Oct 21, 2014

Former New Jersey Born Italian / American Player: Mike Colangelo (1999-2002)

Michael Gus Colangelo was born on October 22nd, 1976 in Teaneck, New Jersey. The family moved to Virginia where Colangelo attended High School & George Mason University at Fairfax.

The six foot one right handed hitter, was drafted by the Anaheim Angels in the 21st round of the 1997 amateur draft. He began his career at A ball Cedar Rapids in 1998 batting .277. In 1999 he jumped from AA Eries to AAA Edmonton after batting .339 in 28 games. At Edmonton he continued his hitting, batting .362 in 26 games.

He was brought up to the big leagues, making his debut on June 13th, batting leadoff & playing left field. He was brought up to fill in a roster spot, & made the best of it. He got a base hit off Omar Dahl, in his first NLB at bat. He went 1-3 that day, with a walk in a 3-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. 

But he suffered a major set back, getting injured & missing all of the 2000 season. He was placed on waivers, going to Arizona & then the San Diego Padres.

He got to the Padres big league club in late April, getting two hits & two RBIs in first Padre game, a 12-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. He got six hits in first four games & was batting .429. On May 10th he hit a two run HR, off Tom Glavine in a 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves. On June 20thhe was batting .274 & was sent back to the minors, returning in September. On September 7th, he had his biggest moment, hitting a solo HR off the Diamondbacks; Greg Swindell, breaking a 3-3 tie to win the game.

He played 50 games for the fourth place Padres, batting .242 with two HRs, two doubles, 8 RBIs & a .310 on base %. He was granted free agency & got signed by the Oakland Athletics.

He began the year with the A's but was hitting .240 with no HRs or RBIs after twenty games & was sent to AAA Sacramento. His last two games were in New York, against the AL New York club, just a few miles from his birth town of Teaneck, NJ. He got into the game, in the 9th inning of both of those two games.

He would go the Toronto Blue Jays organization (2003) & play three years in the Florida Marlins organization at AAA Albuquerque (2004-2006). In 2004 he batted .325 with 16 HRs & 73 RBIs for the Isotopes.

Colangelo never got back to the big leagues, in a short three year career he batted .233 with two HRs, four doubles & eight RBIs in 71 games. He played 60 games in various outfield positions.
In his minor league career, he played eight seasons batting .298 with 56 HRs 138 doubles & 293 RBIs in 606 games.

Retirement: Mike Colangelo now runs a baseball camp in Virginia.

Honors: A Pizzeria in Woodridge, New Jersey proudly displays an autograph of Colangelo, recognizing his career.

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