Mike Kunes of Chatsworth High fits the sterotype of a left-handed pitcher. He's eccentric.
Kunes whistles to himself almost everywhere he goes, and for most of the season he wore the same pair of cleats--complete with holes--when he pitched.
But he was also very effective.
Kunes, a durable junior, completed 12 of his 14 starts, played first base when he didn't pitch, batted cleanup and helped the Chancellors (29-4) reach the City Section 4-A Division final.
Kunes, The Times' Valley player of the year, finished 12-2 with a 1.77 earned-run average and 82 strikeouts in 98 innings.
In the City 4-A championship game last week at Dodger Stadium, Kunes engaged in a pitchers' duel with Kurt Birkins of El Camino Real before Kunes finally wore down in the 10th inning in a 5-2 loss to the Conquistadores.
In addition to his pitching, Kunes provided a dependable bat in Chatsworth's powerful lineup. He batted .425 with 37 runs batted in in the cleanup spot.