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Santana Catcher Jeff Gay Is Signed by the Angels

Jeff Gay of Santana High School received numerous telephone inquiries Thursday about his Wednesday night signing with the California Angels, but he was not around to answer them. He was at the Santana ballpark working on his hitting.

Not that his hitting needs much work. Gay, the Sultan catcher, batted .540 during the season and helped lead Santana to the San Diego Section 3-A title by going 8 for 11 in the last week of the playoffs. His 135 career hits set a county record.

Gay was the Angels’ second-round pick and the 50th player selected overall in Monday’s major league draft. And the Angels are clearly glad to have him.

“He fits right in with our needs,” said Rick Ingalls, the Angels’ scout for Southern California. “We try to put the top kids in the nation in order and we cross them off as their names roll of the (draft) board. We got to our second-round pick and Gay was there with two of our other names. We needed a catcher and fortunately he was there. If we didn’t take him second, he would have been gone by the third.

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“He was in the right place at the right time, and hopefully, two to three years down the road, he will be our catcher.”

Ingalls said Gay, who graduates June 18, will report to the Angels’ Class A team in Salem, Ore., the next day.


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