Assured Hall of Famer Mike Scioscia Steps Down After 19 Years
USA — October 1, 2018
News that long-time Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia stepped down after 19 years saddened a throng of fans. 19 seasons of Angels magic ended on Sunday appropriately though, as the baseball great’s club managed a come-from-behind victory over the Oakland A’s.
Who can forget Scioscia’s catching days he played for the legendary Tommy Lasorda and the Dodgers. Scioscia, who played catcher in two World Series wins, was one of the most durable players in MLB history. Fans remember Scioscia becoming the first Dodger catcher to start in an All-Star Game since Hall of Famer Roy Campanella. But as great a catcher as the Scioscia was, it was managing and mentoring he excelled at.
News reports of the Angels’ stalwart leader’s emotional farewell remind this old baseball player and fan how fast the greats come and go. Like his mentor Lasorda, Scioscia would become legendary , and he even surpassed the famous Dodgers ramrod by edging out his 1,599 wins with 1,650. His .536 wine percentage was not shabby either, and the Angels’ only World Series crown (2002) came under his guidance too.
In all Scioscia stepped down with the 18th-most managerial wins in major league history, and the second-most with one team, trailing only Walter Alston’s 2,040 with the Dodgers. But this year the Angels had another losing season (80-82) breaking the club record for consecutive losers. So, it seems fitting he let go of the reins on the final year of his contract, at age 59. He commented in a previous moment on his illustrious career, and how the fates have their way in baseball:
“I have a deep passion for this game. I love it, I love managing, but in this game, you never know where or when your next opportunity comes. If I get another chance, great. If not, I’m going to take the great experience I had here and moved forward.”
The assured Hall of Famer bid a farewell, and thanked his current and former players, coaches and Angels fans. It was a fitting exclamation point on a stupendous career when Angels 3rd baseman Taylor Ward slammed a two-run, ninth-inning homer to punctuate Scioscia’s time with the Angels.
Scioscia grew up in the Philadelphia area to become a first-round pick by the Dodgers in 1976. He reached the majors in 1980 and spent his entire career with the Lasorda led Dodgers. He was also the Dodgers coach before taking the Angels manager position.
Speculation is rampant already as to who will guide the Angels in the upcoming season. The scuttlebutt runs form Angels coach Josh Paul, to the Mets’ Gary DiSarcina , and of course Buck Showalter, John Gibbons, Paul Molitor and others that lead a long list of other candidates. How quickly the news turns on even the greats of baseball.