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Sunday, May 26, 2024

John Spinosa trained in pros, on tape: Baseball Profiles

John Spinosa 1990 Indianapolis Indians card

Edmonton Trappers trainer John Spinosa worked directly with players to keep them healthy. He also made a tape titled "Before the First Pitch" to help players who didn't have someone like him around, The Edmonton Journal wrote in May 1993.

The tape focused on stretching exercises from the father of Tommy John surgery, Dr. Frank Jobe, The Journal wrote.

"The idea is to maintain the body, keep players strong and off the training table," Spinosa told The Journal then. "As a trainer, my role is to prevent injuries, decrease the chance of chronic problems or a career-ending injury."

Spinosa served as a trainer in the pros for well over a decade, eventually becoming coordinator of trainers and equipment for the Marlins. 

Spinosa's career began in 1987, out of the University of California-Northridge. Prior to his graduation, he did work for the Los Angeles Kings NHL team and at the 1984 Olympics.

Spinosa started as a minor league trainer with the Expos at single-A West Palm Beach. He spent three seasons there before moving to AAA Indianapolis for 1990.

At Indianapolis, Spinosa got some mentions in player Steve Fireovid's season book "The 26th Man," the trainer quoted as questioning how younger players took care of themselves.

"What's worse, he said, is that in many cases they're without a father or mother figure for the first time," Fireovid quoted Spinosa as saying. "The closest person in baseball to filling that void is the trainer." 

After joining the Marlins for 1993 at Edmonton, he moved to high-A Brevard County for 1994.

In 2000, he spoke to Florida Today as Marlins coordinator of trainers and equipment LASIK surgery for players and himself.

"I haven't had a problem with it," Spinosa told Florida Today. "And we've had probably a half dozen guys over the last year that have done it during the off-season, and they're seeing the ball a lot beater."

Spinosa passed away in 2006 at the age of 44.

John Spinosa 1990 Indianapolis Indians card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,374
Made the Majors:1,410-32.2
Never Made Majors:2,964-67.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:574
10+ Seasons in the Minors:354

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