Padres Klesko sees Oregon in his future
PEORIA, Ariz. Ñ When Ryan Klesko retires from baseball, you might find him in the wilds of Central Oregon a little more often.
The San Diego slugger spends several weeks each offseason at his house on a 9,000-acre spread he purchased three years ago in Mitchell, 15 miles from the John Day River. Among Klesko's guests last winter were Padre manager Bruce Bochy and former teammates Bobby Jones and John Rocker.
'Some of the guys come to hunt, some come to just hang out,' says Klesko, who times his visits with Oregon's hunting seasons. 'We did some mule deer and elk hunting, some fishing, some horseback riding. It is beautiful up there. Just wish I had more time. When I retire, I am planning to spend a lot more time up there.'
nÊTonya Harding enters her third pro boxing bout in Oklahoma City on March 28 coming off a decisive victory.
She scored a unanimous decision over Shannon Birmingham in Saturday's card at Gulfport, Miss. Harding had lost her pro debut on Feb. 22 in Memphis.
'Tonya did real well,' says her trainer, Jeff Hargis. 'She landed a whole lot of right hands. She staggered (Birmingham) several times but couldn't finish her off. That's just a lack of ring experience.'
Hargis says a standing-room-only crowd of about 3,000 was on hand for the card, which featured heavyweight Tim Witherspoon in the main event.
'The amazing thing was, we dressed after our fight and came out to watch the Witherspoon fight, and I'll bet more than 2,000 people had left the building,' Hargis says. 'I guess they came to watch Tonya fight.'
• Oregon State's basketball program has added an important piece in Jim Hanchett, a 6-6, 225-pound sophomore from Utah Valley State.
Hanchett averaged 15.1 points and a team-high 11.2 rebounds, the latter figure sixth in the nation among junior college players this season. Hanchett (pronounced 'Han-sett'), who played for OSU assistant coach Jeff Reinert as a freshman, was voted the second-best player in his conference as a sophomore. He turned down scholarship opportunities with Pepperdine and Creighton and also was recruited by Brigham Young.
Reinert 'is a great guy, and I was impressed with coach (Jay) John,' Hanchett says. 'I kind of saw a little glimpse of what his vision for the rebuilding process is at Oregon State.'
Hanchett, who turns 22 in November, is considerably more mature than the average OSU newcomer. The son of an Army chaplain, he has lived in many parts of the country, graduating from high school in Atlanta. He is married and went on a two-year Mormon mission between his freshman and sophomore seasons at Utah Valley State.
'I enjoyed my visit to Corvallis,' Hanchett says. 'My wife and I could see how the fan base there is amazing. Everybody wants nothing but success for that team. Being part of a rebuilding process is intriguing to me.'
Hanchett already is enrolled for spring term at OSU and doesn't count against the Beavers' scholarship limit this season. They can sign three more players in addition to the two prep players who already have signed Ñ 7-2 Liam Hughes, an English native playing for Modesto (Calif.) Christian, and 6-9 Kyle Jeffers of Santa Rosa, Calif.
• Mike Riley expects to complete his OSU football coaching staff with the addition of LaCharles McDaniel, who played and coached for the Washington Redskins and was special teams/wide receivers coach at San Diego State last season. McDaniel will coach special teams for the Beavers.
nÊSeattle point guard Aaron Brooks, who will play for the Oregon Ducks next season, led Franklin High to the Washington Class 4A title with 38 points against Mead on Saturday. Did it with a strange new hairstyle, too. Brooks promised his mother that he would cut his hair if Franklin made the final. He came out with a swirl pattern cut into the left side of his head that was a cross between a crop circle and Mike Tyson's facial tattoo.