C At age 80, Walter Youse says he "is running out of gas," but he's got enough in the tank for one more trip to the Netherlands.
Youse, the veteran Milwaukee Brewers scout who has been coaching amateur baseball in Baltimore for more than 50 years, leaves with his Corrigan's Insurance 20-and-under team for the Netherlands and the World Port Tournament tomorrow. This will be the team's third trip to the Netherlands in five years.
"We're the defending champion, but it won't be easy because Major League Baseball is sending a minor-league all-star team over there," said Youse, whose club, formerly Johnny's, is 20-6.
"Each major-league team is sending a Class A or AA player to make up their all-star team. Six teams in all will play in a round-robin [format] like they do in the Olympics."
Corrigan's, teams from the host country, Canada, Caracus and the pro team will play a round robin followed by a one-game elimination among the top four teams, with the final two teams playing a best of three for the title.
Corrigan's won the World Port with a 6-2 record two years ago, beating out Cuba.
"We were lucky to win it last time over Cuba, but they didn't invite Cuba back this time because they made too many demands and got to be a pain to the people running it,' " said Youse.
The generosity of sponsor Bill Corrigan, a pitcher for Youse on his old Leone's Boys Club teams, has made the return engagement possible. Youse would love to pay his sponsor back with another title and is hoping a deep pitching staff will keep his team in the running.
Right-handers Brett Reams of The Citadel, Kevin Rexrode of Dundalk Community College, Guy Smith of the University of Maryland, Ron Wallech of Hagerstown and Jason Hucks of South Carolina-Aiken, and left-handers Jeremy Benson of Lansdowne and Craig Whiteman of James Madison make up the staff.
"Our pitching is deeper than it has been the past couple years, but I don't know whether or not we can stop the pros," said Youse, who is assisted by Old Mill head coach Mel Montgomery, Scott Schanberger, Norm Gilden and Doug Coughlin.
Lance Mauck of UMBC and Jason Troilo of James Madison are the catchers, with Mark Budzinski, a Severna Park High grad who has played the past couple of years for Richmond, at first base, and Joe Kail of Johns Hopkins at second.
South Carroll High's Joe Goodwin, an All-Metro pick in 1992 who just completed his first year at George Mason, is the third baseman along with Maryland's Jeff Wagner. Shortstop Donnie Burks is transferring from The Citadel to Delaware.
Joe Goldberg, a Glenelg High grad attending Catonsville Community College, and Norm Gardner of Johns Hopkins are the extra infielders.
Maryland's All-American freshman Steve Neuberger, a 1992 All-Metro player from Severna Park, is joined in the outfield by Jason Glover of Georgia State, John Frank of Elkins, W.Va., and Kenny Batten of Essex Community College.
"We have good overall speed, good pitching and defense, but we lack power," said Youse.
"I'm running out of gas, but I've always known how to relax, nothing worries me and it's good for me to be around the younger guys. It keeps me young."