Jun 16, 2013

Former Italian /American Pitcher: Mike Magnante (1994-2002)

Michael Anthony Magnante was born on June 17, 1965 in Glendale, California. He had a rough start in his college career, with the L.A. Times writing that people thought Magnante, was the Italian word for “It’s outa here”.

By the late eighties he became a star pitcher at U.C.L.A and was one of the top college pitchers in the country. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 1988 draft by the Kansas City Royals. His success was never equaled, but in 1991 he was 6-1 with a 3.02 ERA getting a big league call up.

In 1992 he was 4-9 with a 4.94 ERA still being used as a starting pitcher. By 1994 he was in the bullpen and would find a home as a quality middle reliever. He spent six seasons in Kansas City before signing with the Houston Astros in 1997 where he went 3-1 with a save and a 2.27 ERA.

On August 22, 1997 he struck out three Cincinnati Reds batters on just nine pitches, becoming the 29th major league pitcher to accomplish the feat. In the 1997 NLDS he appeared in two games allowing three runs in two innings pitched.

His 1998 season was a bit of a drop off going 4-7 with a 4.88 ERA and he was let go to free agency. The next year he signed on in Anaheim with the Angels going 5-2 with a 3.38 ERA in just 53 games pitched. After one season he signed on with the Oakland A’s and enjoyed success as a mid reliever there. He was part of the famed A’s Moneyball teams, winning two A.L. West titles & earning three playoff berths.

In 2001 he appeared in career high 65 games going 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA. In two post seasons in Oakland he didn’t allow any runs with four hits in four innings pitched.

According to the book Money Ball; in 2002 days before he was about to retire, he was denied retirement benefits because the A’s acquired Ricardo Rincon.

In his twelve season career, he made 484 appearances going 26-32 with three saves, 347 strike outs in 617 innings pitched & a 4.08 ERA.

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