Mike Ryan (catcher)
Michael James Ryan (born November 25, 1941) is an American former professional baseball player, coach and minor league manager. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a catcher for the Boston Red Sox (1964–67), Philadelphia Phillies (1968–73) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1974). Born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, he threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and 205 pounds (93 kg).
|Born: November 25, 1941|
|October 3, 1964, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 10, 1974, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Runs batted in||161|
He signed with the Red Sox in 1961, beginning his 16-year pro career. After a one-game, late-season trial in 1964 and an extended audition in 1965, Ryan's major league career began in earnest in 1966. In 636 MLB games played, he collected 370 hits in 1,920 at bats for a .193 batting average. Of all non-pitchers since 1930 with at least 1,000 at-bats, only one, Ray Oyler (.175 BA), has a lower average.. During Ryan's nine full seasons in the majors, he batted over .200 only three times. As Boston's most-used catcher in 1966, Ryan hit .214 in 116 games. Three years later, again as a first-string receiver who appeared in 133 games with the 1969 Phillies, he hit a career-high 12 home runs and batted .204. Then, in 1973, in limited service backing up regular Bob Boone, Ryan hit .232 in 69 at bats. Ryan was strong defensively, recording a .991 fielding percentage.
In 1967, appearing in a team-high 79 games as a catcher, Ryan helped the "Impossible Dream" Red Sox win the American League pennant. He was the roommate of Tony Conigliaro before Conigliaro's August 18 beaning knocked him out for the season. Ryan appeared in Game 4 of the 1967 World Series as a late-inning replacement for starting catcher Elston Howard, going hitless in two at bats against Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Gibson. Then in 1974, Ryan was a reserve on the Pirates team that won the National League Eastern Division.
On May 2, 1970, Ryan and Tim McCarver both broke their hands in a game between the Phillies and the San Francisco Giants. With their catching corps depleted, the Phils were forced to use Jim Hutto, Del Bates, Doc Edwards and Mike Compton at the position. Bates and Compton never played in the major leagues before or after 1970. Edwards was the Phillies bullpen coach and had last played in the majors in 1965.
After his playing career, Ryan managed and coached in the Pirates and Phillies minor league organizations from 1975 to 1979, then coached at the Major League level for the Phillies for 16 seasons, from 1980 until 1995. He had surgery following the 1993 season on his right shoulder, the cumulative result of his years of throwing batting practice and warming-up pitchers. He worked two more seasons with ongoing pain and retired after the 1995 season. He was on the staff of three National League champions in Philadelphia, and the 1980 World Series champion, and worked for seven managers. Ryan's coaching tenure with the Phillies was the longest in franchise history until being surpassed by John Vukovich in 2004.
He lives in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
- Spatz, Lyle (2007). TheSABR Baseball List & Record Book – Baseball’s Most Fascinating Records and Unusual Statistics. United States: Simon & Schuster. p. 496. ISBN 9781416532453.
- "Mike Ryan from the Chronology". Baseballlibrary.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-19.
- Bill Conlin (2010-11-05). "Considering gray area in Phillies' search for Lopes replacement". Philadelphia Daily News.