Rico Brogna

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Rico Joseph Brogna

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Biographical Information[edit]

"I am hoping that I can inspire others to do things they didn't think they were capable of with AS. Learn to do what you didn't think possible, and you can accomplish great things." - Rico Brogna

Born in Massachusetts, first baseman Rico Brogna grew up in Watertown, CT, where he was an All-American quarterback on his high school football team as well as a baseball player.[1] He was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 1st round (26th overall) of the 1988 amateur draft. In 1990, Rico led the Double A Eastern League with 31 home runs and tied with Greg Sparks with a league-leading 77 RBI. He was the league's All-Star first baseman. Brogna was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (a disease that causes pain and discomfort in the joints) in 1991; he was a spokesman for the Spondylitis Association of America from the summer of 1997 to the winter of 2001. He still serves as an honorary board member for the Association. [2]

After a brief call up with Detroit in 1992, Rico had his rookie season with the New York Mets in 1994, during which he became only the third Mets rookie to ever have a five-hit game (on July 25), destroying pitching to a .351/.380/.626 line in 131 at bats. While he was unable to keep up that pace in a nine year career, he still had several fine seasons. His 104 RBI in 1998 was the first 100 RBI season by a Philadelphia Phillies first baseman since Bill White in 1966, over three decades earlier. The following season, he posted career highs in runs scored (90), home runs (24) and hits (172). Additionally, he was the first man to slug a home run at Coors Field, going deep for the Mets on April 26, 1995.

Following his playing career, Brogna put his three sport high school star knowledge to good use. He worked as a head coach for a number of high school football teams in Connecticut through the years (Kennedy High, Nonnewaug High, Notre Dame High). He was also an assistant coach at Salisbury School and had at least two stints with the Wesleyan University football team. Brogna didn't leave out basketball as he also coached his former high school's boys basketball team for two seasons. Typically, Brogna took over down-on-their-luck teams so his coaching records were poor and he did not stay long enough to see any of these teams achieve success. His health issues played some role in these situations.

On the baseball front, Brogna has worked in a number of different roles over time. He was the hitting coach for the Reading Phillies in 2002 before leaving in mid-August for a baseball analyst position with ESPN. In spring 2005 he was a part-time professional scout for the Colorado Rockies. He left that position to become head coach at Post University where he had earlier earned a bachelor's degree in business. Brogna left Post after the 2006 season and joined the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Brogna worked as a professional scout from mid-2006 through 2009. In the latter year he also served as the team's minor league field coordinator following Bob Melvin's firing on May 7th. After Melvin's departure and the ascension of A.J. Hinch to the manager's position, a number of coaches and front office personnel were re-assigned to new roles. In 2010, Brogna made his managerial debut with the team's Double A affiliate, the Mobile BayBears. After the season he was named the Diamondback's director of player development, but resigned from that position a month later.

Brogna spent the 2012 season with the Tampa Bay Rays as a professional scout. He joined the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization in November, 2013 as a special assistant to the general manager. On August 14, 2014 he replaced Rick Eckstein as the player information coach with the major league team when Eckstein accepted a college coaching job. Brogna returned to this role in 2015, but testicular cancer forced him to take a leave of absence in May. He returned to the Angels a month later, but in early July they re-assigned him to a professional scouting position for the remainder of the season.

Brogna returned to the Phillies organization in 2018 as a coach for the Reading Fightin Phils. He will get his second chance to manage in 2021 with the Stockton Ports in the Oakland Athletics minor league system.

His wife's name is Melissa [3] and he has a daughter named Alexa Grace and a son named Hunter. [4]

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 4 (1995 & 1997-1999)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1998 & 1999)

Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
2010 Mobile BayBears Southern League 75-62 3rd Arizona Diamondbacks Lost in 1st round
2021 Stockton Ports Low-A West Oakland A's

References[edit]

  1. David Driver, "Rico Brogna: A Quiet Run Producer", Baseball Digest, June 1999, Vol. 58, Issue 6
  2. http://www.spondylitis.org/press/news/327.aspx
  3. http://www.angelfire.com/vt/prospectwatch/index179.html
  4. http://diamondbacks.scout.com/2/918351.html

Related Sites[edit]