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“The gratification and intrinsic value that I have gained from these experiences as a player, coach, teacher and mentor for over close to forty years I would not change for anything in the world” – Rick Magnante
Rick Magnante has a lot to share. He is a guy that can tell you first hand that loving this game will set you free. Following your passion and having trust in yourself first will bring you joy. Magnante has been in and out and back into baseball as a professional player, scout, coach in the minor leagues with Milwaukee, San Diego, Detroit, Cleveland, and eventually Skipper in the Oakland organization for 13 years.
His teams have been championship teams as well as shitty basement dwelling clubs along the journey. He scouted and signed the likes of 2002 AL Cy Young winner Barry Zito along with Eric Byrnes, Bobby Crosby, and Ryan Ludwick. As a young man trying to feed his family and not quite sure where baseball would fit in as he ran an insurance business, he decided to find out the answers.
The last four decades of persistence he demanded of himself along with the belief it was not only possible but inevitable brought him to the point that solidified his career and benchmarked his legacy as a Big Leaguer in life.
Rick shares with us in this episode:
- How belief in yourself is a crucial first step; one that can not be skipped over
- Expecting something to happen by waiting on the sideline will never happen
- How he became Manager of the South African National Team for the WBC
- Running an insurance business for over a decade while waiting for his opportunity to work in professional baseball
- And much. much more
How We Met
A mutual friend introduced Rick and I. I was operating my academy in Sherman Oaks, CA and looking for the next step to take in my career. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be scouting or coaching at one level or another. I spent some time thinking it over and decided to look for answers within other people doing those jobs.
After having several meetings again after the initial meeting with Rick, I was leaning towards a move to the scouting world. Mags had exposed some very valid points as it pertained to my future and the decision I was trying to make as a late 30ish husband and father. I won’t get into it entirely here but let’s say he explained in great detail the pros and cons of both coaching and scouting and how it pertains to one’s personal life.
He talked to the A’s about bringing me on board to help in some different roles that included “bird-dogging” prospects, organizing and running a SoCal Scout Team for the A’s to participate in the local Scout League. Then came the organization and execution of Oakland’s West Coast Annual Pre Draft Workout in front of all the brass.
These workouts are where I was able to show my abilities as it pertained to being a leader and physically running a professional try out. Throwing the BP, hitting the fungo, interacting with the players, etc.
This eventually led to an invite as a volunteer assistant coach alongside Rick while he managed the Short Season Rookie Class Vancouver Canadians in 2009. I was fortunate enough to learn from hitting coach Casey Myers and Pitching Coach/former Big League pitcher Craig “Lefty” Lefferts. The knowledge I picked up that summer was priceless.
Our friendship grew and when I finally asked Rick to be my mentor things started to shift in my mind and in my actions towards being a scout and learning the ropes from an experienced and well-respected teacher already making his mark.
I owe a lot to Rick Magnante and would not be writing this after interviewing him for this podcast if it weren’t for a ton of information and wisdom that he so graciously passed on to me. I can only hope that you will pick up a gem or two in this episode and get inspired and motivated to follow your dream of loving the game and living the dream.
Love the Game. Live the Dream