (Calvert Hall)
Carl Crenshaw (Brooklyn Park)
Mike Daniel (Brooklyn Park)
Rick Foelber (Dulaney)
Don Gallon (Forest Park)
Bobby George (Brooklyn Park)
Rusty Gerhardt (Parkville)
John Hennessey (Mount St. Joseph)
Bill Kelley (Archbishop Curley)
Ed Knighton (Brooklyn Park)
Lou Lanehardt (Patapsco)
Herschel Lowry (Poly)
George Manz (Mount St. Joseph)
John Miller (Edmondson)
Vito Monti (Mount St. Joseph)
Carroll Moulden (City)
Dan Murray (Calvert Hall)
Mike O'Malley (Poly)
Rick Pecore (Mount St. Joseph)
Tom Phoebus (Mount St. Joseph)
Fran Sansosti (Archbishop Curley)
Doug Ward (Annapolis)
Keith Williams (Annapolis)
Carl Woolford (Glen Burnie)
Alan Boyd (Brooklyn Park)
Dickie Brown (Brooklyn Park)
John Burrows (Mount St. Joseph)
Jerry Fell (Parkville)
Dave Kropfelder (Mount St. Joseph)
Rick Senger (Poly)
Tom Stack (Calvert Hall)
Jerry Carlini (Calvert Hall)
George Kazmarek (Mount St. Joseph)
Jim Spencer (Andover)
Mike Ambrose (Southern -- Baltimore)
Floyd Hartley (City)
Dan Mangum (Brooklyn Park)
Jim McGregor (Mount St. Joseph)
Bob Worthington (Calvert Hall)
Danny Baier (Calvert Hall)
Rick Oliver (Patapsco)
Dale Thomas (Brooklyn Park)
Johnny Barbour (Northeast)
Nick Jauschnegg (Brooklyn Park)
Jim Johnson (Southern -- Baltimore)
Jerry Kremer (Mount St. Joseph)
Tim Nordbrook (Loyola)
Skip Rogusky (Poly)
Don Russell (Southern -- Baltimore)
Chuck Scrivener (Poly)
Mike Bogdan (Archbishop Curley)
Steve Carrigan (Archbishop Curley)
Jimmy Dew (Mount St. Joseph)
Carl Duncan (Glen Burnie)
Kevin Hicks (Woodlawn)
Gene Hiser (Towson)
Tom Hutson (Mount St. Joseph)
Dan Krimmelbein (Andover)
Tommy Mace (Poly)
Tim Murphy (Andover)
Jimmy Pitt (Dundalk)
Mike Pivec (Calvert Hall)
Mike Pulaski (Archbishop Curley)
Mark Radom (Archbishop Curley)
Dave Schmid (Mount St. Joseph)
Chris Seibert (Atholton)
Ron Swoboda (Sparrows Point)
Mike Kavanagh (Patterson)
John Olecski (Brooklyn Park)
An outfielder from Sparrows Point helped the New York Mets win the World Series. A first baseman from Linthicum later helped the Yankees do the same. Two pitchers and a shortstop played for the hometown Orioles. And another outfielder from Linthicum was one of the area's premier three-sport athletes.
Welcome to the 1960s. The Beatles were singing, the Orioles were winning and amateur baseball was booming in Baltimore.
Beginning June 13 and through the middle of July, I'll bring you the best amateur baseball players in Baltimore history -- from 1960 through 2009. Five decades of the best amateur players in the area, courtesy of Pat O'Malley, a longtime high school sports writer for The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore News American, and one of the most successful amateur baseball coaches in city history. O'Malley grew up in the Brooklyn section of south Baltimore. He played baseball for coach Jerry Savage at Mount St. Joseph and graduated from the University of Baltimore.
He was also the architect of the three of best amateur teams in city history -- the Brooklyn Optimist Boys Club, Mike's Auto Mart and the Little Orioles, the last of which he formed during the early 1990s. Along with Dean Albany, who coaches the Maryland Orioles program, O'Malley helped revitalize amateur baseball in Baltimore.
Today, O'Malley is semiretired. He writes for the Varsity Sports Network and is an associate amateur scout for the Orioles. For the last two years, he and I have talked about putting together a team to document Baltimore's amateur baseball history.
Baltimore baseball history stems from Hall of Famer Babe Ruth 100 years ago to Hall of Famer Al Kaline during the early 1950s; Jim Spencer, George Kazmarek and Ron Swoboda during the 1960s; Cal Ripken and Moose Haas during the 1970s; Billy Ripken, Brian Jordan and Denny Neagle during the 1980s; Kenny Cloude and Mark Teixeira during the 1990s; and Gavin Floyd, Steve Clevenger and Steve Lombardozzi during the 2000s.
We will begin our journey in 1960.
O'Malley was a south Baltimore teenager in 1960, and playing in the competitive Brooklyn-Curtis Bay little league program. He was also a regular at Swann Park in south Baltimore and the 6th Street Oval, where he watched Walter Youse's Leone's teams and some of the area's other amateur teams. I graduated from Brooklyn Park High in 1975, having played three years of varsity baseball in Anne Arundel County for head coach Tim McMullen.
Together, we've seen virtually every great player from 1960 to now and thought it was time to document the best of the best.
The 1960s will go down as one of the best decades in Baltimore amateur baseball thanks to a roster that includes nine major league players: Spencer (Andover), Dave Boswell (Calvert Hall), John Miller (Edmondson), Tom Phoebus (Mount St. Joe), Tim Nordbrook (Loyola), Chuck Scrivener (Poly), Gene Hiser (Towson), Swoboda (Sparrows Point) and Rusty Gerhardt (Parkville).
Add to that another group of players that includes former Leone's standouts George Kazmarek and Dave Kropfelder (Mount St. Joe), Nick Jauschnegg and Mike Daniel (Brooklyn Park), Rick Oliver (Patapsco) and Bobby Worthington (Calvert Hall).
"Bobby was probably the best second baseman that ever played around here," O'Malley said. "He signed with the Phillies and was a terrific player. Walter Youse put him on his all-time Leone's-Johnny's team. Left-handed hitter, he had power -- could hit to all fields. He could turn the double play. He was just an outstanding player."
Youse once told me Kazmarek was one of the two greatest hitters he had ever coached.
Kazmarek graduated from Mount St. Joe in 1967. In January 1968, after a terrific summer for Leone's, the New York Mets made him the No. 2 pick of the secondary phase of the major league draft, behind top pick George Hendrick of the Oakland A's.
Kazmarek was signed by local scout Sterling "Sherriff" Fowble, who also ran one of the city's most successful amateur teams -- Baltimore's Highland Federal. In 1970, as a first baseman, Kazmarek hit 23 home runs for the Mets' Class A team in Visalia, Calif.
"Kaz was the best amateur hitter I've ever seen, until Mark Teixeira," O'Malley said. "And the only reason I would have to say Mark was rated over George slightly is simply because he swings from both sides from the plate."
Kazmarek, who played amateur baseball for the A & S Contractors and is now an insurance salesman in Linthicum, was out of professional baseball by 1974, a victim of the Mets' success. They had beaten the Orioles during the 1969 World Series and were bursting with young, talented outfielders.
"Had they had the [designated hitter] back then, George would've definitely played in the big leagues," O'Malley said. "But he was a hitter without a position, and wasn't an outfielder and wasn't a top-notch first baseman."
Swoboda graduated from Sparrows Point in 1962. After one season at Maryland, he signed with the Mets in 1963. By 1965, he was playing the outfield at Shea Stadium, while in 1969, he helped the Mets stun the Orioles during the World Series. One of the biggest plays of the series was his diving catch of Brooks Robinson's line drive during Game 4 to help the Mets win, 2-1.
The major league draft began in 1965. The California Angels selected Spencer No. 11 overall. A smooth-fielding, power-hitting left-handed first baseman from Andover High School in northern Anne Arundel County, Swoboda became one of the major league baseball's best defensive players.
"What a genuinely nice guy," O'Malley said of Spencer, who died in 2002 in Fort Lauderdale at age 55. "I remember the first time I saw him when he played for Andover. Jerry Savage was our coach at St. Joe and had set up a scrimmage with them. We saw him swing the bat, and we had never seen anybody swing the bat like that before."
Spencer won Gold Gloves in 1970 and 1977, was an All-Star in 1973 and helped the New York Yankees win the World Series in 1978. He started at first base throughout the series as the Yankees beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Boswell graduated from Calvert Hall in 1963 and signed with the Minnesota Twins that year. He won 68 games during his big league career, including 20 in 1969, when the Twins played the Orioles during the American League Championship Series. During Game 2 of the series, Boswell and Orioles left-hander Dave McNally hooked up during one of the great games in postseason history.
McNally and the Orioles won the game, 1-0, on Curt Motton's pinch-hit single in the 11th inning. Both Boswell and McNally pitched all 11 innings.
Phoebus and Miller both pitched for the Orioles and played on World Series championship teams. Miller graduated from Edmondson in 1961. One year later, he was pitching for the Orioles, winning five games in 1965 and four in 1966, the year the Orioles won their first championship. Phoebus won two games for the 1966 Orioles, both shutouts, and was a big part of the pitching staff from 1967 through 1970, the year they won their second World Series title.
During that four-year stretch, he won 48 games. In 1967, he was named a Sporting News Rookie of the Year. He pitched a no-hitter against the Red Sox April 27, 1968. In 1970, he won Game 2 of the World Series, beating the Cincinnati Reds, 6-5.
"I was a freshman when Tommy was a senior at St. Joe," O'Malley said. "So I got to see him firsthand and realized how good he was. He had a great curve ball, was really smart and knew how to pitch."
Hiser, Nordbrook and Scrivener also played in the big leagues. Hiser graduated from Towson High and then played at the University of Maryland before being selected by the Cubs during the 19th round of the 1970 draft.
After graduating from Loyola Blakefield, Nordbrook first attended Loyola College (now Loyola University) then Loyola University of New Orleans before being selected by the Orioles during the ninth round of the 1970 draft. He spent three of his six years in the major leagues with the hometown Orioles while Scrivener spent three years with the Detroit Tigers. After graduating from Poly in 1967, he first attended the Community College of Baltimore and then Catonsville Community College.
Both Scrivener and Nordbrook also played on the 1967 Leone's ballclub, which also included Kazmarek, Worthington, Rick Wagner, Bill Kelley (Archbishop Curley), Rick Senger (Poly) and Kropfelder (Mount St. Joe).
Kelley, Kropfelder and Senger are members of our 1960s team. So is Don Russell, a football, basketball and baseball standout at Southern and the 1967 The Baltimore Sun Athlete of the Year; Severna Park's Jim Pitt, a former All-Atlantic Coast Conference batting champion and former coach at Severna Park, and Tim Murphy and Dan Krimmelbein of Andover High School.
"When you sit down and think, 'Who are the greatest athletes of all time around here?' Dan Krimmelbein has to be one of them," O'Malley said. "He was All-Metro in soccer, basketball and baseball, and he did it with one hand."
Krimmelbein was born with a stub for a right arm, though he became one of Andover's great athletes ever.
"In baseball, he was a terrific two-way player," O'Malley said. "He played the outfield, and he also pitched. I first noticed he and Tim Murphy at Andover and then playing for Sherrif Fowble at Patterson Park. Danny batted from the left side, and he could hit the ball anywhere, and he could run."
Also on the 1960s team are pitchers Jerry Bark (City College), Carl Woolford (Glen Burnie), Gerhardt (Parkville), Rick Foelber (Dulaney), Herschel Lowry (Poly), Mike O'Malley (Poly), Greg Arnold (Southern) and Joe Anarino (Brooklyn Park).
Anarino finished his amateur career 28-0 -- winning all of his games at Brooklyn Park High, Community College of Baltimore and Maryland. He is one of 11 Brooklyn players on the 1960s team. The others are pitchers Carl Crenshaw, Mike Daniel, Bobby George and Ed Knighton; catchers Alan Boyd and Dickie Brown; second baseman Danny Mangum; third baseman Dale Thomas; shortstop Jauschnegg; and utility player John Olecski.
Jauschnegg recently retired from the Anne Arundel school system, where he was a longtime assistant to Bernie Walter at Arundel and the Wildcats' varsity soccer coach.
Daniel was one of the city's best pitchers. He grew up on Fairfax Avenue in Brooklyn Park and used to throw to his father in his front yard before an army of scouts during the summer of 1963. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and won 56 minor league games, but never pitched in the big leagues. He then joined the Anne Arundel County Police Department and died in 2008 at age 64.
And then there's Arnold, who went to Southern and lives now in Glen Burnie.
"Greg Arnold is the hardest thrower I've ever seen in the city of Baltimore," O'Malley said. "I was hosting a show for the old Caltech Cable Company, and we were interviewing Jim Palmer at his house. He said Greg had the best arm he's ever seen."
But Arnold's arm often did not jive with his personality.
"If there had been radar guns back then, he easily would've thrown in the high 90s," O'Malley said. "He had a great arm, but he could also sing. He was an entertainer, and that often got in the way of his baseball career."
When the hit movie "Bull Durham" came out in 1988, director Ron Shelton conceded that part of Tim Robbins' character, Nuke Laloosh, was based on Arnold. The Orioles picked Shelton during the 1967 draft, and he spent five years in the Orioles' farm system. In 1970, he played for manager Cal Ripken Sr. in Dallas, Texas. One of his teammates was Arnold.
"Greg was a great singer," O'Malley said. "He would sing Tom Jones songs, Elvis. [Local businessman] Lou Grasmick took him to Las Vegas for a couple of weeks to perform, and he tore them up. He always wanted to be like Denny McClain of the Tigers, who was a very successful major league pitcher and then became an entertainer. Greg did it the opposite way and screwed up his baseball career."
Correction: A previous version of this story referenced Ron Swoboda instead of Jim Spencer when discussing Spencer's 2002 death. PressBox regrets the error.