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Mason selected for All-Star game

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

(Photo)
Northview graduate, Caleb Mason, has been selected to play in the IHSBCA All-Star Series held in July at Richmond.
By CAREY FOX

Times Sports Editor

The awards keep on rolling in for 2010 Northview High School grad, Caleb Mason.

The Olney Central baseball recruit has just been selected to participate in the 36th annual Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Series that will be played on July 9-10.

Mason is one of 50 players that were selected by the IHSBCA Membership and will play a three-game series in Richmond at McBride Stadium with a doubleheader slated for July 9 and a wooden bat game on July 10. Last year the North All-Star team won all three games in the series at Evansville and the North currently holds a 57-45 advantage in the series.

"This is a tremendous honor for Caleb and Northview baseball," coach Scott McDonald said. "This is the second year in a row that we have had someone selected for the prestigious honor (Brock Lawson last year)."

Several members of the All-Star squads have been drafted by professional baseball clubs and many more have received college baseball scholarships. The All-Star players will be the guests at the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association All-Star recognition banquet on Thursday evening, July 8.

This season, Mason hit .513 for the Knights with 41 hits in 80 at-bats, while reaching base at a .594 clip. Mason supplied plenty of power as well, slugging .963, which included a school record seven triples along with seven doubles and five home runs. Mason scored 41 times and drove in 36 runs for Northview.

"Caleb was absolutely incredible all season long at the plate leading us in nearly all offensive categories," McDonald said.

Mason, who was recruited to Olney Central as a pitcher, underwent Tommy John surgery early in his high school career, but didn't let that sideline his bat after recovery.

Mason wasn't able to pitch during his sophomore season, but in his junior season he played in 27 games and had 79 at-bats in which he hit at a .418 clip. He had 10 doubles, three triples and a pair of home runs. He also drove in 25 runs and scored 34 times while stealing 20 bases. On the mound, Mason pitched 26 2/3 innings over 11 appearances with a 3.41 ERA while striking out 29 batters.

During his senior season, Mason didn't throw much after suffering from an arm strain before the year, which McDonald felt just proved how talented Mason is in that he succeeded despite not being at 100-percent.

"The amazing fact is that he never really recovered from the surgery he had after his freshman year. He took great pride in his offense and the hard work really paid off," McDonald said. "The only problem is that he is going to college as a pitcher, hopefully Coach Conley will use his offensive skills as well. Not many coaches are blessed enough in two years of being head coach to have two North/South All-Star members. It just proves that if you nominate the kids, they have a shot."


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Congratulations, Caleb .. you deserve this!

Having seen this kid play baseball from the time he was old enough to hold a bat, it was not surprising to read:

"Mason, who was recruited to Olney Central as a pitcher, underwent Tommy John surgery early in his high school career, but didn't let that sideline his bat after recovery."

Tommy John surgery is a procedure in which a ligament in the medial elbow is replaced with a tendon from elsewhere in the body.

The "ulnar collateral ligament" can become stretched, frayed, or torn through the repetitive stress of throwing motion. The results of a 2002 study suggests it isn't the "style of throwing" that causes this injury but the "total number of pitches thrown".

I post this in hopes that the Father's, Mother's AND coaches of these "budding star pitchers" will be reminded of the details surrounding this procedure .. and perhaps save these kids unnecessary pain and physical therapy.

They won't all be Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver or Tommy John. Their bodies need recovery time .. especially when they're still growing (like weeds!).

I'm very happy Caleb is recovering and (obviously) doing well. He is a very coachable kid and extremely knowledgeable about the game of baseball. Proud of you, Caleb!

-- Posted by Emmes on Thu, Jun 24, 2010, at 12:34 PM

Congrats to Caleb!!! What an honor and story of overcoming injury to be a success. Emmes is right that parents and coaches need to be careful with the kids that are pitchers. The good news is that at least Coach McDonald is very protective of the high school pitchers, which is different from most coaches only worried about personal glory. Having watched a few of the games the past couple of seasons, I have seen McDonald have very strict pitch counts and puts the players' health before everything else. I am certain that he would have loved to have pitch Caleb more, but was more worried about Caleb's health than anything. Congrats again Caleb, and good luck in college, we are know that you will do great.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Thu, Jun 24, 2010, at 3:44 PM


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