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In His Father's Image : Wold Has His Own Measuring Stick


CHATSWORTH — Greg Wold is locked in a pitcher's duel. With his dad.

Steve Wold has not missed a pitch during his son's four years on the Chatsworth High varsity baseball team.

Greg Wold not only welcomes his father's scrutiny and stream of constructive criticism but admits it allows him to thrive.

Wold's motivation? Out-pitch his father.

"He's hard on me," Wold said. "Very. But I like it.

"I've been told by people that he was better than me, basically, my whole life. Seriously, I want to top him. I want to win a City championship and show off my ring to him."

Wold (6-3), whose father never reached the City final while pitching for Chatsworth in the early 1970s, will start today against Cleveland in a City Section 4-A Division quarterfinal game at Chatsworth.

The senior right-hander has played the role of starter, closer, middle reliever, second baseman and offensive catalyst while helping keep second-seeded Chatsworth (19-8) atop the Northwest Valley Conference.

Wold had a two-run home run and struck out two in 1 2/3 innings Tuesday to record his fourth save in a 16-9 victory over Reseda.

"He has the confidence and the courage to be there late in the game," Chatsworth Coach Tom Meusborn said. "He's our most experienced player."

Wold, who played briefly as a freshman, has been around the league, having compiled a 13-5 career record.

Wold's roots run even deeper.

Steve Wold, 42, was 7-1 and the West Valley League player of the year as a senior in 1972. The Chancellors were eliminated that season by Venice in the semifinals, Wold taking a 2-1 loss.

Steve Wold also was on the losing end of a 1-0 final against Linares, Mex., in the Little League World Series in 1967. He went on to play for Cal State Northridge and pitched in the Division II College World Series in 1975.

A victory today would move Chatsworth into next week's semifinals. More poignantly, father and son--both with sidearm deliveries--will have pulled even at equal stages in their careers.

"We're definitely a baseball family," Steve Wold said. "My father was my coach and I began managing Greg when he was 5. People who know me watch Greg and say, 'He throws just like you.' But I can't see it."

It is not difficult to believe, especially since Wold taught his son to pitch and converted him to a sidearmer when he was 13.

"He taught me, basically, everything I know," Greg said. "He threw the exact same pitches I do. Me and my dad are very close. I wanted to follow in his footsteps and come here."

Postgame debriefings at home are routine. After dinner, Greg's delivery and mechanics are critiqued and fine-tuned in the living room.

"I know when I get home he's going to talk to me about not setting a guy up with a slider," Wold said after Tuesday's game. "He remembers every pitch I throw."

Steve Wold, unaware that his son made such a comment, said he planned to do just that.

One might assume matters are so carefully considered that neither is able to enjoy the unique experience. Steve Wold insists that's not the case.

"It can be nerve-racking at times, watching him pitch," he said. "But I feel fortunate and I am very proud. I feel fortunate that he's enjoying it. And he does love the game."

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