OAKLAND — Stephen Vogt had fairly the perfect retirement setup. Ending the 2021 season a World Collection champion with the Braves opened the door for him to experience off into the sundown. Deep down, although, Vogt knew there was just one true excellent ending, and he obtained it.
Although Vogt performed for six groups over 10 seasons within the huge leagues, there’s no group he identifies with extra intently than the A’s. That’s why he selected to signal again with Oakland this spring regardless of receiving gives from different golf equipment. Previous to Thursday’s sport in opposition to the Mariners, the 37-year-old catcher introduced that he plans to retire at season’s finish.
“It was one thing I needed to do whereas we have been in Oakland,” Vogt mentioned of his resolution to announce his retirement. “I made up my thoughts in late July that this was going to be it. I needed to share it with folks in Oakland and have a while earlier than the top of the yr to course of and simply benefit from the final couple of weeks. It felt becoming to do it in Oakland. … It simply felt like this was the appropriate time.”
Embodying the definition of perseverance, Vogt started his Main League profession by going 0-for-32, the primary 25 of these at-bats coming with the Rays earlier than he was designated for project and later traded to the A’s for money issues. On June 28, 2013, Vogt lastly notched his first hit — a solo residence run off Joe Kelly in a sport in opposition to the Cardinals on the Coliseum.
Discovering his footing as a giant leaguer over that 2013 marketing campaign as a 28-year-old rookie, Vogt went on to carve out a starring function with the A’s over the following few years, throughout which he turned a two-time All-Star and helped Oakland attain the postseason in back-to-back seasons from ‘13-14. The ‘13 playoff run was particularly memorable for Vogt, as he caught all 5 video games of the American League Division Collection in opposition to the Tigers and delivered a clutch walk-off single in Sport 2 to ship the Coliseum crowd right into a frenzy.
“Speaking to those younger guys [on the team], I inform them to return and watch a few of these highlights,” Vogt mentioned. “You see what this place is when full. It’s a cathedral. That evening in 2013 and attending to catch these 5 playoff video games for this group, it nonetheless to at the present time means the world to me. Sonny [Gray] beating [Justin] Verlander and getting the game-winning hit, every little thing about that evening was so Oakland A’s, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Vogt is batting .168 with six residence runs and 22 RBIs on the season. His higher contribution, nevertheless, has come contained in the A’s clubhouse, the place he serves as a frontrunner to a rebuilding squad crammed with younger gamers and a mentor to a pair of proficient catchers in Gold Glover Sean Murphy and Oakland’s No. 1 prospect Shea Langeliers.
“The management that he’s offered all through the season, I couldn’t be extra grateful for a way he’s carried this group and helped lead this tradition that’s within the clubhouse,” mentioned A’s supervisor Mark Kotsay. “That in itself can have [an] impression on these youthful gamers for years to return. He made it a press release and took it upon himself to be that chief in that room.”
Given these management qualities, a lot of Vogt’s coaches and teammates have pegged him as a future supervisor. Requested Thursday what may be subsequent for him, Vogt made his intentions clear.
“My finish objective is to handle,” Vogt mentioned. “I wish to handle within the huge leagues. I’ve performed for seven superb managers: Joe Maddon, Bob Melvin, Craig Counsell, Bruce Bochy, Torey Lovullo, Brian Snitker and now Mark Kotsay. I’ve realized a lot from all of them. I respect them for what they taught me. I’ve realized quite a bit. I’ve been capable of observe them and watch them work. So I’d love to try this. How do I get there? I don’t know. However I’d love to remain within the sport.”
In fact, Vogt nonetheless has a few weeks left to play, together with six extra video games on the Coliseum. These closing residence video games determine to be an emotional time for the beloved veteran backstop, and he plans to soak within the adoration from the Oakland followers, notably when the “I consider in Stephen Vogt” chants spark up for every of his at-bats.
“The assist the Oakland A’s followers deliver to this crew, it’d be onerous to search out any higher,” Vogt mentioned. “The way in which they’ve chanted, ‘I consider in Stephen Vogt,’ is one thing I don’t take flippantly. It’s very significant for me as a result of I’ve been this underdog. I’ve been the overachiever. You watch me play and it’s like, ‘Dude, that man will be in a beer league softball sport someplace.’ .. I will likely be soaking in [the chant] over these final residence video games. I couldn’t be extra appreciative of the followers and their assist.”