THE COLLEGES / MIKE HISERMAN : Sharts Family Tradition Continuing at CSUN
Another power hitter named Sharts plans to enroll at Cal State Northridge in the fall, but opposing baseball coaches need not fret.
Stuart Sharts is the twin of Scott, CSUN’s All-American first baseman, but the two do not share a passion for the same sports.
Stuart’s games are golf and tennis. And although trying out for the school’s golf team is not in his plans, Stuart will continue what has become a Sharts family tradition simply by attending CSUN.
Brad and Dagne Sharts have five children, all of whom have grown up in Simi Valley and matriculated to Northridge.
Steve, 26, was the first. A pitcher on CSUN’s Division II champion baseball team of 1984, Steve later was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies on the 17th-round of the amateur draft.
For the past six years, Steve, a left-hander, has steadily climbed the minor league ladder to his role as a reliever for the Phillies’ Scranton-Wilkes-Barre triple-A affiliate.
Shannon, 23, was next. She was a cheerleader at CSUN for one year and graduated last year with a degree in psychology. Stacy, 21, was a cheerleader for two years and is on schedule to graduate from CSUN next spring.
Scott, 20, broke the chain in 1988 by accepting a baseball scholarship from the University of Miami, but that situation was only temporary.
The scholarship was only partial and at the rate Miami’s tuition was rising, the Sharts family was looking at a bill of more than $10,000 for Scott’s sophomore year.
Already frustrated by his lack of playing time, Scott decided to transfer.
Every school in the Southland with a Division I baseball program supposedly was in the running.
Northridge, with a year left in Division II, won out. There were many reasons, family history among them.
“The support has always been there for me,” Scott said. “You miss that when you’re 3,000 miles away. There’s no one in the stands rooting for you.”
Dagne Sharts says her son’s decision to return home was strictly financial. “If it had been a full-ride (scholarship), I think he would have stuck it out,” she said. “Scott’s not the kind to quit something when things don’t go his way.”
Still, she says, “the entire family was thrilled” when Scott decided to attend Northridge.
The scholarship Sharts accepted was awarded in the name of the late Paul Edmonson, Dagne’s brother.
In 1965, Edmonson was an all-district pitcher for what was then known as San Fernando Valley State. That June he was taken by the Chicago White Sox in the amateur draft and he went on to become the first Matador player to make it to the major leagues.
When Edmonson was killed in a car accident in the 1970s, the White Sox helped establish an endowment for a permanent scholarship in his name.
Scott probably will follow the path of his uncle and brother before him. The 6-foot-6 sophomore batted better than .300 this spring, led Division II players with a school-record 29 home runs and was a first-team All-American.
Stuart, who grew up in the formidable shadow of his brothers, somehow learned how to survive without baseball.
That fact alone, Brad Sharts says, is quite an accomplishment.
Scott agrees. “I’m really proud of Stuart,” he said. “He’s gone out, kind of done his own thing, and found his own way.”
And yet he ended up at Northridge, where he likely will enroll in the same accounting and economics classes as his twin.
“It’s obviously a very comfortable setting for us,” Brad Sharts said. “I just wish it was possible to live on campus. . . . We’ve put a lot of miles on the freeway between here and Reseda Boulevard.”
Idle thoughts: Every time the thought crops up about what it will be like for Northridge to play men’s basketball against USC on Feb. 4 at the Sports Arena, I wonder who will draw the assignment of guarding Harold Miner.
Ditto for when the Matadors travel to Cal on March 6. Who is going to (attempt to) guard Bryan Hendrick?
Two-liners: Dorian Manigo, Northridge’s top freshman basketball recruit, will play for the North squad in a state all-star game June 24 at UC Irvine’s Bren Center. Manigo, a guard, helped San Francisco Riordan High reach the state large schools’ championship game. . .Joel Wolfe, a former Chatsworth High standout, was the top hitter on UCLA’s baseball team this season. Wolfe, who had 31 hits in his last 63 regular-season at-bats, finished with a .376 average, 10 home runs, 44 runs batted in and a team-high 30 stolen bases.