Click HERE for info on how to join in a chat with Mike on Friday, May 29.
Mike was born in Madison in 1980 & attended Franklin & Randall Elementary Schools. He started his baseball career at West Madison Little League, then continued it in Salt Lake City, UT after his family moved. Mike received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, where he was a pitcher on the nationally ranked baseball team. Mike was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks after his junior season and played professional baseball for almost ten years, including time in Major League Baseball pitching for the Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, and Cleveland Indians. After retiring from baseball, Mike returned to Stanford, where he graduated from Stanford Law School in 2015. Mike now lives & practices law near San Diego, CA.
West Madison Little League: Both Mike & his older brother David (who went on to play college baseball at Trinity University) played baseball at West Madison Little League. Mike played two seasons of Minor League baseball at WMLL when he was 9 & 10 in 1990 & 1991. Mike’s WMLL playing career was cut short when his family moved to Salt Lake City, UT in 1991.
Mike Remembers: Mike has very fond memories of his two years at WMLL & played on the Widgets team that was coached by his dad & his brother. Mike remembers playing on the Minor Field and dreaming of hitting a home run into the trees beyond the fence. Mike never hit a home run at WMLL & jokes that he was destined to be a pitcher from the start! Mike loved going to the field to play his games, watch the big kids on the other fields, and visit that snack bar he concession stand where, at the time, he could get a hot dog and a Mountain Dew for a dollar.
Salt Lake City Leagues: Mike continued to play Little League baseball in Salt Lake City through the age of 12, followed by Pony and Babe Ruth leagues before he started playing high school ball.
HIGH SCHOOL YEARS
High School Baseball: In Utah, Mike had a very successful high school career at East High School where he also was twice captain of the golf team & a Member of the National Honor Society. Mike’s high school baseball honors include being named:
– East High School Student-Athlete of the Year (1998)
– First Team All-Utah by the Deseret News and the Salt Lake City Tribune (1997 & 1998)
– Utah High School Baseball Player of the Year by Gatorade Circle of Champions (1998)
– First Team Prep All-American by High School Baseball USA and Collegiate Baseball (1998)
– Second Team Prep Preseason All-American by Baseball America (1998)
Team USA: In 1997, after his junior year in high school, Mike played for the U.S. Junior National Team that participated in the Junior Pan American Games. After graduating high school in 1998, Mike played for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots of the Alaska Baseball League, going 2-2 with a 2.82 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 35.0 innings.
Draft: After Mike’s Senior Year, he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 14th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. Instead of going pro, Mike chose to go to college & play baseball at Stanford University.
Mike Remembers: Despite Mike’s success later in his high school career, he remembers entering high school not knowing whether he would even make the JV team. Mike didn’t play varsity ball until his junior season. He says the important moral of the story is to KEEP AT IT!
Mike attended Stanford from 1999 through 2001 & pitched for the Cardinal baseball team during his freshman, sophomore, & junior years. He was an effective pitcher & finished his Stanford career with a 10-7 record, three saves & a 4.40 ERA in 178.0 innings with 196 career strikeouts. Opponents hit just .209 off him in his career
Freshman Year: Mike finished his freshman year with a 1-2 record and a 5.73 ERA in 37.2 innings. After his freshman year, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Orleans Cardinals of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Sophomore Year: As a sophomore, Mike finished with a 2-2 record and a 4.19 ERA, striking out an amazing 79 batters in 58 innings of work (12.3 strikeouts per nine innings), while giving up only 29 hits. Opponents hit only .146 against him. Mike’s performance earned him honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors.
Team USA: After his sophomore year, Mike spent the summer playing for Team USA. The 2000 Team USA squad finished with a 27-3-1 record, the best winning percentage in the history of the U.S. National Team. Mike compiled a 1-0 record and a 2.76 ERA in 14 relief appearances. He struck out 34 batters in only 16.1 innings (19 strikeouts per nine innings) & gave up just 11 hits for an opponent’s batting average of .180.
Junior Year: In 2001, Mike had a fantastic junior year, posting a 7-3 record and a 3.94 ERA. He went 7-0 with a 3.17 ERA during the regular season, all against Pac-10 opponents. In the post-season, Mike started in a Regional game against Texas, a Super Regional game against South Carolina, & then two College World Series games – against Cal State Fullerton in the second game & against Miami in the championship game. Unfortunately, Stanford lost the championship game 1-12. Mike was once again recognized as an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection & was named to the Second Team All-Pac-10 Academic team.
Draft: After Mike’s Junior year, he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2nd round of the 2001 Major League Baseball Draft.
Mike Remembers: Mike remembers how happy he was when he signed with the Diamondbacks. Right afterwards, he returned to Stanford to complete his degree in Human Biology. Mike recalls that even with his love for baseball, earning his college degree was his top priority.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Mike began his career in AA with the El Paso Diablos, and led the Texas League in wins in 2002. After shoulder surgery in 2003, he made his major league debut with the Diamondbacks in September 2004. He went 1–1 with a 4.62 earned run average in six appearances (four starts) for the season. He split 2005 between the Diamondbacks and their AAA affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders, going 0–3 with a 4.45 ERA in 13 appearances (five starts) for Arizona.
Mike Remembers: One of Mike’s highlights in 2005 was starting a game against his old favorite team, the Milwaukee Brewers, at Miller Park. Mike gave up a home run to lead off the game, and then another run in the top of the first inning, but shut out the Brewers for the next 5 innings.
Cincinnati Reds: In 2006, Mike was selected off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds. He made one appearance with the Reds in 2006, and split 2007 between the Reds and their AAA affiliate, the Louisville Bats, going 2-0 with the Reds. He made 24 total appearances in two seasons for the Reds and was used exclusively out of the bullpen.
Toronto Blue Jays: In 2008, Mike played in the Toronto Blue Jays organization and had a 3.67 ERA for AAA Syracuse. Mike led the league in appearances and became a free agent at the end of the season.
Minnesota Twins: In January 2009, Mike signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins. After going 7-1 out of the bullpen for the Rochester Red Wings, Mike exercised a June 1 escape clause in his contract to become a free agent
Cleveland Indians: In June 2009, Mike signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians. He was then called up on June 19 and made 15 appearances for the Indians. In December 2009, Mike re-signed with the Cleveland Indians on a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.
Mike Remembers: Mike officially announced his retirement before a Columbus Clippers game (Cleveland’s AAA minor league affiliate) in May 2010. He was happy to finish his career by pitching 6.1 scoreless innings that night in a spot start against the Durham Bulls.
For more Mike memories from his pro career, read the article he wrote for Sports Illustrated, “The top nine moments of my completely forgettable MLB career”.
LIFE AFTER BASEBALL
Law Career: After graduating, Mike worked at Jones Day, a top international law firm, until 2016 and again from 2017-2020. In 2016 & 2017, Mike worked as a judicial law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge, Jeffrey T. Miller, in the Southern District of California. Earlier this year, Mike began working at Fox Law, one of the leading firms in California handling catastrophic and serious personal injury cases, as a litigator focused on personal injury and class action cases.