Card: 2000 Bowman Chrome #349
'"Even though baseball wasn't Mike's goal, it made us realize that it is possible to pursue big things. He gave us the incentive to go for it." Much as Joe Venafro admires his big brother, he did share a dark secret from Mike's past. "He was all into Dungeons and Dragons," Joe said with a laugh. "He was a little bit of a geek"' (SFGate)
Michael Robert Venafro (born August 2, 1973 in Takoma Park, MD) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed relief pitcher. He played professionally for the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Colorado Rockies. After retiring as a player, he became a scout for the San Diego Padres.
Venafro was born in Takoma Park, Maryland and graduated from Paul VI High School in northern Virginia. He is an alumnus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 29th round of the 1995 Major League Baseball Draft, Venafro made his Major League Baseball debut with the Rangers on April 24, 1999.
Mike is often referenced in the best selling book titled Moneyball by Michael Lewis, which details the financial aspects of the Oakland Athletics during the time Venafro played for them. He is also referred to in the 2011 film of the same name during a scene where Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) offers him to the San Francisco Giants to drive down interest in Ricardo Rincón, who Beane is attempting to acquire from Cleveland at the trading deadline.
Mike played with three teams in postseason major league baseball including: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, and the Texas Rangers. In total, Venafro has played with 14 different baseball organizations. He has 13 years of professional baseball experience; 7 of which are in the major leagues. His major league career ERA is 4.09. He held big league lefthanded batters to a .240/.318/.310 line in parts of seven seasons.
Mike is part of the LA/Brooklyn Dodgers Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Mike is also part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See Mike’s baseball cards at TCDB
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