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Central Valley Christian’s Stephen Vogt retiring from MLB

Central Valley Christian’s Stephen Vogt retiring from MLB
Oakland Athletics designated hitter Stephen Vogt (21) bats during the eighth inning against the New York Mets. (Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)
Matthew Morris

VISALIA, Calif. (BVM) – After 10 years of Major League Baseball, Visalia native and Central Valley Christian alum Stephen Vogt is retiring. Vogt announced the 2022 season would be his last on September 22 and it’s fitting that his professional career ends with the Oakland Athletics.

Vogt was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 12th round of the 2007 MLB Draft. He spent the next six years in the Rays’ minor league system before getting his chance in the majors during the 2012 season. Although it took him 32 at-bats to get his first MLB hit, once he did that, he was able to build a successful career for himself.

However, most of that career would be spent in Oakland, not Tampa Bay. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Rays after the 2012 season and the A’s picked him up. It was in Oakland where Vogt earned his first career hit and that is where he became a fan favorite.

In his first year with Oakland, Vogt became a reliable catcher for the A’s. He started all five games of Oakland’s American League Divisional Series (ALDS) against the Detroit Tigers. Vogt even made history when he hit a walk-off RBI in Game 2 of the 2013 ALDS as it was the first walk-off RBI in MLB postseason history by a rookie catcher. Oakland lost the series but Vogt proved himself.

The success in Oakland would continue and in his first year as the starting catcher for the A’s, he was selected to the 2015 MLB All-Star game. That season, Vogt played in 136 games with 71 RBIs, 18 home runs, a .784 OPS and a .261 batting average. The following year, Vogt once again made an appearance in the All-Star game and finished with similar stats.

Vogt would play for the A’s until he was claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers early in the 2017 season. Many players in Oakland voiced their praise of Vogt following his release from the team, saying he was a leader in the clubhouse and a great teammate.

He finished out the 2017 season with the Brewers and then stayed with the club through 2018 but early in the 2018 season, he had to have season-ending surgery. Vogt stayed with the team for the rest of the season, acting as a player coach and then signed with the San Francisco Giants in 2019.

Vogt spent the next few seasons with the Giants and Diamondbacks before being traded to the Atlanta Braves in July of 2021. He was outrighted and then signed with Oakland for his second and final stint with the team.

The catcher credits his father, Randy, for helping him have such a long professional career. His dad is the one that first got him into baseball and coached him for most of his childhood. When Stephen was at Central Valley Christian Schools, his father coached him and Stephen became a very talented high school player.

Even though he had the ability to play high-level baseball, Stephen was not highly recruited out of high school and attended college at Azusa Pacific University (APU). During his four years there, he was an NAIA All-American and had 199 career RBIs and a batting average of .448. Stephen left APU holding single season and career school records.

Over his baseball career, he had 312 RBIs, 81 home runs, a .707 OPS and a .239 batting average. He became a fan favorite and a clubhouse leader, especially with the Oakland A’s. Stephen ended his career in the city where his career really took off.

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