Former Payson High School baseball pitching star Tom Canale, who was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in June, signed a professional baseball contract five days after he was chosen. According to his mom, Therese, he received a signing bonus of about $60,000 and is currently playing for the Indians' Class A affiliate in Mahoney Valley, Ohio.
A starter since he played Little League in Payson, Tom is now adjusting to the role of a relief pitcher.
Because he threw more than 100 innings last spring as the star pitcher for Cal Lutheran University, pro coaches use him sparingly to save his young arm.
According to his mom, about a week ago he suffered a partially collapsed lung an ailment that sometimes afflicts young athletes and was placed on the disabled list. She says he'll probably return to active duty next week.
Local baseball fans will be in for a special treat next week when the Little League Area One post-season tournament is played at the Payson High girls softball field.
The best young players from Tuba City, Winslow, Page, Payson and Flagstaff will clash during the four-day shoot-out. The tournament gives fans plenty of opportunity to take in their favorite sport.
The first pitch will be thrown at 10 a.m. Monday when Flagstaff takes on Mount Elder.
At 1 p.m., Tuba City plays Continental which will be followed at 5 p.m. by the Coconino/Page encounter. The Payson All-Stars jump into the fray at 8 p.m., taking on always-tough Winslow.
Second-round contests and losers' bracket games will be played Tuesday and Wednesday. The championship game is set for 8 p.m. July 13. The consolation championship will be played at 1 p.m. July 14.
If the Payson All-Stars are fortunate enough to emerge among the tournament's top two finishers, the team will earn a spot in the district finals which begin July 17 in Payson.