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Saladino Tournament has history of impressive players

Jesuit standout Brad Radke had a strong 
12-year career with the Minnesota Twins.

Associated Press (2006)

Jesuit standout Brad Radke had a strong 12-year career with the Minnesota Twins.

TAMPA

Every spring since 1981, there has been the Saladino. ¶ For a week, high school baseball players spend their spring break on the diamonds of Hillsborough County and immerse themselves in the historical tournament. ¶ "It was the biggest tournament in the state of Florida as far as I was concerned," former Hillsborough standout and current Detroit Tiger Gary Sheffield said. ¶ With the 28th annual Saladino Tournament opening Saturday, the Times got nostalgic. Taking us back in time is a big part of what the Saladino is about. We assembled our team of the best to play in this great event. Then we looked forward to the players people will mention when reminiscing about 2008.

The all-Saladino team

P — Dwight Gooden, Hillsborough

Before Doc was named the 1984 NL rookie of the year and won the 1985 NL Cy Young Award, he was MVP of the first Saladino Tournament in 1981.

P — Kenny Rogers, Plant City

The Gambler, a four-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner, is still going strong heading into his 20th major-league season.

P — Brad Radke, Jesuit

The consummate innings eater during his 12-year career with the Twins, Radke was always in control.

P — Danny Graves, Brandon

One of the game's top closers in the early part of the decade, he had four 30-save seasons. Was on Saladino all-tournament team in 1991.

1B — Tino Martinez, Jefferson

Tampa alum was a big part of the Yankees' glory days. He hit .296 with 44 homers and 141 RBIs and was AL MVP runnerup in 1997.

2B — Ryan Raburn, Durant

Super-utilityman can play second, third and outfield. One of three Tigers on this team.

SS — Chone Figgins, Brandon

He has at least 57 steals in each of the past four seasons. Last year, he swiped 58 in just 115 games.

3B — Gary Sheffield, Hillsborough

Sheffield has an impressive resume: Already hit milestones with 2,500 hits, 1,500 runs and 1,500 RBIs, he's 20 homers short of the 500 club. He was top six in MVP voting five times.

OF — Carl Everett, Hillsborough

He was outspoken, but Everett could hit everywhere he played: two All-Star games, four 20-homer seasons.

OF — Luis Gonzalez, Jefferson

Four-time All-Star is one of the game's class acts. Hit 57 homers in 2001.

OF — Derek Bell, King

An 11-year major-league career included a pair of 100-RBI seasons.

C — Kevin Cash, Gaither

His number is retired at Gaither. He has seen spot duty in the majors with Blue Jays, Rays and

Red Sox.

DH — Fred McGriff, Jefferson

The Crime Dog, right, is Tampa. He holds an advisory position with the Rays and still gets in uniform as a Jesuit assistant. Within Hillsborough County, his 493 homers are worthy of the Hall of Fame.

Today's all-Saladino team

(stats through Tuesday)

P — Alex Panteliodis, Alonso

Ravens senior, right, has won 19 straight decisions and is 7-0 this season.

P — Kyle Parker, Newsome

No-nonsense lefty is a workhorse. Three complete games, five times with six-plus innings.

P — Andrew Virgili, Wharton

All five starts have been complete games, owns

a 0.60 ERA.

P — Kris Castellanos, Newsome

County's strikeout leader has 68 strikeouts in

331/3 innings.

1B — Preston Tucker, Plant

Florida-bound left-handed hitter leads county with seven homers.

2B — Sherman Johnson, Alonso

Senior leader for the Ravens, hitting .514 and has scored 19 runs.

SS — Mychal Givens, Plant

County's top pro prospect is 6-0 as a pitcher.

3B — Jamie Mallard, Middleton

It's not Mallard's natural position, but we need his bat in this lineup.

OF — Connor Mitchell, Plant

Panthers' underrated No. 9 hitter sets the table

for the top of the order.

OF — Ethan Lovell, Newsome

Speedy centerfielder is a factor in the field and on the basepaths.

OF — Kenny Wilson, Sickles

Senior centerfielder has great range and is headed to play at Florida.

C — Jared Womack, Plant

Steady hitter led league in batting average most of the season.

DH — Michael Smith, Brandon

Junior first baseman/catcher has been hitting above .500 all season.

>>FAST FACTS

Saladino schedule

Saturday

At Brandon: Freedom vs. East Bay, 10; King vs. Middleton, 1; Armwood vs. Spoto, 4; Brandon

vs. Blake, 7

At Bloomingdale: Riverview vs. Tampa Catholic, 10; Tampa Catholic vs. Newsome, 1; Leto vs. Durant, 4; Bloomingdale vs. Plant City, 7

At Chamberlain: Lennard vs. Sickles, 1; Gaither vs. Hillsborough, 4; Chamberlain vs. Tampa Bay Tech, 7

At University of Tampa: Alonso vs. Wesley

Chapel, 1; Robinson vs.

Wharton, 4; Plant vs.

Jefferson, 7

Monday

At Brandon: Middleton vs. Freedom, 10; King vs. East Bay, 1; Blake vs. Armwood, 4; Spoto vs. Brandon, 7

At Bloomingdale:

Newsome vs. Riverview, 1; Plant City vs. Leto, 4; Durant vs. Blooming-

dale, 7

At Chamberlain: Wesley Chapel vs. Lennard, 1; Gaither vs. Tampa Bay Tech, 4; Hillsborough vs. Chamberlain, 7

At University of Tampa: Jefferson vs. Wharton, 1; Robinson vs. Plant, 4; Sickles vs. Alonso, 7

Tuesday

At Brandon: Freedom vs. King, 10; Middleton vs. East Bay, 1; Spoto vs. Blake, 4; Brandon vs. Armwood, 7

At Bloomingdale: TBD, 1; Plant City vs. Durant, 4; Bloomingdale vs. Leto, 7

At Chamberlain: Sickles vs. Wesley Chapel at Chamberlain, 10; Tampa Bay Tech vs. Hillsborough, 4; Chamberlain vs. Gaither, 7

At University of Tampa: Jefferson vs. Robinson, 1; Alonso vs. Lennard, 4; Wharton vs. Plant, 7

Wednesday

At Brandon: Division games at 10, 1, 4 and 7

Thursday

At Brandon: Semifinals, 4 and 7

April 11

At Brandon: home run derby, 5:30; championship, 7

Saladino Tournament has history of impressive players 04/04/08 [Last modified: Monday, April 7, 2008 3:37pm]

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