Dais date is Tops with Thompson Young Met honored to be among greats

January 08, 1993|By Tara Finnegan | Tara Finnegan,Contributing Writer

Roughly four months after Ryan Thompson got his first start in the major leagues with the New York Mets, the 24-year-old Edesville, Md., native has been selected by the Maryland Professional Baseball Players Association as the 1993 Walter Youse Maryland Star of the Future.

Thompson, 24, will be honored tonight at the Tops in Sports Banquet at the Towson Center.

"It's like the small-town boy becomes a hero," said Thompson, a graduate of Kent County High School in Worton. "Especially when I grew up in Edesville [outside Rock Hall], which you don't even see on the map."

Said Frank Sliwka, the Tops in Sports banquet chairman and a member of the award's selection committee: "He's a good fielder, he's got a strong arm and he's a good runner. He was carefully screened for this award."

The award, which was first given in 1961, is given to the Maryland native who shows the most potential for success in the major leagues. Some of the past recipients are the Oakland Athletics' Harold Baines and Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken.

"I don't think winning the award has sank in yet," Thompson said, "but once I get around Brooks [Robinson] and Frank [Robinson], then I'll be excited. That's where I want to be one day."

Thompson was acquired by the Mets on Sept. 1 as the player to be named in the trade that sent pitcher David Cone to the Toronto Blue Jays. He started in 27 of his 30 games with the Mets (23 in center field) and finished the season with a .222 average, three home runs, 10 RBI and seven doubles.

Before joining the Mets, Thompson batted .283 with 14 home runs and 46 RBI for Toronto's Triple-A club in Syracuse, N.Y.

Thompson will leave Sunday, three weeks early, for the Mets' training camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

"I want to let them know I want to be their starting center fielder," Thompson said. "I'm not going to let anybody take it away from me."

The Mets have outfielders Vince Coleman, Dave Gallagher, Joe Orsulak and Bobby Bonilla on their 40-man roster.

"They [the Mets] are giving me the chance of a lifetime," Thompson said. "Baseball is always going to be a game for me, and every time I go out on the field I feel like I'm still in high school."

SC Thompson is negotiating a contract with the Mets. "It's looking good," Thompson said. "I can tell you one thing, it's six digits and that isn't including cents."

Future stars

Walter Youse Maryland Star of the Future Award winners:

1961: Phil Linz, Yankees

1962: Charlie Keller, Yankees

1963: Ron Swoboda, Mets

1964: Tom Phoebus, Orioles

1965: Dave Boswell, Twins

1966: Dave Leonhard, Orioles

1967: Not given

1968: Jim Spencer, Angels

1969: Don Money, Phillies

1970: Bob Robertson, Pirates

1971: George Spriggs, Pirates

1972: Gene Heiser, Cubs

1973: George Kazmarek, Mets

1974: Rick Oliver, Brewers

1975: Rusty Gerhardt, Padres

Tim Nordbrook, Orioles

1976: Mike Kavanaugh, Pirates

1977: Moose Haas, Brewers

1978: Chuck Porter, Angels

1979: Burke Suter, Red Sox

1980: Harold Baines, White Sox

1981: Cal Ripken, Orioles

1982: Daryl Smith, Rangers

1983: Rick Steir, Angels

1984: Kevin Brown, Mets

1985: Jim Traber, Orioles

Mike Bielecki, Pirates

1986: Milt Thompson, Phillies

1987: Chris Ritter, Pirates

1988: Bill Ripken, Orioles

1989: Steve Monson, Brewers

1990: Greg Smith, Cubs

1991: Mike Linskey, Orioles

Denny Neagle, Twins

1992: Jeff Nelson, Seattle

1993: Ryan Thompson, Mets

Note: Club indicates major-league affiliation when selected for award

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