The Obit For Mike Sgobba

D-backs scout Sgobba passes away at 81
Former coach at Fullerton College spent 50 years in baseball

By T.R. Sullivan /
12/09/11 7:04 PM EST

Mike Sgobba, who spent 50 years in baseball as a successful college coach and a professional scout, passed away on Thursday of a heart attack. The D-backs scout was 81.

"This is a very sad time for the Diamondbacks organization," team president Derrick Hall said in a statement. "Mike was a talented scout who cared deeply for our franchise and gave his heart and soul to the game. He was an important part of our family, and now we turn our attention to comforting his loved ones who we will shower with thoughts, prayers and wonderful memories."

Sgobba joined the D-backs as a part-time scout in 2001 after working for the White Sox and the Athletics. He became a full-time scout in 2003 and also served as the D-backs' coordinator in Mexico through 2009.

"He was a good one, one of the best," said Mel Didier, a scout for the Blue Jays and longtime friend. "He was from the old school, a guy who really worked at it. He was really strong in Mexico."

Sgobba also served as the head baseball coach at Fullerton College from 1961-85, where he compiled a record of 487-325-7 and won two South Coast Conference titles. He was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2007.

Former Cardinals reliever Al Hrabosky played for Sgobba at Fullerton and so did John Young, a first baseman who played two games for the Tigers but went on to found the renown Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program. In his 24 years at Fullerton, Sgobba coached 120 players who went on to sign professional baseball contracts.

Sgobba also served as a basketball official for the American Basketball Association and was a past president of the Southern California Baseball Scouts Association. He spent one season in 1973 as a Minor League manager in the Athletics organization. He attended Illinois State University, where he was a member of the football team.