Randy Knorr

'Little guy' Lombardozzi making big splash with Nationals

Steve Lombardozzi Jr.

The first time Kevin Kelly saw Steve Lombardozzi, he wondered whether the boy could make the throw from shortstop to first base. Lombardozzi was a freshman trying to make the Atholton varsity team. Kelly, the coach, had heard that Lombardozzi, the son of a major leaguer, could play, but he stood 5 feet 2, 110 pounds. "He was a little guy," Kelly said.

Lombardozzi made the team, but Kelly played him at double-play depth at all times, just so he could make the throw. In the coming years, Lombardozzi played such flawless defense that scouts came to Atholton to watch him. They would tell Kelly that Lombardozzi did not possess the size or the arm strength to play...