Mike Scioscia Player Contract
RARE Topps Baseball Card Signed Player Contract signed by Mike Scioscia. Direct from Topps' legendary Vault, this item features an original Topps baseball card contract. Contract is signed and dated by the player, as well as an official representative of the Topps Co. Contract measures 8 1/2" X 11" in size and is dated 3/26/1990. By signing this contract, Scioscia received a bonus payment of $75.
This also comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from The Topps Vault.
Michael Lorri "Mike" Scioscia (pronounced /ˈsoʊ̪ʃə/; born November 27, 1958 in Morton, Pennsylvania) is a former catcher and current Major League Baseball manager. He is often referred to by the nickname Sosh.
Since 1999, he has served as the manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Scioscia led the Angels to their first World Series championship in 2002 as a wild card entry, as well as to American League West division titles in 2004 (their first since 1986) 2005, 2007 and 2008.
In his playing days, Scioscia spent his entire career (1980-1992) with the Los Angeles Dodgers, with whom he won two World Series (1981 and 1988) and hit a memorable home run in the 1988 NLCS.
Mike 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 Upper Darby High School, a public school located in the suburbs of Philadelphia in 1976.
When I made Mike the No. 1 catcher, the writers 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 Mike 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.
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 order—an 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 against the New York Mets' Dwight Gooden in the 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.) Scioscia caught two no-hitters in his career, thrown by Fernando Valenzuela on June 29, 1990 vs. the St. Louis Cardinals and by Kevin Gross on August 17, 1992 vs. the San Francisco Giants. In 1990, Scioscia became the first Dodger catcher to start in an All-Star Game since Hall of Famer Roy Campanella. Mickey Hatcher and Alfredo Griffin, Scioscia's teammates from the 1988 Dodger team, are currently on Scioscia's coaching staff with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
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 signed with the San Diego Padres and then the Texas Rangers after leaving the Dodgers, but he did not play a regular-season game due to injury.
After spending several years as a coach in the Dodgers organization, new Angels general manager Bill Stoneman hired Scioscia as the Angels' field manager after the 1999 season following the late-season resignation of Terry Collins.
Under the leadership of Stoneman and Scioscia, the Angels ended their 15-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.
Scioscia was honored as 2002 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). 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 success never before seen in franchise history, winning four American League West division titles in five years (surpassing the number won by all previous Angels managers combined); however, they have yet to win another American League pennant or World Series.
Scioscia is currently 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 is also currently the longest tenured manager in the American League, and third longest in MLB behind Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox.
Scioscia is one of the few managers in the Major Leagues who is multi-lingual, an especially rare skill for a manager who is not a native Spanish speaker. Similar to his mentor, Tommy Lasorda, he has used his ability to speak Italian to ease the learning curve with Spanish. Scioscia's Spanish is fluent enough that he often gives interviews in Spanish. His skill with the language is particularly useful with the Angels, as the team currently includes many Latin American players and since the Los Angeles area has a large Hispanic contingent.
Scioscia wore #14 for the majority of his playing career, and he currently continues to wear that same uniform number as a manager. The number is seldom seen nowadays since Scioscia rarely appears without an Angels jacket or windshirt over his jersey.
In 2007 Scioscia, a native of Morton, PA, was named to the Delaware County, PA Sports Hall of Fame. He attended Springfield High School in Springfield, PA, and Penn State University in State College, PA.
Scioscia is featured along with Fernando Valenzuela and Jack Perconte on his 1981 Topps rookie baseball card.
In addition to his more orthodox work in baseball, Scioscia is also notable for a guest appearance as himself on The Simpsons 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. Eventually his character suffers from radiation poisoning.
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 acts a celebrity endorser of the Howard's Appliance & Big Screen Superstore chain in Southern California.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com (old stock certificate research service).