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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Mike Verdi learned from father, then followed him to minors

Mike Verdi 1990 Elmira Pioneers card

Mike Verdi readied to go off to play baseball in college in the summer of 1970. But before he left, he spent some time with his father, at AAA Syracuse, Newsday wrote.

Verdi's father, Frank Verdi, played professionally, made the majors for a game and then went on to a career as a manager in the minors, Newsday wrote.

Mike Verdi that summer would be "picking up little things that make you learn more in one day than you ever did before," he told Newsday.

Mike Verdi didn't pick up enough that summer for his own pro playing career, but that time likely helped him later, as a minor league manager in his own right.

Verdi's career in baseball was supposed to start in 1974, taken by the Yankees in the draft out of Florida Southern. But a torn rotator cuff meant he didn't take the field.

Verdi's pro career then finally got underway by 1983, as a coach at rookie Bluefield with the Orioles. He then turned manager at Bluefield in 1985. In 1986, he moved to manage at independent San Jose. He also managed there for 1987.

For 1988, he moved to the Red Sox system in the rookie Arizona League. He then managed at short-season Elmira in 1989 and 1990.

Going into the 1990 season, Verdi expressed optimism on his team's prospects to The Elmira Star-Gazette.

"You're only as good as pitching," Verdi told The Star-Gazette. "I always said if I had 10 fresh arms, last year we wouldn't have gotten off to a 2-13 start. This year I've got them."

Verdi moved to high-A Winter Haven for 1991. He later was credited as managing at independent Grand Forks in 1996 and 1997. 

Mike Verdi 1990 Elmira Pioneers card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,679
Made the Majors:1,254-34.1%
Never Made Majors:2,425-65.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

1 comment:

  1. Mike was the coolest coach I ever played for. Used to warm me up between innings with no catchers mitt. Love him. Tom Niles '91