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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Mike Sarbaugh worked hard, saw 6 seasons, made bigs as coach

Mike Sarbaugh 1990 Reno Silver Sox card

After a quarter century in the game, all spent in the minors, Mike Sarbaugh got his first chance at a major league job in 2013 with the Indians, as the club's first base coach, The News-Herald in Lake County, Ohio, wrote.

Sarbaugh had played in the minors, coached there and managed there. 

"A lot of memories flooded back, memories of all the hard work and all the people who helped me get to that point," Sarbaugh told The News-Herald of his reaction to the news.

Sarbaugh's playing days, however, took him to six seasons and a brief, six-game look at AAA

Sarbaugh's career began in 1989, signed by the Brewers as an undrafted free agent out of Lamar University in Texas.

Sarbaugh started with the Brewers, playing between single-A Beloit and rookie ball. By 1990, he was with the Indians at high-A Reno. He also saw high-A Kinston. He also looked ahead to 1991 at year's end.

"I'll just go to spring training and try to make the club," Sarbaugh told The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal. "If you do well, they have to send you somewhere. I don't try to expect things. Lots of times, when you expect things, they don't happen."

Sarbaugh briefly made AA Canton-Akron in 1991, then saw it for a shortened 38-game 1992 and returned for 85 games in 1993. He hit .249 there in 1993.

He saw one more season at Canton-Akron and got a four-game look at AAA Charlotte in 1995. He hit .270 that year, his last as a pro.

Sarbaugh then turned to coaching. He first served as hitting coach at Kinston, then at single-A Columbus. He returned to Akron as hitting coach in 2001, then saw AAA Buffalo in 2003.

He got his first managerial job at short-season Mahoning Valley in 2004. He then managed at Lake County, Kinston, Akron and AAA Columbus in 2010.

In 2013, the Indians called on him as first base coach. He stayed with the big club as a base coach through 2023. For 2024, he moved to the Mets as third base and infield coach.

"You just keep enjoying it," Sarbaugh told Lancaster Online in December 2023 of his time in the pros. "You get a passion for it. You turn around and it's 30 years later."

Mike Sarbaugh 1990 Reno Silver Sox card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,319
Made the Majors:1,396-32.3%
Never Made Majors:2,923-67.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:569
10+ Seasons in the Minors:351

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