While the Angels franchise has made its mark in the city of Los Angeles with the blockbuster acquisitions of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, a most unlikely source is advancing the Halos' campaign to take over the City of Angels.
Scioscia played his entire 13-year MLB career with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Former Dodgers VP Al Campanis referred to Scioscia, who was known as a defensive specialist around the National League, as "the best plate-blocking catcher" he had seen in his 46 years around the sport.
Tommy Lasorda—who was once Scioscia's manager—thought the world of Mike, deflecting criticism levied against Scioscia when Lasorda made him the Dodgers' No. 1 catcher: "I did not make Scioscia the number one catcher because he’s Italian. I made him the number one catcher because I’m Italian!"
Scioscia was a two-time All-Star with Los Angeles, helping the Dodgers win the 1981 and 1988 World Series. His down-to-the-wire ninth inning, game-tying home run against the New York Mets in Game 4 of the 1988 NLCS set the stage for Kirk Gibson's 12th inning game-winning dinger.
When Scioscia was named the Angels manager in 2000, it took him all of three years to take a fledgling Anaheim Angels ball club and turn the team into 2002 World Series champions.
Under Scioscia's tutelage, the Angels have won the American League West five times. In 2011, they were ranked fourth by ESPN on its list of Ultimate Team Rankings, the highest spot taken by any team in baseball and behind the Green Bay Packers (NFL), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) and New Orleans Saints (NFL).
A true Tinseltown treat, Scioscia appeared alongside Don Mattingly and several other MLB stars during the 1992 episode of The Simpsons entitled "Homer at the Bat."
Since becoming a manager, only Scioscia—not Dodgers skippers Jim Tracy, Grady Little, Joe Torre or Mattingly—has appeared on the show.
And without Mike Scioscia, how else would I know where to shop for my appliance and big screen needs?
Scioscia joins Gibson—the current Arizona Diamondbacks skipper—as the only two active players or coaches who will be featured in an opposing team's bobblehead promotion this season. Gibson's bobblehead will be given away on July 31 when the D-Backs visit Dodger Stadium.
First pitch for both the Scioscia and Gibson promotional games is scheduled for 7:10 pm.