BURBANK -- Las Vegas is a place to take chances and try one's luck
at a variety of games.
For Mike Magnante, Sin City is proving to be a destination of
success in the sport of baseball.
Magnante, 37, a former Burroughs High standout left-handed
pitcher, is doing well for the Las Vegas 51s, the triple-A affiliate
of the L.A. Dodgers.
Sunday, Magnante enjoyed a rare minor-league win as Las Vegas came
from behind to defeat the Tucson Sidewinders, 7-6. He hurled two
perfect relief innings to earn his first triple-A victory since 1997.
With Magnante the pitcher of record in the eighth inning, 51s'
Jeff Branson drove in the go-ahead run with two outs.
In four games with Las Vegas, Magnante has a 1-0 record, a 0.00
earned-run average and has allowed three hits, a walk and struck out
one in three innings.
Magnante -- who still makes his home in Burbank -- signed with the
Dodgers Aug. 16 after being released by the Oakland Athletics last
month. He was then assigned to the triple-A team.
Magnante joined a 51s team that is enjoying a winning season. In
fact, tickets for Las Vegas' first Pacific Coast League playoff
series since 1996 went on sale Monday. The team will host the
Edmonton Trappers Sept. 4 and 5 at Cashman Field for the first round
of the 2002 playoffs.
With an 11-5 win against Nashville Monday, the 51s are in first
place in the Pacific Coast League Southern Division with an 81-56
record, 12 1/2 games ahead of Tucson.
The former Indian and UCLA hurler is in the minors hoping to earn
a call-up to the Dodgers. However, with a players' strike set for
Friday, Magnante will likely stay in the minors unless n agreement is
Mainly, the Major League Players Assn. and the owners are at odds
over a payroll tax -- a salary-restraint tool that the owners deem
essential to establish a competitive balance.
Magnante has 12 major-league seasons under his belt, playing for
He has a career 26-32 record and a 4.08 earned-run average with three
saves. He has 347 strike outs and 234 walks.
Along with his major-league experience, Magnante was also a star
pitcher in college at UCLA. He was an Academic All-American for the
Bruins and was inducted into the UCLA Baseball Hall of Fame in