Youse's O's carry on tradition, try to tie record

Amateur Baseball

August 05, 2007|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun reporter

Baltimore Orioles scout Dean Albany is chasing the legend of his mentor, Walter Youse, as his Orioles scout team that he named after Youse arrives in Johnstown, Pa., today for the 63rd All American Amateur Baseball Association tournament.

Youse's Orioles are seeking their fifth consecutive national crown and 25th overall, both AAABA records. Youse, who won more than 3,000 games in 60 years of amateur baseball, led his Leone's, Johnny's, Corrigan's and Maryland Orioles teams to 20 AAABA titles, the last in 2001, including five in a row from 1979 to 1983.

Albany pitched for Youse in the mid-1980s and became an assistant in 2000. He took over in 2002, when Youse died at age 88, and eventually renamed the team sponsored by the major league Orioles, calling it Youse's Orioles.

Extending the Youse legacy of 46 consecutive Baltimore City titles to qualify for the AAABA tournament, the current team made it 52 in a row to earn a shot at five straight national titles.

"It will mean a lot to match Walter's record because of who he was, but it means a lot for the organization," Albany said.

"This is as good a team as we've had the last four years. Our main competition should be New Orleans and the Clark Griffith League all-star team, the McLean Raiders."

Youse's Orioles shared the Cal Ripken Sr. Collegiate Baseball League regular-season title with Rockville but did not play in the postseason tournament and won the city championship to take a 41-15 overall record to Johnstown.

"The talent on this team is as good as I played with or against in college," said Scott Swinson, a 2006 All-Metro pitcher at Centennial who played for George Washington this spring.

Swinson (6-1, 1.85 ERA), who has transferred to Maryland, and Clemson left-hander Matt Zoltek (4-2, 0.80) led Youse's Orioles this summer.

Shortstop Chris Jackson of Virginia Commonwealth is the leading hitter at .335, and former All-Metro players Alex Buchholz (a Delaware third baseman from Old Mill) and Joe Velleggia (an Old Dominion catcher from Calvert Hall) are batting .290 and .285, respectively.

Justin Bour, a George Mason first baseman from Centreville, leads in home runs (six) and RBIs (38).

pat.omalley@baltsun.com

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