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Mike Busch

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1992 Classic/Best #346 Mike Busch

Michael Anthony Busch

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[edit] Biographical Information

Mike Busch was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the 1990 amateur draft and signed June 8. He had quite a career as a two-sport star in college: in 1989, he was selected as an All-American for baseball after hitting .401 as a junior. He was the MVP of the Big Eight Tournament, and in football made the first team All-Big Eight as a tight end in 1988 and 1989. He was also named a consensus All-American at tight end in 1989, named on the teams selected by Walter Camp, by Kodak, by API and by coaches. He was named the Big Eight "Male Athlete of the Year" in 1989-1990. Busch was a tenth round draft choice in the 1990 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2000, he was inducted in the Iowa State University Hall of Fame.

He spent 1990 with the Pioneer League (Rookie Adv.) Great Falls Dodgers. He appeared in 61 games, had 220 at bats with 72 hits, including 13 home runs, for a .323 batting average. Mike spent the next five seasons in the minors with Bakersfield, San Antonio and Albuquerque before being called up to the major league Dodgers on August 29, 1995.

A few months earlier, near the end of baseball's last labor war, Busch crossed the picket lines and played in spring traning games as a replacement player. Needless to say his new teammates did not give him a warm welcome. The reaction of the Dodger players was not unexpected, in fact, it was quite predictable.

Brett Butler, the Dodgers' player representative, criticized Busch heavily to the media. He called him down on several things. He said Busch did not deserve a spot on the club's roster. The players tried every trick they could think of to get Mike out, but it didn't happen. The reason Mike stayed, most likely, is that he was a 27 year old, 6-foot-5, 249 pound man and likely could have whipped anyone on the team who would have been foolish enough to challenge him. Something happened - lots of things happen in a baseball club house - and the next day, Butler called a press conference with Busch in attendance and said that he and his teammates would pull for Busch as long as he wore a Dodger uniform.

Busch went on to have several key hits during the playoff run, including a pennant-clinching home run off San Diego Padres right hander Brian Williams in the seventh inning on October 1. He was rewarded by being left off the team's postseason roster.

He was back with the Dodgers in 1996, but he played poorly and appeared in only 38 games, getting 83 at bats and 18 hits for a .217 batting average. Mike also spent time with the PCL Albuquerque Dukes that season and was released by the Dodgers on December 9.

Busch spent the rest of his playing career in the minors and finished up with the Sioux Falls Canaries in 2001. During his 11 years in the minors, Busch appeared in 864 games had 3,172 at bats with 865 hits, including 170 home runs for a 2.69 career BA. He also appeared in the Korea Baseball Organization.

Busch did show up again, managing the Calgary Vipers in the Indepedent Northern League from 2005 through 2007, and in 2008 in the Golden Baseball League. In 2010, he took over as skipper of the Schaumburg Flyers, back in the Northern League.

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
2005 Calgary Vipers Northern League 51-44 5th Independent Leagues
2006 Calgary Vipers Northern League 42-54 7th Independent Leagues
2007 Calgary Vipers Northern League 50-46 4th Independent Leagues
2008 Calgary Vipers Golden Baseball League 45-42 5th Independent Leagues
2010 Schaumburg Flyers Northern League 41-59 7th (t) Independent Leagues

[edit] Sources

The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Third Edition
SABR Minor League Database
baseball-reference.com
Baseball Library.com
Wikipedia

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