Milisitz' reel life helps prepare him for real deal

SIDELINES

March 30, 1994|By PAT O'MALLEY

Little did John Milisitz of Severna Park know that the small part he landed in the movie "Major League II" would mirror reality.

In the soon-to-be-released movie, which was filmed in Baltimore, Milisitz plays a catcher who gets released. He didn't realize he was rehearsing for the real thing. The Milwaukee Brewers released Milisitz last week after a brief stint.

"He couldn't throw because of a sore arm and they released him is the story I got," said Milwaukee special assignment scout Walter Youse.

Milisitz said the Brewers "didn't give me much of a chance this spring. My arm bothered me a little but it's OK now and I heard from Joe Branzell of the Texas Rangers."

Branzell is a scout for Texas and Milisitz hopes to get a shot with the Rangers.

The 20-year-old Milisitz was The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro catcher last spring in his senior year at Severna Park and signed as an undrafted free agent during the summer. He gave up a full scholarship to UMBC to turn pro, but education expenses were included in his pro contract.

Milisitz was assigned to the Brewers' rookie team in Chandler, Ariz., and he played in 21 games, batting .212 with seven RBIs for a club that finished 29-27 in fifth place of the eight-team Arizona League. By playing fewer than 90 days in pro baseball, Milisitz still has college baseball as an option.

"But it's pro ball that I want to play," said Milisitz.

The 6-foot-1 and 185-pound Milisitz threw out all 11 runners who attempted to steal on him last spring and he hit .500 with 25 RBIs and six home runs, which gave him a state public-school record 15 for his three-year career.

Milisitz hopes his real-life situation has a happy ending as his part in "Major League II" did. In the movie, he was released by the Indians but picked up by the Boston Red Sox.

Forney impresses Orioles

Annapolis High grad Rick Forney impressed Oriole brass with his strong right arm as a member of the club's 40-man roster in spring training. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound 22-year-old is ranked as one of the Orioles' Top 10 prospects.

Forney will start the season with the Bowie Baysox and is likely to be the opening-day pitcher on April 8 at Canton-Akron in the Double-A Eastern League. A 1989 grad of Annapolis High who went on to star at Anne Arundel Community College, Forney was a combined 14-8 at Single-A Frederick and Bowie last summer.

A sad note

After watching his son, Derek, pitch for Towson State on Saturday, Eric Hasselhoff of Pasadena suffered a fatal heart attack later in the day.

Rarely did Derek, a 1991 Chesapeake High grad -- where he was an outstanding pitcher/shortstop -- play without his father looking on and giving support.

A big show at Broadneck

There are Easter Tournaments all over the place this weekend but one of the best -- for sheer diversity and quality -- is the show at Broadneck High in Cape St. Claire.

The Bruins are playing host to both their 10th annual Holiday Baseball Tournament and the fifth annual Al Laramore Cap City Lacrosse Tournament on Saturday.

Using two adjacent baseball diamonds, Broadneck's No. 20 baseball team plays Loyola while No. 2 Old Mill takes on Archbishop Curley at 10 a.m. The winners play for the championship, and the losers for third place at 1 p.m.

The lacrosse tournament pits public schools Broadneck and Annapolis against private schools St. Mary's and Severn. Three of the four are ranked with St. Mary's No. 1, Severn No. 7 and Broadneck No. 9.

Severn and Annapolis open the Laramore Tournament tomorrow at 5 p.m. followed by host Broadneck and St. Mary's at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Broadneck takes on Severn at 5 p.m. and St. Mary's/Annapolis play at 7:30 p.m.

Mayberry honored

Broadneck's 11-year wrestling coach John Mayberry won the high school Sportsmanship Award at the Maryland State Wrestling Officials Association banquet last week.

Meet sports celebrities

The second annual Take Back Our Streets Sports Celebrity Night, featuring Jim Lachey and Johnny Unitas, is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.

It's a chance for local sports fans to mingle with current and past stars while supporting the Anne Arundel County Police Youth Activities Programs in the Freetown and Meade Village public housing communities.

Lachey, the Washington Redskins' All-Pro tackle, and Unitas, the ex-Colt great and NFL Hall of Famer, will be among the dignitaries including Colt Hall of Famer Lenny Moore, ex-Oriole pitcher Dave Johnson, Baltimore Spirit soccer coach Kenny Cooper and star player Mike Stankovic and the incomparable Charley Eckman.

For ticket information, call Vickie Bowen at (410) 222-1148; Susan Davies at (410) 760-6453 or Michael's at (410) 768-7901.

Navy women win

The Navy women's lacrosse club team made it 2-0 over the weekend with an 18-9 romp over the University of Maryland club team. Amy Morrison scored five goals and had two assists to pace nine Mids who scored.

Debbie Roberge and Kim McKenzie chipped in with three goals each, and coach Ann Wallace said she got "outstanding games" from cover point Liz Okano and plebe point Ann Leurs.

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