Babe Ruth, Al Kaline, Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove -- some pretty fine company by baseball standards.

On Feb. 17, Hampstead native Moose Haas will join that select group when he's inducted into the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame.

Haas was an early bloomer, starting at Franklin High in BaltimoreCounty, where he was a dominating hurler even as a sophomore.

Drafted right out of high school by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1974, the right-hander was in the big leagues by 1976 at the tender age of 20.

He's doing it again with his Maryland Hall induction at the relatively young age of 35 -- becoming its 145th member at a luncheon honoring him and three other 1992 inductees at Martin's West in Baltimore County.

"I first learned about the induction through my parents in Hampstead," Haas said in a telephone interview from his ranch in CaveCreek, Ariz., where he raises thoroughbred race horses.

"I'll be in with some great company; you got the Kalines and the Ruths and so on. I don't compare myself to them, but I'm sure pleased and honored being in their company. I'm really looking forward to seeing everybody at home and having fun."

Haas played 12 major-league seasons -- 10 with Milwaukee and his final two with the Oakland Athletics -- before retiring after the 1987 season.

In the majors, he compiled a 100-83 record with a 4.01earned-run average. His best years came in 1980, with a 16-15 record and a 3.11 ERA, and 1983, when he went 13-3 with a 3.27 ERA.

Growing up a Baltimore Orioles fan, it's no surprise his most memorable moment came at Memorial Stadium.

"Shutting out Baltimore at Memorial Stadium had to be right up there," Haas said.

"Growing up watching the likes of Brooks Robinson, Frank (Robinson), Jim Palmer and there's many others, it was really fun for me to do that."

Another highlight came on April 12, 1978 when Haas struck out 14 in a game against the Yankees -- still a Brewers record. Haas' high school coach, Carl Allender, remembers the day.

"He struckout Reggie (Jackson) four times," Allender said. "It was a day game,and we were having practice at Franklin listening to it on the radio. He finished with 14 K's that day."

Haas' high school days are legendary -- capped by his senior year, when he went 7-0 with two no-hitters and a 0.00 ERA. In three years at Franklin, he struck out two of every three batters he faced.

"He had a great fastball and curvein high school and took it with him right to the big leagues," Allender said.

"Moose had great poise and a very fluid delivery, it wasas smooth as water going over a waterfall. He was a real nice kid who had great confidence in his ability, and that's what it takes to make the big leagues."

His No. 1 fans are his parents, George and Dorothy, who are responsible for giving him his nickname "Moose."

"He's about 6-foot-1, 195 -- that's no moose," George said.

"But he was a big kid at 3 and 4. Broad shoulders with the big arms. I told his mother 'This kid might be a moose.' It lasted through high school and the pros."

And now through the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame -- with Babe and Lefty.

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