Scott Spiezio

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Scott Spiezio
DSC00826 Scott Spiezio.jpg
Infielder
Born: (1972-09-21) September 21, 1972 (age 41)
Joliet, Illinois
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 14, 1996 for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 2007 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
Batting average .255
Home runs 119
Runs batted in 549
Hits 996
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Scott Edward Spiezio (/ˈspzi./; born September 21, 1972 in Joliet, Illinois) is a former Major League Baseball infielder. He was most recently an infielder for the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League in 2010. He is well known for his time as a member of the Anaheim Angels, when he hit a 3-run home run in Game Six of the 2002 World Series against the San Francisco Giants, sparking the Angels to a dramatic come-from-behind victory. He has also played for the Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and St. Louis Cardinals. He is the son of former Padre and Cardinal Ed Spiezio.

In addition to his pivotal moment helping the Angels win the World Series in 2002, 2002 was also Spiezio's most productive full season, with a .807 OPS. Spiezio was a utility player on the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Series championship team.

High school years[edit]

Spiezio attended Morris High School in Morris, Illinois and was a student and a letterman in baseball. In baseball, he was named his league's MVP and was an All-State selection.

College years[edit]

Spiezio played for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He made the All-Big 10 Team in baseball in 1992 and 1993.

Professional career[edit]

Spiezio was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 1993 player draft and signed later that year. He made his debut with the 1996 A's and established himself as a classic utility player, making starts at first base, second base, and third base during his time with the A's. Spiezio is a switch hitter who hits for more power when batting left-handed.[1]

Spiezio signed as a free agent with the Anaheim Angels after the 2000 season. During his years with the Angels, he made appearances in left field and right field, as well as first, second, and third base. In 2002, he had a career year. Playing every day, he set career highs in batting average, on-base percentage and RBI. It was in the postseason that he had his greatest success. Spiezio batted 18 for 55 (.327) for Anaheim in the playoffs that year. In Game 6 of the 2002 World Series, with Anaheim trailing three games to two in the series, trailing 5-0 in the seventh inning of the game, and facing a Series loss, Spiezio hit a three-run homer off of Félix Rodríguez to pull his team to within two runs. A lead off homer by Darin Erstad followed by a two-run double by Troy Glaus in the next inning won the game, and the Angels would go on to win their first ever World Series championship. Spiezio tied Sandy Alomar Jr.'s postseason RBI with 19 in 1 postseason that was set back in 1997 while playing for the Cleveland Indians.

After the 2003 season, Spiezio became a free agent and signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners. The next two seasons were the worst of his career. He hit .215 in 2004 for the Mariners and played only 29 games the next year (compiling an .064 average) before the Mariners released him on August 19, 2005.

On February 18, 2006, Spiezio signed a minor league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals with an invitation to the club's spring training. Spiezio played well enough during the Cardinals' exhibition to secure a roster spot with the team as a reserve infielder entering the 2006 season. This move would reunite Spiezio with his former Angels teammate, shortstop David Eckstein.

Spiezio, used as a pinch hitter and all-around reserve player as well as the primary backup to Scott Rolen at third base, had his best season since 2002 for the 2006 Cardinals, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 52 runs despite only getting 276 at bats. He would have another dramatic moment in the playoffs. With the Cardinals trailing 6-4 in the seventh inning of Game 2 of the 2006 National League Championship Series, Spiezio hit a two-run triple to tie the score. The Cardinals went on to win the game and the series in seven games, then proceeded to win the 2006 World Series, earning Spiezio his second World Series ring.

On November 16, 2006, Spiezio signed a two-year contract to return to the Cardinals until the end of the 2008 season, with a club option for 2009. The deal was worth an estimated $4.5 million.[2]

On June 15, 2007, Spiezio took the mound as a relief pitcher in the bottom of the 8th inning of a lopsided loss against the Athletics. His fastball was clocked as high as 87 mph. He pitched one inning, giving up 1 walk, no hits, no runs, and no strikeouts. After having pitched in one game, Spiezio has played six positions in his career (seven counting designated hitter), missing catcher, shortstop, and center field. Spiezio holds the record with Alex Rodriguez for most post-season RBIs.

Substance abuse[edit]

On August 7, Spiezio received IV fluids. He was described as being "irritable and anxious". Spiezio disconnected his IV and left the stadium rather than accept medical treatment.[3] On August 9, 2007, the Cardinals placed him on the restricted list.[4] The Cardinals stated that Spiezio would be seeking treatment for an unspecified substance abuse problem.[5] On September 14, 2007, Spiezio was removed from the restricted list after 36 days and also re-activated to play in that evening's home game.[6]

Release[edit]

On February 27, 2008, Spiezio was released from his contract with the Cardinals after an arrest warrant was issued against him in Irvine, California. The warrant was issued on six charges relating to a car crash in December.[7]

On March 31, 2008, Spiezio signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves. However, he was released on April 12 for being unprepared to play in a game.

Independent baseball career[edit]

After his major league career ended, Spiezio started playing in the independent baseball leagues. He signed a one-year deal to play the 2009 season for the Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League. Spiezio signed another one-year deal to play the 2010 season for the Newark Bears. He hit .279 with 3 home runs and 35 runs batted in while appearing in 52 games.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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