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One Last, Year-End Look at the Passing Parade of People in the News : Playing Hardball

December 26, 1985|GARY LIBMAN

View has revisited some of the people and places it reported on in the last several months. Among them:

--Hollywood's Masquers Club, which because of declining funds sold its building and moved.

--Jimmy and Ricky Sperry, blinded in an accident 11 years ago, who received cornea transplants in August.

--Balu Natarajan, who triumphed over 167 other youngsters to win the National Spelling Bee in June.

The Cincinnati Reds bought the contract of National City pitcher Gino Minutelli, 21, who pitched for the first time last summer with the independent Tri-Cities Triplets in Washington state.

The former Sweetwater High School outfielder will report to the Reds' spring training camp in Tampa, Fla., in March.

The Times reported in June and September that Minutelli played for the Triplets in southeastern Washington.

Brentwood attorney Dick Leavitt and three Los Angeles associates purchased the Class A minor league team last winter. They could not find a major league organization to supply players, which is the common practice.

So the owners held tryouts throughout the nation for players who had been released or passed up by major league organizations and wanted to prove that they belonged in baseball.

Fast Ball

Minutelli, a 5-foot-11 left-hander, drew attention by throwing faster than 90 m.p.h.

"We don't have a great abundance of left-handed pitchers in this organization," said Larry Doughty, the Reds' director of scouting, "and if one starts to show some good signs, he can move rapidly."

Living with his parents and working part time in a department store this winter, Minutelli can't wait for spring.

"March was a long way away when they bought my contract," he said. "It seemed like a year. I'm anxious. They told me I have a good arm, that my ball moves well and that I have a really good chance to move up in the organization."

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