Michael William DiFelice (//; born May 28, 1969) is a former Major League Baseball journeyman catcher. He is a graduate from the University of Tennessee, and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 11th round of the amateur draft. He made his major league debut in 1996 with the Cards. On April 17, 1997, he recorded his first stolen base with a steal of home against pitcher Kevin Brown who threw a wild pitchout.
|Born: May 28, 1969|
|September 1, 1996, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 18, 2008, for the Tampa Bay Rays|
|Runs batted in||167|
DiFelice was chosen by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays with the 20th selection of the 1997 MLB Expansion Draft. On July 25, 2001, he was traded with Albie Lopez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jason Conti and Nick Bierbrodt. He was released by the Diamondbacks on September 4, and since then has signed as a free agent to play with the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, was sent to the Chicago Cubs as part of a conditional deal, then signed with the Florida Marlins, New York Mets, Washington Nationals, and again with the Mets.
Over the first two seasons he spent with the Mets, (2005 and 2006), his batting averages were very bad, in 2005, he had a batting average of .118, (2-17), in 2006 he had only an .080 batting average, (2-25). However, in 2007, his final year with the Mets, his batting average improved to .250, (10-40). Even with that, the Mets still declined to offer salary arbitration to DiFelice.
On January 6, 2008, he signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. He saw his last action at the major league level in April of that season, appearing in seven games. At his request, he was released in early September and retired.
On February 5, 2009, DiFelice was named the manager of the Rookie-level Kingsport Mets in the New York Mets organization. DiFelice's at-bat song was 'Got Another Thing Comin' by Judas Priest, which was recommended by former teammate Paul Ellis. He and Dan Wheeler are the only Tampa Bay players to suit up in all three of the franchise's uniforms. Since his retirement, Miguel Cairo is now the sole remaining active player from the 1998 Rays Opening Day roster. Another fact about DiFelice is that he was included on the Rays 40-man roster in the baseball video game MLB 09 The Show, even though he had retired in September 2008, and when the game was released, he was the manager of the Kingsport Mets.
Mike missed out on a World Series ring after the Diamondbacks released him in 2001 before the season ended. He was drunk and disorderly in a Pittsburgh bar and assaulted a female customer. The Diamondbacks went on that year to beat the Yankees in seven games.
- "Statistically speaking: Elusive Triple Crowns". Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- "Conine's Blast Lifts Marlins". Retrieved 2013-12-28.
- "Rays call up slugger, catcher from Triple-A". September 10, 2008, St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved on September 10, 2008.
- "Mike DiFelice Retires, Will Manage Mets Rookie-League Team In Kingsport". usatoday.com. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-08.