Photo by Anthony Mair
Does a Henderson middle school teacher really have a chance against six-time Major League Baseball All-Star Jose Canseco in a softball home-run-hitting contest? You better believe it.
Denny Crine, a physical education and health teacher at Mannion Middle School, is competing against the 1988 American League MVP in the “Battle of the Titans” on July 11 at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. The event will benefit the ALS Association’s Golden West Chapter.
Crine didn’t win a contest or drawing to get his shot against Canseco—he’d already built himself an outsize reputation: The 6-foot-7, 300-pound Henderson native is a two-time season winner on the Long Haul Bombers Stadium Power Tour, in which softball-bat manufacturers send their top contracted sluggers to major-league stadiums for hitting exhibitions before big-league games.
So while Canseco hit 462 in 17 major-league seasons, Crine is confident he’ll walk away the winner.
“He’s got a baseball swing, so when he hits it, it goes a long way,” Crine says. “But sometimes he puts topspin on it. Distance-wise, I would say he might have the advantage. But from a standpoint of who hits the most, I’ll have the advantage there.”