Some 15 graduates of high schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese and Orange Diocese have appeared in baseball’s World Series, beginning with Tillie Shafer for the New York Giants in 1912 and 1913. Shafer — who attended the high school division of St. Vincent's College’s (now known as Loyola High School and Loyola Marymount University) — hit .158 in his eight World Series games.
The most successful local Catholic high schoolers in the Series were Tim Foli (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks) and Rick Dempsey (Crespi, Encino). Foli hit .333 (10 for 30) as Pittsburgh’s shortstop in the Pirates’ 1979 triumph over Baltimore, keying rallies in Games 5 and 6 as the Pirates overcame a 3-1 deficit.
Dempsey, the Orioles’ catcher in 1979, came back to earn MVP honors in Baltimore’s 1983 World Series win over Philadelphia, batting .385 with four doubles and a homerun. He also caught the fifth and deciding game in the Dodgers’ 1988 Series win over Oakland, delivering an RBI double and racing gleefully toward winning pitcher Orel Hershiser after the Series-ending strikeout.
That Oakland team (and the two that followed, winning in 1989 and losing in 1990) included two local products: first baseman Mark McGwire (Damien, LaVerne) and second baseman Mike Gallego (St. Paul, Santa Fe Springs). McGwire rallied from a disappointing 1988 Series (1 for 17) by batting .294 in the Athletics’ four-game sweep of the Giants in ’89.
The other local Catholic high school baseball players who have appeared in baseball’s Fall Classic include the following (in chronological order):
—Jim McAnany (Loyola), outfielder for the Chicago White Sox in 1959 against the Dodgers.
—Gregg Zaun (St. Francis, La Canada), catcher for Florida in 1997.
—Dan Haren (Bishop Amat, La Puente) and Jeff Suppan (Crespi), pitchers for St. Louis in 2004. Suppan also pitched for St. Louis in 2006.
—Mike Lamb (Bishop Amat), infielder for Houston in 2005.
—Evan Longoria (St. John Bosco, Bellflower), third baseman for Tampa Bay in 2008.
—Ben Francisco (Servite, Anaheim), outfielder for Philadelphia in 2009.
—Michael Young (Bishop Amat), infielder for Texas in 2010 and 2011.
—Matt Treanor (Mater Dei, Santa Ana), catcher for Texas in 2010.
—Marc Rzepczynski (Servite), pitcher for St. Louis in 2011.
Several others played for teams in the years they reached the World Series, but did not participate. They include:
—Joe Amalfitano (St. Anthony, Long Beach), 1954 New York Giants.
—Jamie Quirk (St. Paul), 1985 Kansas City Royals.
—Tim Layana (Loyola), 1990 Cincinnati Reds.
—Andy Dominique (Bishop Alemany, Mission Hills), 2004 Boston Red Sox.
—Dan Runzler (Chaminade), 2010 and 2012 San Francisco Giants.
—Brett Hayes (Notre Dame), 2014 Kansas City Royals.