By Rob Goldman - AngelsWin.com Historical Writer
The skinny kid at shortstop gives a defiant look toward the fungo circle. The intense glare is partially hidden by the sweat stained cap that covers his neat crew cut. Coach Joe Gordon slaps a sharp grounder to the kid’s right. With the grace of a seasoned veteran the kid glides over it with ease. Scooping the up the ball in one fluid motion, he locks in on his target, sets himself and fires. The ball sails five feet over the outstretched first baseman’s reach. “Heads up!” someone shouts as the ball careens off the top of the dugout rail an ricochets back on the field, scattering young players and barely missing the trainer.
Gordon turns to the young shortstop, shouting, “Over the top!” Then shaking his head, Gordon announces to manager Bill Rigney, standing behind the batting cage: The kid’s gonna kill all our season ticket holders!”
This is what spring training is all about: a chance for rookies to prove their mettle, to sho...