College not pros is next step for most Crown all-stars Game is postponed, rescheduled for July 28

June 10, 1996|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,SUN STAFF

They may be the best high school senior baseball players in the state, but that doesn't mean pro baseball will be their next step.

Most of the players selected for the Crown High School All-Star Game are bound for college. And that, in the estimation of longtime Arundel High and sandlot coach Bernie Walter, is as it should be.

"The difference in lifetime income between a person with a college education and one with only a high school degree is $600,000," said Walter, a South coach, after the Crown game at Camden Yards that was to follow yesterday's Orioles-White Sox game was postponed when a drizzle caused fear of damaging the field.

The game has been rescheduled for July 28 after the Orioles' game here with the Cleveland Indians.

College recruiters and pro scouts from Maryland and surrounding states turned out yesterday in anticipation of checking out the players. Many of them have not committed to a college, and the game would have been an ideal place to demonstrate their skills.

"Unless a kid commands a monster bonus or truly has big-league potential, he's better off going to college," Walter said. "If he thinks, and his scout thinks, he can make up that $600,000 in baseball, OK, go ahead and sign."

Walter points out that only eight to 12 percent of the players who sign pro contracts reach the majors.

Even the few Crown players who were selected in last week's free-agent draft are leaning toward college.

Take Joe Barnes, an Old Mill outfielder drafted on the 34th round by the Seattle Mariners. Barnes will attend Indian River (Fla.) Community College. Good idea, Walter told him.

If a player has three years of college and then signs, that's another matter.

"If you're 22, 23, with three years of college, sure, go take a chance," Walter said. "You can always go back and get that final year of college if you don't make it.

"But a kid who signs out of high school, plays five years and then quits is different. He's been out of the educational process those years and there's little likelihood he'll start college at that point.

Pub Date: 6/10/96

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