Mike Scioscia was a pretty darn good Major League catcher, donning the tools of ignorance for the Los Angeles Dodgers over a 13-year career that produced two All-Star selections (1989, 1990) and two World Series trophies (1981,1988).
But as integral as Scioscia was to the Dodgers in the 1980s, it wasn’t until he moved down the freeway to the the Anaheim Angels in 2000 that he became THE MAN.
Or, more accurately, THE MAN-ager.
In 19 seasons as the Angels’ skipper, Scioscia compiled a 1650-1428 record, which works out to a healthy .536 winning percentage.
Even more important, Scioscia guided Anaheim to seven postseason appearances, including the 2002 World Series championship.
And, considering that Scioscia was a big league skipper as recently as 2018, the image of him in the dugout or stalking the field for the Angels is the one that’s embedded in most fans’ minds.
But longtime collectors definitely remember Scioscia’s playing days, and the cardboard from those days.
Why, the Dodgers’ receiver got his start right there alongside Fernando Valenzuela on that spiffy 1981 Topps Dodger Future Star card that heralded the coming of Fernandomania.
Ah, but Scioscia came up through the Dodgers farm system in the late 1970s, just as minor league cards were starting to gain some traction.
Yes, Virginia, that does mean there’s a Santa Claus, and also a card showing Mike Scioscia with the Albuquerque Dukes …
That’s a 1979 TCMA creation, in case you were wondering, and it’s the first Scioscia card. And, if he looks like a teenager there to you, well, that’s because he’s darn close — just 20 years old when that pic was snapped.
Considering you can find baseball cards of Scioscia as a manager deep into the 2010s, this was just the start of four cardboard-filled decades.
And, do we really know the man is done as a skipper? If he does back at some point, we may yet see 50 years of Scioscia baseball cards.
You want Santa to bring you something really nifty from 1979? Well, how about an uncut 1979 Burger King set, straight from the Topps vault … this the one below?
That should do the “nifty” trick, right?
Check out the full listing on eBay right here (affiliate link).