3 Former Major Leaguers and Oregon State University Back-to-Back National Championship Coaches to guide teams this year.
The Mavericks Independent Baseball League announced their managers for the upcoming season. Alan Embree, Daniel Robertson, Tony Torcato and Dave Wong will be at the helm. Embree will manage the Portland Mavericks, Robertson will guide the Campesinos de Salem-Keizer, Torcato will become 13th Manager of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and Wong will take over the Salem Senators.
Alan Embree was a three-sport letterman at Prairie High School in Brush Prairie, Washington, where he won All-Conference Honors and a state championship in baseball. On June 5, 1989, Alan was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 5th round of the 1989 amateur draft. The left-handed pitcher relied primarily on two pitches – a 90-95 mph four-seam fastball and a devastating slider. Alan made his Major League debut with the Cleveland Indians on September 15, 1992. He pitched in the big leagues for 16 years where in 882 games, he pitched 774 innings with 691 strikeouts.
Alan pitched for the Cleveland Indians (1992, 1995-1996), Atlanta Braves (1997-1998), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998), San Francisco Giants (1999-2001), Chicago White Sox (2001), San Diego Padres (2002), Boston Red Sox (2002-2005), New York Yankees (2005), San Diego Padres (2006), Oakland Athletics (2007-2008), and Colorado Rockies (2009).
In 2004, Alan recorded the final out against the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, and the Boston Red Sox went on to win the World Series, and Alan received his World Series ring on Opening Day, 2005. On July 7, 2000, Alan became only the second major league pitcher to win a game without throwing a pitch. This was because he was able to pick Austin Kearns of the Washington Nationals off at first base. His last major league appearance was July 10, 2009, for the Colorado Rockies.
Former Big Leaguer, Daniel Robertson, was born and raised in Fontana, California, and attended and played baseball for Oregon State University. The Beaver outfielder was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2008, and on April 23, 2014, he was traded to the Texas Rangers, and called up to the major league the same day, making his major league debut on April 29, 2014. Daniel ended up spending eleven years in professional baseball with the San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, and Cleveland Indians. He played four seasons at the major league level which included 148 games, he hit 18 doubles, two triples and a home run, accumulating 36 RBI’s, and 6 stolen bases, and finished with a major league career batting average of .262. His last major league appearance was on June 25, 2017, with the Cleveland Indians. He then signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Including his major and minor-league play, Daniel played in nearly 1,200 games, hitting 230 doubles, 44 triples, 44 home runs, and 479 RBI’s.
While playing for the San Diego Padres, Daniel spent the 2008 summer with the Eugene Emeralds, and was honored at the end of the season by being selected as the 2008 Northwest League Most Valuable Player.
Daniel is not a stranger to Independent League Baseball having played for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball in 2018, the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association League of Independent Baseball in 2019, and the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association in 2019. Daniel also coached at his Alma Mater, Oregon State University.
Tony Torcato was born in Woodland, California, and was drafted in the 1st round, out of Woodland High School, in the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Francisco Giants. The left-handed hitting outfielder was assigned to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes for the 1998 season appearing in 59 games, batting .291 with 3 homeruns, 2 triples and 15 doubles.
In 1999, he was promoted to Bakersfield of the High-A California League where he again batted .291 with 4 homeruns and 25 doubles. 2000 saw Tony playing at San Jose of the California League batting .324 with 7 homeruns, and 37 doubles before being promoted to AA Shreveport of the Texas League. In 2001, Tony was promoted to AAA Fresno of the Pacific Coast League where he batted .320.
In 2002, after 130 games in Fresno where he batted .290 with 13 homeruns and 23 doubles, Tony made his major-league debut on July 26th with the San Francisco Giants as a starting right fielder against the Los Angeles Dodgers and hit a single in his very first at-bat off the Dodgers Hideo Nomo. Tony played four seasons with the Giants with a career batting average of .298. His last Major League game was April 21, 2005.
After becoming a free agent after the 2005 season, Tony started the 2006 season in the Italian Baseball League with Grosseto, then signed with the Chicago White Sox, and was assigned to AAA Charlotte Knights. In 2007, he signed with the Seattle Mariners, and after being released, played for the Independent League Long Beach Armada and Chico Outlaws.
Dave Wong was All-Conference as a college pitcher and was NAIA All-American as a football defensive end at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. The Kansas City Royals drafted him in the 19th round of the 1980 amateur draft. He was 2-2 with 5 saves and a 1.90 ERA in 24 games for the 1980 GCL Royals Blue, allowing only 30 hits in 52 innings pitched. He was third in the Gulf Coast League in games pitched, 9th in ERA, and tied for third in saves.
In 1981, the right-hander was 9-6 with 8 saves and a 2.52 ERA in 52 games for the Charleston Royals. He tied for second in the South Atlantic League in pitching appearances, and tied for 7th in saves. The next year, Dave went 4-8 with 15 saves and a 1.79 ERA for the Fort Myers Royals. He tied for third in the Florida State League with 49 games pitched and was third in saves. Wong led Royals minor leaguers in saves while placing 4th in games pitched. Wong was 5-3 with 7 saves and a 3.38 ERA in 50 games for the 1983 Jacksonville Suns. He ended his career by going 2-0 with 2 saves and a 3.52 ERA for Fort Myers in 1984. Wong’s cumulative minor league record was 22-19 with 37 saves a 2.53 ERA in 190 games. He allowed 250 hits and 154 walks in 327 1/3 IP while fanning 244.
Wong was assistant coach at his alma mater in 1985-1986 and at the University of Portland in 1987-1988. He was MVP of the 1988 National Baseball Congress World Series as a member of the Everett Merchants. From 1991-2003, he was back at Willamette University as head coach, going 287-221-3 and setting the school win record. From 2006-2008, he was pitching coach of Oregon State University; his son Joey was an infielder there in 2007-2008. Oregon State won the 2006 College World Series and 2007 College World Series. Among Wong’s pitchers were Kevin Gunderson, Jonah Nickerson and Jorge Reyes, two of whom were named the top player in a College World Series.
The Mavericks League season will begin May 13th when the Portland Mavericks play the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes at Volcanoes Stadium. For further information on the Mavericks League go to www.mavericksindependentleague.com or call the Stadium at 503-390-2225. Ticket packages are currently on sale for all Mavericks League teams.