Michael Robert Ongarato
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 185 lb.
- School California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo
- High School Rolling Hills High School
Mike Ongarato played two seasons in AAA but did not get the call to the majors.
Ongarato was drafted out of high school in the 40th round of the 1973 amateur draft by the Kansas City Royals. He continued on to college and the Boston Red Sox chose him in the 20th round of the 1976 amateur draft. He made his pro debut with the Elmira Pioneers, hitting .358/.413/.469 in 62 games. He was second in the New York-Penn League in batting average, trailing only Garry Smith's .391. He also tied Gary Holle for the league lead with 81 hits. He joined Smith, Jose Oppenheimer, Richard Howard and Elijah Bonaparte on the NYPL All-Star outfield.
In 1977, Ongarato put up a .288/.345/.333 line for the Winter Haven Red Sox. He was .001 shy of 10th in the Florida State League in average. Now up to AA, he hit .256/.311/.370 for the 1978 Bristol Red Sox followed by .259/.307/.400 for the same club a year later (with a career-high 10 homers). His .982 fielding percentage in 1979 was .001 shy of Ray Boyer, the Eastern League outfield leader.
Mike played for the Pawtucket Red Sox in 1980-1981. The first year, he eked out a .220/.257/.299 line in 99 games, backing up Reid Nichols, Boyer and Sam Bowen in the outfield and Dave Koza at 1B. With Pawtucket in 1981, he hit .240/.292/.397 in 110 games, joining Bowen, Lee Graham and Chico Walker as the four main outfielders for the club. In the Longest game in Organized Baseball history, he pinch-hit for Rich Gedman relatively early on and was retired.
For his career, Ongarato batted .267/.319/.376 with 262 runs and 177 RBI in 621 games.
Sources include 1977-1982 Baseball Guides