Michael Anthony Busch
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 249 lb.
- School Iowa State University
- High School North Scott High School
- Debut August 30, 1995
- Final Game August 10, 1996
- Born July 7, 1968 in Davenport, IA USA
Mike Busch was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the 1990 amateur draft. He had quite a career as a two-sport star in college: in 1989, he was selected as an All-American in baseball after hitting .401 as a junior, winning MVP of the Big Eight tournament. In football, he earned first team All-Big Eight honors as a tight end in 1988 and 1989. He was a consensus All-American at tight end in 1989, named to the teams selected by Walter Camp, Kodak, API and the coaches. He was named 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 Hall of Fame.
Busch 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 training games as a replacement player.
His new teammates did not give him a warm welcome. Brett Butler, the Dodgers' player rep, criticized Busch heavily to the media, saying that 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 did not 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 clubhouse - 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 had 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, hitting .217 (18-for-83). Mike also spent time with the PCL Albuquerque Dukes that season and was released by the Dodgers on December 9. He spent the rest of his career in the minors and finished with the Sioux Falls Canaries in 2001. During his 11 years in the minors, Busch appeared in 864 games, hitting .269 (865-for-3,172) with 170 home runs. He also appeared briefly in the KBO.
Busch later managed the Calgary Vipers in the independent 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.
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
|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|
The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Third Edition
SABR Minor League Database