Mr. Baseball 2013: Jack Flaherty

Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year Jack Flaherty had a lot to be happy about after his Harvard-Westlake team's last game at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year Jack Flaherty had a lot to be happy about after his Harvard-Westlake team’s last game at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Mark Tennis.

He’s just a junior, but the lanky, powerful 6-foot-4 standout did plenty enough to become the first junior to gain state’s highest individual honor since Delmon Young in 2002. He led Harvard-Westlake to CIFSS title and No. 1 state ranking.

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When watching Jack Flaherty toss a shutout and drive in the only run of the game for Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood in the CIF Southern Section Division I championship at Dodger Stadium, it brought back thoughts of the 2009 race for the Cal-Hi Sports Mr. Baseball Player of the Year.

In that year, Tyler Matzek from Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo basically won the award by pitching a shutout and hitting a game-winning home run in the same game. The difference is that Flaherty this season still has his senior year to play.

Despite that difference, Flaherty’s accomplishments and honors earned already make him the solid choice to be the 2013 Mr. Baseball honoree.

If there were other finalists among the seven that had the best cases to be in front of Flaherty, those would be the No. 10 and No. 11 choices in the first round of the recent MLB draft – pitcher Phil Bickford from Oaks Christian of Westlake Village and third baseman/pitcher Dominic Smith from Serra of Gardena. Flaherty already has been chosen above both as the L.A. Times Player of the Year and also already has been chosen above Bickford as the L.A. Daily News Player of the Year. The only game Bickford lost in a 12-1 pitching campaign was to Harvard-Westlake.

The last junior to be honored as the State Player of the Year was outfielder/pitcher Delmon Young of Camarillo in 2002. Young, who played in the World Series last year for the Detroit Tigers and now plays for the Philadelphia Phillies, was not able to repeat as a senior in 2003 for various reasons, including the fact that no one pitched to him.

The only modern day player who has ever repeated as Mr. Baseball is Eric Chavez from Mt. Carmel of San Diego. Chavez, who now plays for the New York Yankees, won it in 1995 for the Sundevils and repeated in 1996.

Flaherty’s shutout of Huntington Beach Marina in that CIFSS final was his sixth of the season. He also ended 13-0 on the mound with a 0.63 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 89 innings. His walks allowed compared to those strikeouts? Just 10.

When not pitching, Flaherty was a standout at third base and at the plate. He batted .360 with 31 runs scored, 13 steals, two homers and 13 RBIs.

Given that Harvard-Westlake also faced very good competition in its league, non-league and playoffs, there were just no holes in any part of the case that Flaherty deserved to be Mr. Baseball for 2013, even in front of all the seniors.

MR. BASEBALL STATE PLAYERS
OF THE YEAR ALL-TIME LIST

(Selected by Cal-Hi Sports)

2013 – Jack Flaherty, North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake, P-3B (Jr.)
2012 – Ty Moore, Santa Ana Mater Dei, P-INF
2011 – Henry Owens, Huntington Beach Edison, P
2010 – Cory Hahn, Santa Ana Mater Dei, P-OF
2009 – Tyler Matzek, Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley, P-1B
2008 – Aaron Hicks, Long Beach Wilson OF-P
2007 – Mike Moustakas, Chatsworth INF
2006 – Tyler Robertson, Fair Oaks Bella Vista OF-P
2005 – John Drennen, San Diego Rancho Bernardo OF
2004 – Matt Bush, San Diego Mission Bay INF
2003 – Ian Stewart, Westminster La Quinta INF
2002 – Delmon Young, Camarillo OF (Jr.)
2001 – J. P. Howell, Carmichael Jesuit P
2000 – Mike Stodolka, Corona Centennial DH-P
1999 – Ryan Christianson, Riverside Arlington C
1998 – Sean Burroughs, Long Beach Wilson 3B
1997 – Jon Garland, Granada Hills Kennedy P
1996 – Eric Chavez, San Diego Mt. Carmel SS-P
1995 – Eric Chavez, San Diego Mt. Carmel SS-P (Jr.)
1994 – McKay Christensen, Fresno Clovis West OF
1993 – Derrek Lee, Sacramento El Camino OF
1992 – Jason Kendall, Torrance C
1991 – Dmitri Young, Oxnard Rio Mesa 3B
1990 – Mike Lieberthal, Westlake Village Westlake C
1989 – Todd Johnson, Fresno Bullard C-P
1988 – Scott Davison, Redondo Beach Redondo Union P-DH
1987 – Tom Redington, Anaheim Esperanza SS
1986 – Brian Johnson, Oakland Skyline C
1985 – Gregg Jefferies, San Mateo Serra SS
1984 – James Mitchell, El Cerrito OF
1983 – Kurt Stillwell, Thousand Oaks SS
1982 – Bret Saberhagen, Reseda Cleveland P
1981 – Lenny Dykstra, Garden Grove OF
1980 – Darryl Strawberry, Los Angeles Crenshaw OF
1979 – John Elway, Granada Hills OF
1978 – Lloyd Moseby, Oakland 1B
1977 – Craig Landis, Napa Vintage SS
1976 – Rickey Henderson, Oakland Technical OF
1975 – Carney Lansford, Santa Clara Wilcox SS
1974 – Lonnie Smith, Compton Centennial OF
1973 – Robin Yount, Woodland Hills Taft SS
1972 – Scott McGregor, El Segundo P
1971 – Keith Hernandez, San Bruno Capuchino 1B-Semipro
1970 – Terry Forster, Santee Santana P
1969 – Jeff Burroughs, Long Beach Wilson OF
1968 – Tim Foli, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame SS
1967 – Bill Buckner, Napa 1B
1966 – Kemer Brett, El Segundo P
1965 – Bob Boone, San Diego Crawford P
1964 – Willie Crawford, Los Angeles Fremont OF
1963 – Bob Tolan, Los Angeles Fremont P-OF
1962 – Rudy May, Oakland Castlemont P
1961 – Bob Bailey, Long Beach Wilson SS
1960 – Wade Blasingame, Fresno Roosevelt P
1959 – John Boccabella, Kentfield Marin Catholic 3B
1958 – Dick Ellsworth, Fresno P
1957 – Johnny Callison, Bakersfield East OF
1956 – Mike McCormick, Alhambra Keppel P
1955 – Deron Johnson, San Diego OF
1954 – Don Drysdale, Van Nuys P
1953 – Frank Robinson, Oakland McClymonds 3B
1952 – Jim Gentile, San Francisco Sacred Heart 1B
1951 – Ed Cereghino, Daly City Jefferson P
1950 – J.W. Porter, Oakland Technical C
1949 – Paul Pettit, Harbor City Narbonne P
1948 – Karl Olson, Mill Valley Tamalpais OF
1947 – Gus Triandos, San Francisco Mission C
1946 – Jim Baxes, San Francisco Mission 2B
1945 – Jack Harshman, San Diego 1B
1944 – Jackie Jensen, Oakland OF
1943 – Herb Gorman, San Francisco Balboa 1B
1942 – Charlie Silvera, San Francisco St. Ignatius SS
1941 – Bob Brown, San Francisco Galileo SS
1940 – Duane Pillette, San Diego P
1939 – Ferris Fain, Oakland Roosevelt 1B
1938 – Bob Lemon, Long Beach Wilson SS-P
1937 – Rugger Ardizoia, San Francisco Commerce P
1936 – Bobby Doerr, Los Angeles Fremont 2B (Pro)
1935 – Ted Williams, San Diego Hoover OF
1934 – Frankie Hawkins, San Francisco Sacred Heart SS
1933 – Chet Smith, San Diego P
1932 – Gordon Maltzberger, Colton P
1931 – Joe DiMaggio, San Francisco Galileo SS (Semi-pro)
1930 – Athos Sada, San Diego OF
1929 – Arleigh Williams, Oakland Technical C
1928 – Frank Dobranksy, San Diego P
1927 – Willard Hershberger, Fullerton C
1926 – Dick Bartell, Alameda SS
1925 – Louie Almada, Los Angeles P
1924 – Joe Cronin, San Francisco Sacred Heart SS
1923 – Gene Hollister, San Francisco Mission P
1922 – Walter Berger, San Francisco Mission 3B
1921 – Babe Herman, Glendale 1B
1920 – Bernie Viveiros, Oakland Technical 2B
1919 – Ren Kelly, San Francisco Poly P
1918 – Brick Muller, San Diego OF
1917 – Johnny Gillespie, Oakland Technical P
1916 – Ray Lorrigan, San Francisco Poly P
1915 – Frank Schellenback, Hollywood P
1914 – Bert Cole, San Francisco Lowell P
1913 – George Kelly, San Francisco Poly 3B
1912 – Harry Heilmann, San Francisco Sacred Heart SS
1911 – Will James, Oroville P
1910 – Eddie French, San Francisco Sacred Heart P
1909 – Babe Hollis, San Francisco Cogswell P
1908 – Oscar Vitt, San Francisco Wilmerding SS
1907 – Lloyd Burton, Alameda SS
1906 – Mowatt Mitchell, Los Angeles 1B
1905 – Walter Johnson, Fullerton P
1904 – James Schaeffer, Berkeley C
1903 – Mead Hamilton, San Francisco Lowell P
1902 – Mead Hamilton, San Francisco Lowell 2B
1901 – Heinie Heitmuller, San Francisco Lick 1B
1900 – Orvall Overall, Visalia 1B-Town team
1899 – Will Moreing, Stockton P

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @CalHiSports


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