Mike Scioscia

Michael Lorri Scioscia (/ˈsʃə/, SOH-shə; born November 27, 1958), nicknamed "Sosh" and "El Jefe",[1] is an American former Major League Baseball catcher and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). He managed the Anaheim / Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim / Los Angeles Angels from the 2000 season through the 2018 season, and was the longest-tenured manager in Major League Baseball and second-longest-tenured coach/manager in the "Big Four" (MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA), behind only Gregg Popovich at the time of his retirement. As a player, Scioscia made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1980. He was selected to two All-Star Games and won two World Series over the course of his 13-year MLB career, which was spent entirely with the Dodgers; this made him the only person in MLB history to spend his entire playing career with one team and entire managing career with another team with 10+ years in both places. He was signed by the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers late in his career, but never appeared in a major league game for either team due to injury.

Mike Scioscia
Scioscia at the MLB Winter Meetings in 2015
Catcher / Manager
Born: (1958-11-27) November 27, 1958
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Batted: Left
Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 20, 1980, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1992, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average.259
Home runs68
Runs batted in446
Managerial record1,650–1,428
Winning %.536
As player

As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards

After his playing career ended, Scioscia spent several seasons as a minor league manager and major league coach in the Dodgers organization before being hired as the Angels manager after the 1999 season. As a manager, Scioscia led the Angels to their only-to-date World Series championship in 2002. He is the Angels' all-time managerial leader in wins, games managed, and division titles. Scioscia was honored with the American League Manager of the Year Award in 2002 and 2009. On May 8, 2011, Scioscia became the 56th manager to win 1,000 or more games, and the 23rd to have all 1,000 or more victories with a single team.[2]

Playing career

Scioscia was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1st round (19th overall pick) of the 1976 amateur draft, debuting for the Dodgers in 1980 (replacing Steve Yeager) and went on to play 12 years for the team. Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda helped lobby Scioscia to sign with the Dodgers after the team drafted him out of Springfield (Delaware County) High School, a public school located in the suburbs of Philadelphia in 1976.

Scioscia made himself invaluable to the Dodgers by making the effort to learn Spanish in order to better communicate with rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.

When I made Mike the No. 1 catcher, the writers (referring to sportswriters in the 1980s) came to me and said, "[Competing catcher] Steve Yeager said you made Scioscia the No. 1 catcher because he's Italian." I said, "That's a lie. I made him the No. 1 catcher because I'm Italian."

Tommy Lasorda

Scioscia went to the San Diego Padres in 1993, but suffered a torn rotator cuff injury during spring training that year and did not play in any regular season games for the team. He closed out his career with the Texas Rangers in 1994 after a failed attempt to come back from the injury, again without having played in any regular season games that year.

Exclusively a catcher, the 6-foot, 2-inch, 230 pound Scioscia was primarily known for his defense. Former Dodgers vice president Al Campanis once called Scioscia the best plate-blocking catcher he had seen in his 46-year baseball career. In one collision with St. Louis Cardinals' slugger Jack Clark in July 1985, Scioscia was knocked unconscious but still held onto the ball. Scioscia, however, has claimed he had an even harder plate collision the following season.

The one collision that absolutely I got hit harder than anybody else was Chili Davis in 1986 when he was with the Giants. Chili plays hard; he's 6' 3", looks like Apollo Creed, got a nice lean. I saw stars. That was the hardest I've been hit, including my years of playing football. It was a heck of a collision…He was out that time. We were both out.

Mike Scioscia

Scioscia's technique for blocking the plate and making a tag varied slightly from the traditional manner employed by most catchers. When applying the tag, most catchers hold the baseball in their bare hand, with that hand then being inside their catcher's mitt to apply the tag with both hands. Scioscia preferred to hold the ball in his catcher's mitt without making use of his bare hand. Also, Scioscia felt he was less prone to injury in a collision if positioned his body so that he was kneeling on both knees and turned to the side, whereas most catchers make their tag either standing or on one knee.

Indeed, Scioscia was noted for his durability. After missing most of the 1983 season after tearing his rotator cuff, Scioscia played in more than 100 games each season for the remainder of his career with the Dodgers. Offensively, Scioscia was generally unspectacular, but he was known as a solid contact hitter, striking out fewer than once every 14 at-bats over the course of his career. Because of his ability to make contact, he was sometimes used as the second hitter in the batting orderan atypical slot for a player with Scioscia's large-set frame and overall batting average. He had a particularly strong season on offense in 1985, batting .296 and finishing second in the National League in on-base percentage.

Scioscia also hit a dramatic, ninth inning, game-tying home run off the New York Mets' Dwight Gooden in Game 4 of the 1988 National League Championship Series. With the Dodgers going on to win that game in extra innings, Scioscia's blast (which came after he had hit only three home runs that entire season) proved crucial to the Dodgers' ultimately prevailing in that series.

Scioscia was a key player on the Dodgers' 1981 and 1988 World Series champion teams, and is the Dodgers' all-time leader in games caught (1,395). In 1990, Scioscia became the first Dodger catcher to start in an All-Star Game since Hall of Famer Roy Campanella. Alfredo Griffin, Scioscia's teammate from the 1988 Dodger team, served on Scioscia's coaching staff with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from 2000-2018. Scioscia earned as much as $2,183,333/year in salary toward the end of his career, and earned the unofficial total sum of $10,109,999 over his career.

Scioscia was involved in three no-hitters in his career: he was on the losing end of Nolan Ryan's 5th no-no on September 26, 1981 vs. the Houston Astros, and on the winning side, he caught Fernando Valenzuela's on June 29, 1990 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals and Kevin Gross's on August 17, 1992 vs. the San Francisco Giants. He caught 136 shutouts during his career, ranking him fourth all-time among major league catchers.[3] Scioscia used the same catcher's mitt for most of his playing career.[4]

Career statistics

1,441 4,373 398 1,131 198 12 68 446 567 307 29 .259 .356 .344 .988

Managerial career

Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels

After spending several years as a coach in the Dodgers' organization, Scioscia was hired by new Angels general manager Bill Stoneman to be the Angels' manager after the 1999 season, following the late-season resignation of Terry Collins and interim managerial tenure of Joe Maddon. Scioscia would retain Maddon as an assistant until Maddon received his own managerial position with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2006.

Under the leadership of Stoneman and Scioscia, the Angels ended their 16-year playoff drought in 2002, winning the AL Wild Card and ultimately winning the franchise's first World Series, a series that pitted the Angels against a San Francisco Giants team managed by Scioscia's former Dodgers teammate Dusty Baker. In winning the series, Scioscia became the 17th person to win a World Series as both a player and a manager (not including those who won as a player-manager).

Scioscia arguing with an umpire in 2005

Scioscia was honored as 2002 American League Manager of Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (the official Manager of the Year award, as recognized by Major League Baseball).[5] He was also named 2002 A.L. Manager of the Year by The Sporting News, USA Today Sports Weekly, and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. He was further named the overall Major League 2002 Manager of the Year by Baseball America.

The Angels under Scioscia would go on to enjoy a period of on-field success never before seen in franchise history, winning five American League West division titles in six years (surpassing the number won by all previous Angels managers combined). Scioscia's Angels broke the franchise single-season win record with 99 wins in 2002, and again with 100 wins in 2008. However, they have yet to win another American League pennant or World Series since their memorable 2002 run.

Scioscia is the Angels' all-time leader in wins and games managed, surpassing original manager Bill Rigney's totals in both categories in 2007 and 2008, respectively. He was also the longest tenured manager in Major League Baseball. In January 2009, he received a multi-year extension on his contract; his former contract ran through the 2010 season. The number of additional years created through this contract was 10 years, through 2018.[6] Scioscia was honored as 2009 American League Major League Manager of Year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (the official Manager of the Year award, as recognized by Major League Baseball).[7]

Scioscia in 2011

Scioscia became the first manager to reach the playoffs in six of his first ten seasons.[8] On May 8, 2011, the Angels defeated the Cleveland Indians, which marked Scioscia's 1,000th win as a major league manager.[9][10]

A rift developed between Scioscia and Jerry Dipoto, the Angels' general manager, when Dipoto fired Mickey Hatcher from the role of the team's hitting coach in 2012.[11] Despite rumors that the Angels might replace either Dipoto or Scioscia after the 2013 season,[12] Moreno announced that both would return to the Angels for the 2014 season.[13]

Tension between Dipoto and Scioscia continued during the 2015 season regarding the way Scioscia and his coaches delivered statistical reports developed by Dipoto and the front office to their players.[14] Dipoto resigned his post on July 1, 2015, despite efforts from the Angels to convince him to stay.[15] Former Angels general manager Bill Stoneman, who hired Scioscia before the 2000 season, was hired as the interim GM.

After 19 seasons as manager, following the conclusion of the 2018 season, Scioscia announced that he would step down as manager of the Angels on September 30, 2018.[16] He finished with a record of 1650 wins and 1428 losses.[5]

United States national team

Scioscia at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in 2021

On April 6, 2021, USA Baseball announced that Scioscia would manage the United States national baseball team during qualifying for baseball at the 2020 Summer Olympics, held in Tokyo in 2021.[17] The team subsequently qualified, with Scioscia serving as manager for the Olympics.[18] The team went on to win silver, falling to Japan in the gold-medal game.[19]

Managerial record

As of games played on September 30, 2018.
TeamYearRegular seasonPostseason
GamesWonLostWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
ANA2000 1628280.5063rd in AL West
ANA2001 1627587.4633rd in AL West
ANA2002 1629963.6112nd in AL West115.688Won World Series (SF)
ANA2003 1627785.4753rd in AL West
ANA2004 1629270.5681st in AL West03.000Lost ALDS (BOS)
LAA2005 1629567.5861st in AL West46.400Lost ALCS (CWS)
LAA2006 1628973.5492nd in AL West
LAA2007 1629468.5801st in AL West03.000Lost ALDS (BOS)
LAA2008 16210062.6171st in AL West13.250Lost ALDS (BOS)
LAA2009 1629765.5991st in AL West54.556Lost ALCS (NYY)
LAA2010 1628082.4942nd in AL West
LAA2011 1628676.5312nd in AL West
LAA2012 1628973.5493rd in AL West
LAA2013 1627884.4813rd in AL West
LAA2014 1629864.6051st in AL West03.000Lost ALDS (KC)
LAA2015 1628577.5253rd in AL West
LAA2016 1627488.4574th in AL West
LAA2017 1628082.4942nd in AL West
LAA2018 1628082.4944th in AL West
Total Ref.:[5]307816501428.5362127.438

Television appearances

In addition to his more orthodox work in baseball, Scioscia is also notable for a guest appearance as himself on The Simpsons episode "Homer at the Bat" in 1992, while he was still a player. In the storyline, Scioscia is one of several Major League players recruited by Smithers to work a token job at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant so that he could play on the plant's softball team against a rival power plant. Scioscia tells Smithers, who found him while deer hunting, that while he enjoyed playing baseball, he always wanted to be a blue collar power plant employee, and consequently is the only player who takes the power plant job seriously. His character is ultimately hospitalized with a life-threatening case of radiation poisoning that leaves him unable to play.

They called and asked if I'd be interested in doing it, and it so happened that it was my favorite show. I was excited . . . Every year I get a (residual) check for like $4 . . . I cash 'em. I don't want to mess up their accounting department.

Mike Scioscia, about his appearance on The Simpsons

Scioscia made a second appearance on The Simpsons with the episode "MoneyBart", which premiered on October 10, 2010. Having survived the radiation poisoning, he tells Marge and Bart that it gave him superhuman managing powers and that the best players listen to their managers.

Scioscia acted as a celebrity endorser of the Howard's Appliance & Big Screen Superstore chain in Southern California.

Personal life

Early in his career after signing with the Dodgers, Scioscia spent the off-seasons attending Penn State University, working toward a computer science degree.[20] Scioscia and his wife Anne have two children and reside in Westlake Village, California.[21]

Their son Matthew, who played baseball for Notre Dame,[22] was selected in the 45th round by the Angels in the 2011 MLB Draft. He signed on June 20, and was assigned to the AZL Angels.[23] He was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Trevor Gretzky, son of Wayne Gretzky, on March 20, 2014.[24] He was released by the Windy City ThunderBolts on June 14.[25]

See also

  • List of Major League Baseball All-Star Game managers
  • List of Major League Baseball career putouts as a catcher leaders
  • List of Major League Baseball players who spent their entire career with one franchise
  • List of Major League Baseball managers by wins


  1. Digiovanna, Mike (September 28, 2018). "Mike Scioscia's influence is felt across the majors as his 19-year leadership of the Angels come to a close". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  2. Roberts, Quinn. "Aybar's double gives Scioscia 1,000th win". mlb.com. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  3. "The Encyclopedia of Catchers - Trivia December 2010 - Career Shutouts Caught". The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  4. Stone, Larry (August 2004). "For The Love of a Glove". Baseball Digest. Vol. 63. ISSN 0005-609X.
  5. "Mike Scioscia". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  6. Spencer, Lyle (January 6, 2009). "Scioscia's deal longer than reported". MLB.com. Retrieved January 6, 2009.
  7. "Tracy, Scioscia named top managers". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 18, 2009.
  8. Baxter, Kevin (October 7, 2009). "Angels are a reflection of Mike Scioscia". Los Angeles Times.
  9. "Angels fend off Indians with late surge to get Mike Scioscia to 1,000 wins". ESPN. Associated Press. May 8, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  10. Angulo, Blair (May 9, 2011). "Mike Scioscia gets 1,000th career win". ESPNLosAngeles.com. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  11. "Dipoto decides to step down as Angels GM". Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  12. "Mike Scioscia refutes reported rift". ESPN.com. 25 August 2013. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  13. "Scioscia, Dipoto to return in 2014". Major League Baseball. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  14. "Pujols on leak of reported rift between Scioscia, Dipoto: 'We're supposed to be family'". July 2015.
  15. Digiovanna, Mike (July 1, 2015). "Jerry Dipoto resigns as Angels general manager". LA Times. Retrieved July 1, 2015.
  16. "Manager Mike Scioscia says he won't be back with Angels for 2019 season". ESPN.com. ESPN, Inc. 30 September 2018. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  17. "Mike Scioscia Named Team USA Manager". usabaseball.com. USA Baseball. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  18. Rhim, Kris; Speier, Alex (July 2, 2021). "Red Sox minor-leaguers Triston Casas, Jack Lopez named to US baseball team for Olympics". Boston.com. Retrieved July 3, 2021.
  19. "Baseball/Softball - United States vs Japan - Gold Medal Game Results". Olympics.com. August 7, 2021. Archived from the original on August 16, 2021. Retrieved August 8, 2021.
  20. Sample Player Profile Page. "SCIOSCIA, MIKE". Player Profiles. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  21. Alperstein, Ellen (2020-01-15). "The Thomas fire was the best thing that ever happened to Tommy the horse". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  22. "Matt Scioscia" Notre Dame Athletics accessed July 20, 2014
  23. "Angels Transactions"
  24. "Angels trade son of Mike Scioscia for son of Wayne Gretzky" FoxSports.com accessed July 20, 2014
  25. "Frontier League Transactions" frontierleague.com accessed July 20, 2014

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