Catcher Stephen Vogt is retiring after 10 big league seasons
Catcher Stephen Vogt is retiring after 10 big league seasons: California’s OAKLAND (AP) — Stephen Vogt, a seasoned catcher for the Oakland Athletics, will retire after 10 seasons in the major league and an arduous, patient journey to make it there at age 27. Not to add that it took him about 15 months before he received his first hit. Vogt had a 0-for-32 hitless streak to begin his career, which lasted from Tampa Bay to the East Bay of San Francisco.
Vogt told The Associated Press that it took him around a year and a half from his first at-bat until he recorded his first hit. I was unable to accept what had transpired. After 32 at-bats, I received a pitch to hit in my 33rd at-bat, and happily, I recorded my first hit. The longest hitless skid by a non-pitcher to start a career since Chris Carter started 0-for-33 with the A’s in 2010 was finally broken on June 28, 2013, by a line-drive homer off Cardinals reliever Joe Kelly.
Despite all of that, Vogt finally became a two-time All-Star and developed his own catchphrase, “I believe in Stephen Vogt!” from supporters who understood his journey and challenges. Vogter is among the most motivating players I’ve ever managed, according to former A’s manager and current San Diego manager Bob Melvin. “What he represents to a clubhouse is enormous — a revered local hero in Oakland and a two-time All-Star. One of my favorite things ever. has a bright future in management.
With the exception of high-fiving third base coach Mike Gallego as he turned for home, Vogt exhibited little emotion as he raced the bases for his first game hit. Randy, Vogt’s father, had trained him to be modest and to choose his battles. Vogt recalls only three occasions when he raised an arm or a fist in triumph after a good hit, and he warns his own kids from flipping their bats.
The 37-year-old journeyman pitcher has spent time with Tampa Bay, Oakland, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Arizona, and Atlanta before returning to the A’s this season. At Oakland’s season finale against the Angels on October 5 at home, he will be recognized. In spite of the 9-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, he did display some happiness after hitting a three-run triple, thumping his chest, and pointing to the dugout.
I distinctly recall asking my father, “Dad, why does Barry Bonds stand at home plate and watch?” back when I was a huge Barry Bonds fan. When I was a kid, it was his well-known spin-the-circle trick,” Vogt recounted. “Stephen, you can do whatever you want after you hit 500 home runs in the major leagues, he added. You put your bat down and race the bases until then.'”
Few months after his initial breakthrough, in October 2013, Vogt made one of those exceptions. In the postseason, he hit a single off Rick Porcello to beat the Tigers 1-0 and tie the best-of-five AL Division Series at one run each. This was his first career game-winning hit. In a 10-pitch at-bat that concluded the eighth with his third K, Vogt fouled off seven pitches after striking out twice against Justin Verlander. The game was won by Vogt’s second at-bat when he singled with the bases loaded into left center.
Vogt’s career was threatened by a serious shoulder injury sustained in May 2018 while he was rehabbing with Milwaukee, but he overcame surgery and a protracted recovery period to sign with the Giants in 2019. He started the season with the Diamondbacks the previous year before being traded to the Braves, where he ended up winning a World Series ring despite being injured throughout Atlanta’s championship run. Vogt appreciated that he was still a part of it. “Every day you walk the field there’s a little boy or girl who’s at their very first baseball game and you need to show them the proper way to play,” a coach once told me. I took that advice to heart, the player said. And every night I play hard and run hard because of that. It’s the proper method of playing baseball.
Moreover, to be a trustworthy teammate. Vogt contacted young catcher Sean Murphy at the beginning of spring training in 2017 and walked him around to meet everyone and set up his locker because “he didn’t want me to seem like a rookie,” Murphy remembered. Murphy loved running into Vogt even after they had stopped playing together. It’s beautiful to have him back this year, Murphy added. I immediately thought, “Yes, wonderful, I can’t wait to play with him again,” when I learned that they had signed him.
By taking on a coaching or management position, Vogt aims to continue making his imprint. Along the road, he has picked up knowledge from coaches Melvin, Bruce Bochy, Craig Counsell, and manager Mark Kotsay. “I haven’t always played at my best. “I’ve been one of the league’s best players and one of the league’s worst players,” stated Vogt. You name it, I’ve experienced it: I’ve been injured and everywhere in between; I’ve been twice DFA’d; traded, and non-tendered. I’ve had jobs where I knew I would have one next year and jobs where I had to battle for them. I just always go out and work for what I get.
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