Scott Brosius: McMinnville, Oregon’s Humble Hero
February 17, 2012 – Following the two days I spent with Bucky Dent in South Florida, I traveled to McMinnville, Oregon.
McMinnville is the home of Linfield College, a Division III school in one of the most beautiful parts of the county I’ve ever been.
You many not have ever heard of Linfield College, but I’m confident you’ve heard of the school’s head baseball coach.
Former Yankees third baseman and 1998 World Series MVP Scott Brosius is the skipper of the Linfield College Wildcats. On February 1, Yankees team photographer James Petrozzello and I spent the day with Brosius for a story that will be published in the May issue of Yankees Magazine.
Brosius, who was born and raised within a stone’s throw of McMinnville, attended Linfield College and played on the Wildcats baseball team in the late 1980s. Following Brosius’ retirement from the Yankees in 2001, he returned to Oregon, began volunteering as an assistant coach at Linfield College, and ultimately was named the team’s head coach in 2008.
“If I could have picked any job, this would have been the one,” said Brosius, who met his wife while he was a student at Linfield College and who has three children between the ages of 15 and 20. “We wanted to stay in McMinnville and raise our family here. I feel very fortunate we were able to do that.”
In the time I spent with Brosius, I quickly realized that he is as humble as he was talented. When he’s not coaching his team during practices or games, the 45-year-old is taking care of everything else.
By everything else, I am referring to maintaining the baseball field, making recruiting calls to prospective student athletes and walking incoming student athletes through the admissions and financial aid process (because at the Division III level, there are no athletic scholarships).
Most of Brosius’ work is done from his office, which is located inside of the third base dugout, and while the former third baseman could certainly be coaching or managing in the professional ranks — and, in my opinion, at the major league level — he loves working at his alma mater and living in what he considers the greatest place on earth.
“I’ve been asked if I would want to coach at the professional level, but I am very comfortable where I’m at now,” Brosius said. “I love the game of baseball, and I love teaching it. I love teaching the game to these guys, and I really enjoy being on the field.”
Brosius has exceeded expectations as the Wildcats coach. In 2008, he led Linfield College to the World Series for the first time since the ’70s, and he brought the team back to the World Series in 2010.
I interviewed Brosius before, during and after his team’s four-hour practice and over lunch at the Golden Valley Restaurant & Brewery, which is located a few miles from the college’s campus. Besides exuding a rare humility, Brosius is as kind as they come and as passionate about his life today as when he was a big-league ballplayer.
Based on my experiences in the Pacific Northwest, the Scott Brosius feature will be an alumni story worth reading.
–Alfred Santasiere III