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Sunday, July 17, 2022

Mike Fiore took top college career to Olympic gold; Later played three pro seasons, made AA

Team USA celebrated the 1988 Olympic baseball gold medal and among them was outfielder Mike Fiore.

"This has been one of the most uplifting feelings I've ever had," the University of Miami product Fiore told reporters afterward, according to The Fort Lauderdale News. "This is one of the biggest events in anyone's life."

Fiore went on from Team USA to make the pros. His pro career, however, proved limited. He saw three seasons and topped out at AA. Fiore did, however, get back to the Olympics, as Team USA general manager in 1996. He then got into player agent work.

Fiore's pro career began in 1989, taken by the Cardinals in the 15th round of the previous year's draft out of Miami.

At Miami, Fiore helped the school make the College World Series multiple times. He set 12 school records, including hits, runs and RBIs, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote years later. He also won college baseball's top player award in 1987, made the Pan-Am squad, all ahead of the Olympics. His work won him a spot in the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

Despite his success on the field, scouts saw Fiore as lacking in speed, defense and power, The South Florida Sun Sentinel wrote. Fiore responded by showing what he could do at the Pan Am games, hitting .444.

"I think I showed I can play at a level beyond college baseball," Fiore told The Sun Sentinel. "In college you might see a good pitcher every three games or so. In the Pan-Am Games, you saw a good pitcher every night."

With the Cardinals, Fiore started at single-A Springfield. He hit .251 over 129 games, with 10 home runs and 26 stolen bases.

He moved to high-A St. Petersburg for 1990 and hit .271 over 118 games. He then made AA Arkansas for 1991. He hit .263 there in 123 games. That season proved his last as a pro.

Fiore later returned to the Olympics in Atlanta, as the team's general manager.

Upon his induction into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014, Fiore, then working with agent Scott Boras, talked up the college game to The Avalanche-Journal.

"College baseball's a great brand. It's a unique market, and it's a great opportunity to develop athletically, emotionally and use it as a backdrop to get their education," Fiore told The Avalanche-Journal.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,965
Made the Majors:1,322-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,643-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:541
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

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