Former major league player and manager Mike Scioscia has been named manager of the United States team seeking a ticket to the Tokyo Olympics baseball tournament, USA Baseball reported Tuesday.
“I am extremely honored and excited to lead the United States team this year and I know that all members of our team will feel the same way. It will be a privilege to wear the United States jersey,” said Scioscia.
“It is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience that will hopefully end when the United States wins an Olympic gold medal!”
Scioscia, 62, was the manager of the Los Angeles Angels for 19 seasons, amassing a mark of 1650-1428 (.536). In 2002, Scioscia led the Angels to the only World Series title in their history and in the process became the seventh character to win the championship as a player and manager.
During a 13-year career as a receiver for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1980-1992), Scioscia attended two All-Star Games and was part of the teams that won the World Series in 1981 and 1988.
The United States will seek their pass to the Olympic Games ball in June in America’s qualifier, to be played in Florida. In the continental qualifying round, from May 31 to June 5, eight countries will participate, divided into two groups: A (United States, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic) and B (Canada, Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela).
The winner will advance to the Olympics and join already qualified South Korea, Japan, Israel and Mexico. Teams finishing second and third in Florida will advance to the WBSC final playoff, which will take place June 16-20 in Taichung, Taiwan.
“We are honored to welcome Mike Scioscia to Team USA,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. “Mike’s tenure with the Angels franchise was spectacular, creating and celebrating a culture of success with six division titles, an American League pennant and his first World Series title,” he added.
“Most strikingly, his leadership, integrity, and character are unparalleled in our game, making him the perfect person for the United States baseball family. We are delighted that he is leading our national team in the quest to win a place at the Tokyo Olympics, “Seiler said.