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Saturday, March 23, 2024

Don Angotti played, hoped to coach, instead he taught

Don Angotti 1990 Osceola Astros card

After three minor league seasons as a backup catcher in A-ball, Don Angotti found himself headed back there for a fourth. So, he suggested coaching, The Tucson Citizen wrote in April 1992.

The Astros then took him up on it, sending him to coach at AAA Tucson, The Citizen wrote.

"The writing was clearly on the wall for my playing career," Angotti told The Citizen then. "This became a possible door to my future."

Angotti played those three seasons - and even got briefly activated at Tucson. But his coaching career didn't take off. But he did, however, end up going into a different kind of coaching. He went into teaching.

Angotti's career began in 1989, signed by the Astros as an undrafted free agent out of San Diego State University.

Angotti started with the Astros in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He saw 18 games and hit .205. He then moved to high-A Osceola for 1990 and saw 39 games there and hit .143.

For 1991, he divided time between Osceola, single-A Asheville and short-season Auburn. He hit .162 in 30 total games. That August, Angotti helped shepherd his hurler Rod Biehl to taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning, The Ithaca Journal wrote.

"I think the only one that talked to me was my catcher (Angotti) and he was after me to bear down all the way," Biehl told The Journal his interactions as the no-hit bid evolved.

Then, he moved to Tucson as a coach. His brief activation, and his last pro playing time, came that July. He saw one game, one at bat and struck out

Angotti then soon turned from coaching to teaching. He became a teacher to fifth- and sixth-graders in Washoe County schools in Nevada in 1995, then turned administrator in 2004. He became associate chief in the district's office of teaching, learning and leadership in January 2023.

In 2022, as principal of Washoe's Poulakidas Elementary, he won PBS Reno's Extraordinary Educator award. 

"Mr. Angotti always has time to listen and will always help in any way he can," his PBS Reno award bio reads. "Whether that means greeting parents every morning and afternoon, directing traffic in the pick-up line, or doing whatever it takes to motivate his students, Mr. Angotti has gained a reputation of being a privilege to work with and for."

Don Angotti 1990 Osceola Astros card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,333
Made the Majors:1,399-32.3%
Never Made Majors:2,934-67.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:569
10+ Seasons in the Minors:352

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