Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Five For Fighting - The Rotation

While compiling my all-time all-Oakland County prep baseball squad earlier this month, I had a pair of glaring omissions (Dick Radatz and Steve McCatty) in putting together my pitching staff. So, to make up for my snafu – pointed out to me ever so graciously by the Oakland Press very own resident sports encyclopedia, Pat "The Book" Caputo – I've decided to breakdown the REAL DEAL Top 5 prep baseball pitchers in the history of the county.
OC TOP 5 – All-Time Prep Pitchers
1                    Bob Welch (Hazel Park) – In his 16-year MLB career, Welch collected two World Series championships and a Cy Young Award in 1990, as a 27-game winner for the Oakland A's, the last hurler in the Big Leagues to eclipse the 25-win total
2                    Dick Radatz (Berkley) – A three-sport star at Berkley in the mid-1950s, Radatz was one of Major League Baseball's first great relief pitchers, posting over 120 saves in a seven-year career in the Bigs. In 1964 with the Boston Red Sox, he struck out 181 batters in just 157 innings, the most ever by a closer in a single season. Retiring in 1969, after playing his final two years with the Tigers and Montreal Expos respectively, Radatz, nicknamed by teammates 'The Moose' for his powerful disposition on the mound, was elected to the Red Sox franchise Hall of Fame in 1967.
3                    Steve Howe (Clarkston) – After leading the Clarkston Wolves to a state title as a senior in 1976, Howe pitched at UofM before being drafted into the Bigs by the L.A. Dodgers, where he immediately won an MLB Rookie of the Year Award and a World Series in 1981. In a career spanning off and on for 15 years, Howe was known for his outstanding ability as a left-handed reliever, however was plagued by substance abuse issues his entire life, which sadly ended in a methamphetamine-induced car crash in 2006.
4                    Steve McCatty (Troy) – Graduating from Troy HS in 1972, McCatty had a very solid eight-year career in pro baseball (1977-1985), all played with the Oakland A's. In 1981, he led the entire Big Leagues in wins and shutouts, finishing second in the balloting for the Cy Young Award.
5                    Brad Havens (RO Kimball) – After building a powerhouse prep resume at Kimball in the mid-to-late 1970s (he tossed a no-hitter in a Class A district title game as a senior in 1977), Havens was an MLB journeymen between 1981 and 1989, playing for the Twins, Tigers, Dodgers, Orioles and Indians. Was a member of the Dodgers 1988 World Series team that also featured fellow former Oakland County star high school athlete Kirk Gibson.


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