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MOOSE : Angels Reach Into Farm System for More Hitting Help

March 18, 1985|ROSS NEWHAN | Times Staff Writer

The Angels almost always went elsewhere for players, coaches and managers. Now the organization has begun to reward its own. The appointment of Stubing was accompanied by the promotion of two other minor league managers.

Winston Llenas is moving from double-A Waterbury to triple-A Edmonton. Joe Maddon went from Class A Peoria to double-A Midland.

Port said it was part of the attempt to create a new stability.

Mauch said: "I only knew Moose from what I had heard of his success as a manager and the success players like Pettis, Brown, Schofield and (Daryl) Sconiers had under him.

"Then he spent part of September with us last year and I was impressed with his knowledge and feel for the game. I really began to feel secure about it, to say to myself, 'Hey, this is going to work,' last November when we brought Schofield to the (Arizona) Instructional League and I saw the way Moose talked and worked, his willingness to go on and on until he got it right.

"I'm not the type to stay out of any part of it altogether, but Moose will have the authority he needs."

The initial appointment included only the job of hitting instructor. The Angels intended to hire a third base coach experienced at the major league level. The position is known to have been offered Marcel Lachemann, brother of former Seattle and Milwaukee Manager Rene Lachemann, who opted for the same position under ex-Angel manager John McNamara at Boston. The club ultimately gave both assignments to Stubing.

"We didn't really know how Moose would feel about coaching third," Mauch said, "but when he said he'd like to, it was fine with me."

The two have already spent part of each day working on communication between them. Stubing has also begun to read the club's scouting reports on the throwing strength of opposing players. Both manager and coach said they are looking for ways to help a primarily slow, veteran club be more daring on the bases.

"I'm going to be aggressive and I'm going to make mistakes," Stubing said, "but I'm going to find out this spring how they run."

The Stubing odyssey began at Evander Childs High School in the Bronx. He played baseball, football and basketball, and also only played at studying.

"I could have taken the basket-weaving route and played football at a Southern college but I wasn't a bright student and I didn't hit the books," he said. "What smarts I have come from the street. My goal was to try to get through the day.

"I might have survived if I had stayed in the Bronx, but I'd probably have been digging ditches, running elevators or driving a truck. I'd have never gotten out and learned what a great world it is.

"Most of the guys I grew up with still don't know what living is. I mean, you're talking about a city block with two and three thousand people on it and nobody knows their neighbor."

The New York accent has stayed with Stubing, but he could be an advisor to Rand-McNally. The road out started at a 1956 Bronx tryout camp, where the power hitting first baseman was signed by Pittsburgh. He received $400 for clothes and equipment, a $150 a month contract and a ticket to Brunswick, Ga. This was heaven, but it would get even better.

He played at Selma, St. Cloud, Springfield, Rio Grande Valley, Tacoma, El Paso, Jacksonville, Little Rock and back to El Paso, which became his home and where he ultimately spent eight-straight seasons, the last six as a coach under Rocky Bridges, Chuck Tanner, Del Rice and Norm Sherry.

He would ultimately manage for the Angels at Quad Cities, Salinas, El Paso, Spokane and Edmonton, winning five pennants while watching the Angels either trade or frustrate the cream of the farm system by signing or trading for a series of celebrity players.

Estelle Stubing accompanied her husband on his long route, finding a succession of jobs teaching nursing, which she now does at the community college in El Paso where their son, Scott, 19, is a student. A daughter, Stacey, 18, is a Texas A&M freshman.

The Stubings were married while still in high school, compounding the economic burden Moose carried on his broad shoulders. He received that nickname from a St. Cloud sportswriter who watched his reckless running demolish a string of catchers and wrote that he was like a runaway moose.

"Basically," Stubing said, "all I could do was hit a little. I couldn't really run or field. I had some good years but I always seemed to have some good players ahead of me. In the Giants' organization there were guys like Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda."

He played in the Pirate, Giant, Cardinal and Angel organizations, hitting 192 home runs. He fashioned his best numbers at El Paso in 1964, hitting 36 homers and driving in 136 runs. All that did was get him traded to the Cardinals and promoted to triple-A Jacksonville. He retired in 1966 and bought into an El Paso beer distributorship, then was lured back in '67 when the Angels offered him a position as player-coach at El Paso.

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