South Philly’s own Mike Koplove is making his second trip to China in less than a year. This time he will be representing Team USA in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. USA Baseball announced the roster for the 2008 U.S. Baseball Team during a Wednesday afternoon selection show.
During a USA Baseball conference call, Manager Davey Johnson spoke highly of the relief pitcher.
“That’s pretty easy,” Johnson said of selecting Koplove. “He is having an outstanding year so far in Triple-A and has pitched in the big leagues. He knows how to pitch. His influence on the pen will be outstanding.”
With the Las Vegas 51’s of the Pacific Coast League, the right-handed pitcher is 1-1 with a 3.40 ERA and seven saves.
Koplove, who has played in the Major Leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians, is pitching this season for the Los Angeles Dodgers Triple-A club in Las Vegas. Following this year’s Olympic Games, baseball will dropped from competition. It means South Philadelphia will have been represented on the first USA Baseball Team in 1984 but the late John Marzano and this year by Koplove. The ’84 squad won the Silver Medal in Los Angeles, dropping the championship game to Japan, 6-3. In four Olympic competitions since, Team USA has won two gold medals and a bronze.
Checkout next week’s South Philly Review and this site for more info on this huge announcement.