But the late Errion, famous for his man defense and conservative
offense, wanted a change at midstream and called up Hess, a sophomore,
from the junior varsity, and Corona del Mar went on to capture the CIF
Southern Section 3-A title, finishing with a nine-game winning streak and
22-5 overall record.
"I think that team might have won CIF, anyway. I was just happy to
have a chance to go up," Hess said from Barcelona, Spain, where the
latest honoree in the Daily Pilot Sports Hall of Fame (celebrating the
millennium) is working on a PhD in business from the University of
Hess, a former UCI standout and German professional player for ART
Dusseldorf in 1991, was actually called up from the Sea Kings' JV his
sophomore year and played on o7 twof7 CIF championship teams.
In baseball, Hess was a shortstop, and when the versatile Pries moved
from short to the pitchers mound, CdM Coach Tom Trager needed a reliable
glove to fill in without disrupting the balance of the lineup, and the
Sea Kings won the CIF 2-A championship.
"I'd like to think both CIF titles were because of me, but I think
Jeff Pries was a little more of the reason," Hess said of the CIF 2-A
baseball Player of the Year that year, who later pitched for UCLA and was
drafted No. 1 by the Yankees.
Hess, a 6-foot, 180-pounder who now speaks English, Spanish and German
and hopes to become a university professor, was an exact match for
Errion's '81 squad that also won the Sea View League title.
"(Errion) never mentioned anything to me before," said Hess, who made
his varsity debut after CdM lost to Costa Mesa, 51-48, and quickly
adapted to Errion's way.
"That team was so mature and talented, it was easy to step in. We knew
who the stars were. Those guys made it so easy to play. I just played the
right position at the right time."
In the 3-A semifinals that year, the Sea Kings defeated La Quinta and
Johnny Rogers, 48-29, in a stellar defensive effort, as Spinn kept Rogers
at bay with only six points.
"I never let (Rogers) forget that," said Hess, who would later play